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Top 10 Photos

We’re sure this year’s top ten photos will bring a smile to your face. Your support has allowed us to bring hope to these children and so many more! We’re so grateful to you for helping kids around the world and invite you to join us on a Journey of Love to help more children in the coming year.

young girl smiling in hospital at Guatemala cleft trip

Honorable Mention Number 1: Lara

LWB held its very first cleft mission in Guatemala in December 2022, and we sure had a hard time picking just one image from such a special week of healing. This photo of 5-year-old Lara, getting ready to head back to the operating room, sums up the happiness felt by all the families whose children received surgery during the trip. Lara, who is Mayan, made a 12-hour journey from her rural mountain village to have her open palate repaired by our team. Because of the kindness of our supporters, speaking and eating will now be much easier for this precious little girl.

young girl smiling in Uganda with goat & water tank in background

Honorable Mention Number 2: Cerys

Eight-year-old Cerys entered LWB’s emergency foster care program in Uganda late last year, needing a place of refuge while our social workers searched for extended family. Cerys received abundant love and support from her foster mom, which was just what she needed after experiencing so much loss. Our team always wanted to stay as long as possible when they visited as Cerys’s foster home was filled with so much warmth and happiness. With renewed feelings of safety and protection, Cerys could once again know joy, captured so clearly in this beautiful photo. The greatest blessing of all, however, is that Cerys was recently reunified with one of her biological aunts, giving her the family permanency that every child deserves. 

young boy with Down Syndrome in China Healing Home

Number 10: Rowan

Isn’t this a gorgeous photo of little Rowan, who lives in our China Healing Home! Rowan, born with Down syndrome and a large hole between the chambers of his heart, was found abandoned just days after his birth. His orphanage immediately called LWB for help, knowing he would need extra TLC to keep him safe during the winter. Medical tests showed that Rowan was in danger of developing severe pulmonary hypertension if surgery wasn’t done; so late last year his ASD was repaired. Since then, he has steadily gained strength, and we are cheering that just this month he can now pull himself to stand!

smiling girl in India with hand over her mouth

Number 9: Parvati

Can’t you just feel the wonderful giggles in this photo of sweet Parvati? We first met this bonny little girl while distributing food to a landfill community in India. When we realized that so many children living here were falling behind in formal education, we created a special Believe in Me Center at the landfill to provide classes and tutoring. Parvati’s parents, who work as scavengers at the dump site, never had the opportunity to go to school themselves. They enrolled Parvati in LWB’s program as soon as it opened, excited to give their daughter the education they never received. The teachers at the center describe Parvati as a polite and friendly little girl, but it’s her precious laughter that brings sunshine wherever she goes.

young girl at hospital for heart surgery in China

Number 8: Charlee

Two-year-old Charlee was part of our Unity Initiative program in 2022, which provides essential medical care to children in impoverished families. Charlee’s father had to drop out of school before junior high to earn money for his struggling family, and his lack of education makes it difficult to support his own child now as well. He works on construction sites carrying heavy bricks, trying his best to provide for his wife and daughter. When little Charlee was born, the family was elated, but their emotions soon turned to deep worry and sorrow when they learned she’d been born with a heart defect they could never afford to repair. Charlee’s father told our team, “I plead with you to help my daughter. I want her to grow up healthy, and I feel such guilt that I cannot save her.” Charlee underwent her essential operation with LWB in July. As you can see in this sweet photo, she came through surgery with flying colors. We are so grateful to everyone who supports our medical program by standing together with families during their most desperate times.

college graduates in Cambodia at Angkor Wat

Number 7: Reaching for the Stars

This year, 19 of our current scholarship students in Cambodia graduated from university! We love this photo of Sydney, Anaya, Andrea, Arlene, Robert, Stephanie, Dominic, Renee, Selena, Samara, andKerri showing off their college diplomas at the famous Angkor Wat temple. What we love even more, however, is that all 11 of the remarkable young people pictured are the very first in their families to graduate from college! All around the world, there are brilliant, determined, and oh-so-worthy students whose dreams are only limited by financial hardship. We can’t thank our supporters enough for making brighter futures possible. These new teachers, accountants, and IT specialists are already helping change their rural communities.

