We are bowled over by how Bibi Heal, a wonderful soprano and supporter of Kids for Kids, is helping us this Advent.
Bibi has introduced Kids for Kids to her catholic church, St Stephen’s, as an Advent Appeal, as chosen by the Justice and Peace Committee.
On Advent Sunday, 27th November 2022, Bibi spoke about Kids for Kids during mass, giving a lovely overview of our sustainable projects, and then sang a beautiful African lullaby, gave out leaflets, collected donations and peppered the church with toy goats!
On the second Sunday of Advent, you wouldn’t believe it…the Chairman of the Peace Committee brought a little goat to Mass!
Bibi said “it was fabulous! Gladys the goat even came for coffee afterwards so we went round again with a basket and got yet more cash from some unsuspecting visiting family members who thought they’d just come for a child’s Confirmation! We shall montage the photos to paste up at other services.”
Bibi shared stories and photos of her own goat shenanigans in Kenya that demonstrate the sustainable nature of our projects. Bibi says “we spent Christmas one year with our ‘adopted’ Kenyan family and my mother insisted we actually go and buy a goat which we did – Lily-goat! Justin and I carried her round our shoulders the whole way home from market, almost 3 hours in blazing heat. She was astoundingly heavy and curiously fat and protested endlessly, and it turned out she was very pregnant. On our next visit to Kenya we met Willy-goat, Billy-goat and Silly-goat!”
On the third Sunday of Advent, to celebrate Gaudete Sunday (Rejoice Sunday) we brought in our 3 goatskin drums, and I sang a Swahili song with rowdy accompaniment of children on drums, shaky eggs and congregational clapping. We started with 3 smartly controlled cross-rhythms and ended in a happy mêlee!
Elias and his friend Alfie then took around an Ethiopian basket of Kids for Kids brooches and the goatskin wallet, and it was absolutely stuffed to bursting by the end of it. One very sweet sight was a trio of fully mature ladies having a good bash on the drums at coffee after Mass.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Bibi held an Ethiopian coffee ceremony during Mass. Bibi and her husband adopted 2 little twin boys from Ethiopia and Bibi says, “Darfur is still Africa and involves our boys – and all the children loved the coffee ceremony. In Ethiopia people light frankincense to alert their neighbours that it’s coffee time – the children acted out sniffing the air and hurrying to their neighbours’ for coffee which they serve with plain popcorn, and chat!”
They also shared some more stories in praise of goats. Bibi says “the legend goes, that up in the Ethiopian highlands, the shepherd boy Caldo noticed his goats getting very hoppity skippity after chewing on some particular red berries… Who knows how they arrived at the conclusion, but they learnt that to pick, dry, roast, grind and boil these berries resulted in a delicious drink to make us all hoppity skippity!”
Very generously, Bibi also held a wonderful concert on 8th January for the Feast of Epiphany. It was called ‘Music Fit for Kids and Kings’, included many beautiful recitals by Bibi Heal who was accompanied by the wonderful Lauryna Sableviciute.
You can download the Concert Programme, here – Music Fit for Kids and Kings.
A friend of Bibi’s, Kirsty, was also able to join with her son Mussie. Mussie was adopted from Ethiopia at the same time that Bibi and her husband adopted their boys and they have been firm friends ever since. Kirsty is a midwife and worked many months in Darfur delivering babies and training midwives. During the concert, the 3 Ethiopian boys looked splendid dressed as the 3 Kings.
Overall, over the course of Bibi’s wonderful Advent Appeal at St Stephen’s church, the Parish raised a phenomenal £1,230.
We cannot thank you enough, Bibi, for all your tremendous support!