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SEKANI’S GIFT written and illustrated by Hannah Walker

Today Julie is leaving for a grand adventure to the other side of the world. She and her Mom are going to deliver a special gift to their friend Sekani. Sekani lives in a far away country called Malawi. This gift will help Sekani build a camp for all the children who live in her village.

“Mommy, Mommy! Will we get to see Africa from the airplane?” asks Julie. “And thousands of stars in the sky like you told me?” “And what about the laughing hyenas and all the yummy new foods? “And will we get to see elephants and giraffes and zebras?” “I sure hope so.” says her Mom. “If we keep our eyes open you never know what we might see.”

“Mommy, I don’t like this plane ride. It’s taking too long.” “But look,” says Mom. “We can finally see Africa out the window! Would you like to come over and see?”

“Mommy, I don’t like this van. It’s not like our van at home. It bumps too much and it’s too hot.” “But Julie, look outside. I can see thousands of stars out the window.”

“Mommy I don’t like this bed. It’s lumpy and bumpy and I can’t sleep.” “But Julie, listen to the sounds outside. What is that I hear laughing?”

“Ewwww! I don’t like the food here. Can I just have a hot dog?” “Why don’t you try something new? This mango is delicious.”

“Mommy I don’t like this truck. There are too many people and it smells funny.” “But look over there. I think I see an elephant!”

When they finally arrive at the village Julie is grumpy and tired and hungry and hot. “Mommy, why did we have to come? I want to go home.” “But Julie we’re finally here. Don’t you want to give Sekani her gift?”

“Hello Sarah! Hello Julie! Welcome to Chituka! I am Sekani and we are all so pleased that you have finally arrived!”

“Thank you Sarah, and thank you Miss Julie! I’m sure it’s been a long and tiring journey to get here. But I want you to know that this gift will bring our entire village great joy for many years to come.”

“See Mom. aren’t your glad we didn’t give up?”

This book is dedicated to Sekani Nyasulu, who continues to be my source of inspiration. The creation of this book is a result of a partnership I formed with Sekani three years ago, after discovering her vision and plans for starting a resource center for children in her home village of Chituka, Malawi. Over the past few years over $9000 has been raised to support Sekani’s work through a project I initiated called The Face of Hope. My mission through this project is to see Sekani’s vision become a self-sustaining resource that impacts the lives of Malawian children for years to come. Malawi is a small land-locked country located in sub-Saharan Africa bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. In Malawi, HIV/ AIDS has created a humanitarian and development crisis of unprecedented scale. There are over a million orphans throughout the country, including children living with HIV and children in households that have absorbed orphans. Chituka is a small village in the Nkhata Bay region in northern Malawi that consists of subsistence farmers and is unreached by govement aid. Over the past few decades, the village has been ravaged by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This tragedy has left behind a community of parentless children and aged grandparents. Orphans are taken into neighboring homes, adding to the strain of each poverty-stricken household. The children in this village are in desperate need of basic necessities such as food, clothing, hygiene items and school supplies. Sekani is a native of Chituka, Malawi, and is following in her parents’ footsteps by helping orphans from her community. She continuously provides aid to 30 children, yet strives to expand her impact to meet the growing need. To raise money she works as an executive at a sugar mill, grows and sells crops, and has even sold her own clothing to obtain the much-needed funds. She is working to establish her vision, Keen Rural Camp, in Chituka. The camp is committed to empower and protect the growth and development of orphans and vulnerable children. The facilities being built for the camp will enable her to provide food, school supplies, hygiene items and other essential resources. It will also offer access to spiritual support, life skills training, after school programs and classes in the arts. All profits from the sale of this book will go directly to assist Sekani with the continued development and operations of Keen Rural Camp. For more information and to get involved with Sekani’s work please visit: today. Thank you. Hannah Walker, BFA Artist / Illustrator Department of Visual Arts Sage College of Albany Albany, NY, USA

Sekani's Gift  
Sekani's Gift  

children's book