It is always exciting and rewarding to see children’s lives drastically improve. Patricia is a child that was once malnourished, uneducated and living in horrible conditions. She has always been sweet and caring, but she has had more responsibilities than any young child should ever be subjected to. Instead of going to school, Patricia spent her days preparing all of the meals and washing the clothes for her orphanage of more than twenty children. Every week when I saw Patricia, I would always ask her what she was cooking that day. I spent alot of time in the kitchen with her--peeling eggplant or cutting greens-- and that is where my heart broke for Patricia.
Due to a series of events, Patricia was relocated to the MacDella Cooper Foundation Academy--a boarding school outside of Monrovia. I went to visit her in her new home for the first time recently, and could not get over how healthy and happy she was! We spent many precious moments together, but the moment that meant the most to me was when I knelt down and asked Patricia what she was cooking that day. She looked at me and said, “Nothing.” I acted surprised and questioned her, “Nothing? You are not cooking today?” She smiled. I proceeded to tell her that I could no longer ask her what she was cooking, because she did not have to cook anymore. I asked if she could go to school and play with her friends and she joyfully said yes. Patricia is now living a life that a nine year old in Liberia deserves--she goes to school, cleans her room and jumps rope with her friends. Patricia is happy, healthy and now she smiles because she has hope.