Wednesday, March 30, 2011

“The Net Buddies of Infinite Family don’t have someone to listen to their fears, their dreams or even their daily lives. Video Mentors can be that person and it matters.”

Infinite Family Video Mentor Kelsey Kempter and her husband, Joe.
On Wednesday morning at 9:30 from her Colorado home, Kelsey Kempter readies herself for her video conversation with Thokozani, a 12 year old boy orphaned by HIV/AIDs and living in an orphanage with his sister.

Kelsey, who works for Sylvan Learning Center as the Director of Education, has a passion for working with children.  She was attracted to Infinite Family because she saw it as a new way to be in contact with children from around the world.   She says, “I show up each week because I have a friend expecting me to be there for him.”

On Wednesdays in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thokozani comes back to the orphanage from school, does his homework and then lines up outside the computer lab.  He patiently waits for it to be 4:30, when it is his turn to speak with Kelsey during their weekly 30 minute video conversation. 

When Thokozani sees Kelsey, he smiles brightly.  When asked what he likes about his time with Kelsey, Thokozani replies, “Kelsey makes me happy and brings a smile on my face.  She asks me about school, my week and my day.  I like her because I talk to her about everything and she teaches me about computers.”

Thokozani values his time with Kelsey, because “I have learned how to talk to other people nicely.  I have learned respect.  I have learned how to love other people around me and myself.  I love Kelsey so much.”

Through Infinite Family Kelsey has gained the perspective “that no matter where children are from or what experiences they have been through, they want the same thing.  Being a child is universal.  Children want to be loved.  Children want to do well in school.  They want to have friends.  Children want to know that someone cares for them and loves them.”

When asked why the work of Infinite Family is so important, Kelsey took a global perspective. “Children are our future.  It doesn’t matter if we are in the same school, city, state or country, caring for our children will help us to have a brighter future.  Some of the most valuable moments I have spent through Infinite Family are the times when Thokozani and I are just in the company of each other.  It doesn’t take a lot to make a difference.  Letting someone know you care and showing them by committing your time makes a difference.  The children we work with don’t always have someone to listen to their fears, or their dreams or even their daily lives.  Through Infinite Family, we can be that person and it matters.”