In January 2002, Bakhita Village opened with fourteen girls in residence. Last Sunday, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of that day.
Many girls have called Bakhita Village home. They have been cared for by Sacred Heart Sisters in partnership with Bakhita Charities. Three of the original residents attended our gathering, along with other past and present “Bakhita” girls. They came together as a family, sharing tears, laughter, and history as only a family can.
We opened the day with a prayer, using a candle that was made especially for the opening of Bakhita Village in 2002. The candle has the names of the original residents. It brought back memories.
Next came sage advice to younger Bakhita girls from their older sisters who are college students or have already graduated. Three of the original girls - an attorney, a medical doctor, and a social worker - spoke to the younger girls, kindly but sternly letting them know what it takes to be successful in school.
This was also the day of gift giving. Many kind and generous people lovingly packed a gift bag for each of the students. They are always grateful for your care and concern.
Lots of singing and dancing followed, highlighted by Ha Hona le Jesu, a song that we’ve been singing with them for twenty years. Of course, we were delighted to join in.
We couldn’t end the day without getting a family photo of the whole group – Bakhita sibs, Sacred Heart Sisters, Auntie Dinah . . . and two elderly white people having the time of their lives.