Last Friday we celebrated Valentine’s Day by surprising our guests with cookies baked and decorated by the children of our local community. They also made and decorated the packaging so that each guest received a unique and lovingly made Valentine’s Day treat. What can we say other than thank you?

The gifts were given with love but with received with so much love from our guests, which made the day that much more special. Some guests wrote notes back to the children, others filled their cones (see packaging pictures) with South African Rand coins. Charmain then took these coins and distributed them to the children who baked the cookies at school on Monday. We wish we could have shared the moment with you. What may seem like a small gesture was received with such excitement, joy and gratitude. One of the children was so happy they were almost in tears. The recognition from the guests is so meaningful and special, words cannot express how overjoyed they were to receive a thank you for their gifts.

We care so much for the children of our community and we are so grateful that our guests care too. This Valentine’s Day is not a single incident, our amazing guests continue to bring donations for the children and the impact is incredible. In fact, we have to say 160 thank you’s – this last week, Charmain was able to give 160 school children a new pen, pencil and eraser. Again, what may seem a small gift is making the children’s school year so much easier and we are so grateful for your continued help and support.

The children spent the whole of Thursday afternoon icing, decorating and packaging the cookies.

Valentine’s Day Surprises Awaiting the Guests After Their Evening Game Drive.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests. If you could see the joy and absolute delight on those kids faces when they receive gifts that are useful, necessary and unexpected you would understand my appreciation. I would like to extend my grateful thanks to each and every guest for their contributions to making these people, especially our youth, so happy.”

Charmain Gradwell, Head of Community Development

If you’d like to get involved with Lalibela’s community outreach, take a look at our Pack with a Purpose page to see what we’re currently collecting. No donation is too small but is always extremely appreciated!