Scarves Not Scars

Partners in Action

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Donations of women’s scarves go to “Aunties” at orphanage in Swaziland, Africa

Local women are collecting donated scarves to take on a two-week mission trip this summer. The colorful gifts will be given to African women in appreciation for their work as full-time live-in “Aunties” caring for up to six orphaned children in former miners’ cottages at the Bulembu Ministries orphanage. New Bern resident Thea Kincaid is heading up the scarf drive as part of her effort to support the 9-women team who will live and serve in a variety of ways in Bulembu. Thea describes the “Scarves Not Scars” drive by saying,” This is just another chance for the incredible people of our area to demonstrate their thoughtful generosity to the needy.”

On August 20, Marla Webb of New Bern leaves on the two days of flights into southern Africa. She says, “The infants and at-risk children in our care are the first priority, of course. But the Aunties have also been neglected, abused, and abandoned. They all have scars, whether they are visible or not. A pretty scarf from an American woman brought to them from so far away is a special sign that they are valuable, not forgotten. We confirm their worth by bringing gifts gathered just for them.”

Bulembu is a remote mountainous facility that repurposes a former British mining town built in the 1930’s and abandoned when the mine became unprofitable. Partners In Action, the parent non-profit organization, envisioned a safe, sustainable Christian community to protect and provide for 400+ destitute children, including up to 50 infants. Due to Swaziland’s 70% HIV pandemic and 33-year life expectancy, children are at great risk from diseases associated with extreme poverty and lack of care. Women who are HIV positive are in danger from the stigma of having been raped, making them subject to rejection and leaving them almost no options other than prostitution or crime. Bulembu gives them a home, nutrition, education, and meaningful purpose caring for orphans as respected “Aunties.”

The mission team also seeks packages of underwear and socks for all sizes of children from toddlers to teens, and financial contributions are also needed. Find donation bins around town: Kincaid and Purvis Family Dentistry, 635 McCarthy Blvd.; Amazing Nails & Facials, 2873 Trent Rd.; Cotten Funeral Home, 2201 Neuse Blvd.; Magnolia Jane Salon & Spa, 236-D Middle St.; and Anita’s Copy & Print Warehouse, 795 Williams Rd. For more info visit or send an email. Like this  on Facebook @ScarvesNotScars.

Submitted by: Thea Kincaid, Thea’s Ideas

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