A Visual Journey through Lent: A Collaborative Photography Project (Week 3): Melanie Blanding

Melanie’s reflection: Praise is now 25-years-old, but she started adopting neglected, orphaned or abused children while she was still living with her mother as a 16-year-old in a suburb of Kampala, Uganda. After adopting 8 children, Praise’s mother said it was finally too much for her small, one-room house. Undaunted, Praise found a small home to rent for herself and the children. She’s doing an incredible job with more than 25 children now in her care, ranging from about two to 17-years-old. Before accepting new children, Praise counsels families and encourages them to stay together and resolve their problems, but when that is impossible she brings the children home, which she has named Young Achievers. Once there, they receive a full primary and secondary education, a safe place to live, meals and a new extended family, free from abuse and neglect.

“This is not an orphanage,” Praise told me, “These are my children, they call me Mommy.”

The picture shows Praise inside the compound in the kitchen of a place they were renting. There’s a more detailed account of Young Achievers on my blog.

Today’s Word: Serving Others

Photographer (Photo Credit): Melanie Blanding

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Website: www.melanieblanding.wordpress.com