This is Precious

This is a picture of a little girl named Precious.

My name is Annie Arnzen. I am 14 years old and in the 9th grade. I am excited to tell you all about what led me to devote my time and effort to raise money through A Precious Cause for the SOS Children’s Village for AIDS orphans in Botswana, Africa.

In February of last year, I had the amazing experience of joining my dad on a business trip to Gabarone, Botswana. I had learned that Botswana has the second worst case of AIDS in the world, and all I could think of was the large number of children who must be parentless because of this disease. I decided that I wanted to volunteer my time in an orphanage while my dad was working. It took a while to track down a place that would take on a thirteen-year-old girl, but the SOS Children’s Village in Tlokweng Village welcomed me. While there, I spent every day working with toddlers between the ages of one and three. I volunteered there to see if I could make a difference in their lives. What I found is that they touched my heart and changed me forever.

Derek James, the director of SOS in Botswana, recently contacted me. He told me that the need for housing and care for orphans is growing so rapidly that they are turning away many children. The facts reveal the problem. In the year 2001, 34 million children were orphaned, a third of them due to AIDS. Of the over 13 million children orphaned by AIDS, 12 million were in Sub-Saharan Africa. Derek James and SOS Children Village in Botswana are now in the process of fundraising to build a third orphanage to try to meet the tremendous need. I want to help.

Precious spent most of the week I volunteered there in my arms. I have created a fundraising effort called “A Precious Cause” in her name. They are in need of $300,000. I will do all that I can to help them make their goal as soon as possible so that children like Precious might have a home. For more information or to make a donation please contact me directly at annie_arnzen@concordacademy.org or call me at 978-749-8840. Tax deductible donations can be made out to SOS Children’s Villages and sent to me at 76 Holt Road, Andover, MA 01810. I am also willing to come to schools, churches and community groups to tell this story.

Thank you so much for supporting me in this cause.

Annie

To view what SOS is doing for World Orphan Week go to:
http://www.wowus.org/

See a few pictures I took of the orphan children

See a list of schools that are participating in the World Orphan Week challenge and how you can get involved