Mikayla’s mission to help friends in Haiti
When Mikayla Lema heard about Haitian children living in poverty, it touched her heart.
So the ten-year-old set out on a mission to make a difference and has raised more than $9,000 for Feed My Lambs Ministry over the past three years.
The charity, founded by Bermudian Phillip Rego, runs an orphanage and a school in Montrouis and Mikayla has visited three times.
Mikayla said: “I’ve learnt that whatever I have, even if I don’t like it, I should still be grateful because others don’t have stuff.”
She added she wanted to help out when her aunt, Linda Adderley, Mr Rego’s sister, told her about their work in Haiti and how the children “are poor and don’t have much”.
Mikayla said: “That just touched my heart. I started giving them some stuff like shoes and clothes and things that were mine.” She later expanded into the sale of baked goods to raise funds for the charity and to help buy a ticket so she could travel to Haiti and visit the compound.
Mikayla said: “I’ve been doing it for going on three years.”
Her bake sale at the charity’s appreciation event in September brought in enough money to buy a month’s worth of dinners for the children.
Mikayla has been able to visit the orphanage and school in Montrouis three times and made new friends since she started her one-girl relief operation.
She said: “For some reason, I act all shy when I first see them. But the next day, I play with them and play with them and play with them until I just go to sleep. It was pretty sad leaving them.”
Her last trip to the French-speaking Caribbean country was in March and April this year. She said: “It was fun. I actually helped in the garden. Sometimes I helped with the library.” She also pitched in with the excellence programme, which involved taking pictures and collecting information on the well-performing pupils.
Mikayla, from Pembroke, said she enjoyed her time so much that she asked her mother, Naomi Lema, if she could stay.
But she added: “My mum said, ‘no, because you have school to go to’.
“If I didn’t have school, I would have still been there.”
In addition to learning to be grateful for what she has, Mikayla said her mother taught her the meaning of hard work during their trips to Haiti.
She said: “We put all our time and effort into it. We did it out of love from the bottom of our hearts.”
Mikayla plans to keep raising money for the charity and hopes to return to Haiti soon.
•For more information, visit www.feedmylambsministry.org</i>
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