"For as long as I can remember I have wanted to help an orphanage, I love children and am particularly drawn to want to help people who are in less fortunate circumstances than myself – in July I was fortunate that this was made a reality.
This was my first (and most certainly not my last) trip to Addis. I really hadn’t thought too much into the trip, or what I wanted from it, all I knew was that I was excited to be going and that we were going to be busy.
We visited many families and children that are supported by CCELA, so many that I do not remember all of their names! I was shown around various parts of Addis, some that are a complete contrast to one another, which in itself is hard to understand – but eye opening none the less.
The CCELA Orphanage, I could write about these girls and toddlers all day, but to sum them up in a few sentences – they are inspiring. The hardships that they have faced in their very short lives are shocking, but the way that they greet you with open arms and minds that just want to hear all about you and your life in Australia, how gracious they are with all the things they are gifted (donations from people across Tasmania/Australia) but also how they acknowledge how fortunate they are to be at CCELA under Leeanne and her staff’s care.
Moving the orphanage was one of the main tasks that we were faced with in July… now that was an effort! Moving to a new house is a big enough task when you live in it and know where everything is – try moving to a new house when (1) you don’t live in the house – let alone the country, (2) there are 11 children living in the house, (3) you’re in Addis. Again, long story cut short, there were tears and heated moments, but we got there, and as a positive everyone is settled in nicely.
Leeanne does an amazing job that I don’t think is recognised enough, nor do I think she does it for the recognition – but she deserves acknowledgment that if it wasn’t for her these children wouldn’t have the opportunities that they have and will continue to have, but more importantly they wouldn’t know what its like to feel safe.
I could go into all the tiny things that we take for granted here in Australia, but that really won’t ring true to people until you have seen how some people live and how they make the best of their situations. Just know we are so very lucky to live the lives we do, and it is only by circumstance that we are fortunate enough to have the abundance of opportunities at our finger tips."