Friday, June 16, 2017

We are the champions!

We are the champions! Our older Pwoje Espwa soccer team has been ROCKING it these past couple of weeks. They have been involved in a few tournaments and have won two of them so far.

 The Executive Director of Free the Kids, Frank, and the Executive Director of Pwoje Espwa, Berthony, attended the game together.

In a recent game, the team was presented with quite the challenge as they were playing against an older (and bigger) team from Port Salut. One of our players broke his leg during the tough competition. He is recovering well, with lots of love and support from the rest of the team. Prayers for him are appreciated.

By the end of the game, the score was 1-1 and the final came down to penalty kicks, best of five. Our goalie saved almost every one and helped us to win the game! Everyone in the stands burst into cheers, hopped over the fence and ran onto the field! The team carried the goalie above their heads, whose shining smile and sparkly eyes portrayed the pride he felt in himself and his team. 

Jean Didley - our amazing goalie!

When they returned to the compound after the game, the team marched around to each of the villages, showing off the trophy; screams of pure joy broke out as children realized that their older brothers had won! We are all so proud of our team.

Tomorrow the team will play against a group of young men who are in Espwa’s transition program. Everyone is excited to see the game; it will be a fun and family-oriented competition!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Happiest Place on Earth

Emily Dabrowski was an extremely passionate young woman whose love for Pwoje Espwa grew with every visit here. Emily planned to work at Pwoje Espwa once finishing college and would beg her parents to come visit as often as she could. She passed suddenly earlier this year, which shocked her family and friends as well as everyone in the Espwa community. She was full of light and life and was loved deeply by many.

This past week Emily’s mother, Diane, came down to Pwoje Espwa for the first time. In her time here, she reconnected with her daughter and began to see the beauty that Emily would rave about when she returned home after every trip.

In Mass last Sunday, Diane gave a beautiful speech to the children about the importance of loving and caring for one another. She then gifted Espwa a painting of Emily that was created by some of Emily’s friends back home in the United States.

In return, Pwoje Espwa gave her a piece of metalwork made by a former Espwa child. The sign states, “The Happiest Place on Earth” which is the phrase Emily used to describe Pwoje Espwa.

These beautiful moments remind us of the beautiful family-like relationships that Pwoje Espwa fosters. We will all continue to carry Emily and her joy of life in our hearts.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

First Communion

This past Sunday, 32 children received first communion during Mass at Pwoje Espwa.


19 of these children were residents of Espwa – 17 boys and 2 girls – and the other 13 were children from surrounding communities. All of these children have been taking spiritual formation classes in preparation for the big day.


The church was embellished with beautiful handmade decorations and everyone was decked out in their very best to celebrate this big step taken in the spiritual journeys of the 32 young people.

Sending congratulations and love to all of them!