young boy jumping for joy in Guatemala

Number 6: Andres

Andres is an outgoing little boy from a rural village in Guatemala that we first visited last year. He and his four siblings live in a meager home far up on the hillside. Sadly, immense poverty kept the children from being able to enroll in school. To gain the villagers’ trust, we created a “pop-up” school in their remote community that met on weekends, with lots of art projects and nutritious snacks available. Soon after, we were able to convince the parents to allow their children to come to our EducArte Believe in Me Center down in the town. As part of our very first Guatemala “catch-up” class, Andres is learning his letters and numbers and can now proudly write his name. We are confident that he will be ready to go to public school next year while receiving lots of after school tutoring support with LWB. Andres’s enthusiasm for attending our school is pretty apparent in this delightful photo. He excitedly told his teachers that his favorite sport is soccer, and his hope for Christmas is to get a toy car of his very own.

young girl in Cambodia with grandmother

Number 5: Unconditional Love

It is a universal truth that one of the most important gifts that grandparents give their grandchildren is unconditional love. Many grandparents around the world are actually raising their grandchildren on their own, and we want to give a special shout of thanks to those who step into that often unexpected role. Such is the story for little Melissa in Cambodia, a first grader at our Sokhem Village primary school. When her parents divorced and then left the village, it was Melissa’s grandmother who suddenly took over full-time care. Because she is now too elderly to find employment, Melissa’s grandmother is grateful that LWB’s nutrition program provides three hot meals a day to her beloved granddaughter. This image of the two of them together earned a spot in our Top 10 Photos as it captures the resiliency and strength of an aging generation, who survived so much during the Khmer Civil War. 

young boy in wheelchair in Uganda

Number 4: Cyrus

We first met little Cyrus in a Ugandan orphanage back in 2019. Born with multiple special needs, Cyrus was unable to talk or sit, spending his days primarily in a crib. Suffering from malnutrition and stomach ulcers, Cyrus was moved to LWB foster care so he could receive the one-on-one attention he so rightfully needs. To say his life has been transformed is a true understatement, as he has absolutely blossomed with a mama of his very own. Cyrus had orthopedic surgery and casting this year to help his leg stability and received a wheelchair so he can join in outside family activities. We know you’ll love this beaming photo as much as we did. Cyrus is flourishing, and that’s what family care is all about!  

young girl in Cambodia wearing pink muppet costume

Number 3: Ruthie

Do we really even need to add text to this photo?  Mix one adorable baby with a pink, fuzzy muppet costume, and you get all the cuteness overload you need. We will add, however, that little Ruthie is part of LWB’s early childhood development center in rural Cambodia. Each day, this happy little girl comes to our school to experience fun and play and to receive all the quality nutrition she needs to thrive. When we first began work in her village back in 2016, childhood mortality was still far too high. For the last six years, though, thanks to our wonderful supporters, EVERY baby in the village is healthy, with infant mortality remaining at zero. How wonderful is that?

young girl wearing glasses being held by caregiver at China healing home

Number 2: Elena

This is actually the second time that a photo of  Elena has made it into our yearly Top 10 Photos, which is understandable since this little girl is darling to the core. Now 4 years old, Elena came to live in our healing home after struggling to gain strength in her orphanage. Elena has multiple medical needs and receives regular therapy at the center, making remarkable progress in our care. Earlier this year, a hospital eye exam showed Elena needed glasses. We love this photo taken after she picked out her very own pink pair. Seeing clearly for the first time surely feels amazing, as her precious grin clearly shows!

young Ugandan girl crawling

Number 1: Josephine

If you are ever having a bad day, just pull up this photo of Josephine’s 1.000-watt smile! This adorable little girl is part of our foster care program in Uganda, arriving into our care when she was 6 months old. With lots of love and good nutrition from her foster mom, Josephine is meeting all of her developmental milestones. Social and playful, Josephine delights in the company of others, especially if there are toys involved! We’re grateful that Josephine can spend her days being cherished by her foster family instead of living in a crowded orphanage. We ALL need to feel loved, don’t we?  It’s the very core of what makes us feel whole.

On behalf of all of us at LWB, we send our deepest thanks to you for making the priceless gift of love possible for children around the world. 


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