Christmas in East Africa!

Christmas Giving is one of our favorite annual events at Lahash. It is so. much. fun. to witness the bold love and compassionate generosity that pours in from around the globe on behalf of the kids we all care about in East Africa! It’s also really special to update the staff at our partnerships in East Africa and say, “The gifts are in! Plan the PARTIES!”

The photos below were taken by our partners across Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya last year, and will give you a little taste of what these highly anticipated Christmas celebrations are like for the kids and their families! Take a few minutes to enjoy this extra-special dose of Christmas cheer…

Groups of kids in Rwanda prepared special songs, dances, and recitations to share with their friends and family at their Christmas party. Praise and worship are an important element of Christmas across East Africa!

Special food and drinks are part of the fun, too. Drinks like soda and juice are rare treats, and the holiday meals take all day to prepare. We all know that sugar makes Christmas even sweeter!

Christmas parties are festive family events! You will see clothing and head wraps in every color of the rainbow as the kids and their families gather for a full day of joyful celebration.

Getting a bicycle is fun almost anywhere, but in East Africa it also increases the efficiency of daily travels to school or job training, and is helpful for transporting heavy items that would otherwise be carried while walking. No wonder this guy is so happy to receive one!

Shoes are an important gift because they are required for school attendance, and also because they help prevent injuries and infections to feet that walk miles each day. Shoes need to be replaced often, which is good! It means they get lots of use and their owners are growing well!

It is rare for the kids in our Sponsorship Program to receive brand-new clothes. Christmas may be the only time it happens, and they are so happy that they quickly run off to change into them right away.

Receiving a bed and mattress is a cause for much excitement. So much so that we’ve often heard the kids have trouble falling asleep the first night!

Program staff and pastors from the local church help distribute the Christmas gifts, calling each child’s name one by one. This brief moment in the spotlight reminds them that they are seen, loved, and uniquely remembered by people right in their community and across the world.

Sometimes you just need a minute to sit down, take a deep breath, and smile over your Christmas presents. 

Hands are raised in thanksgiving to God for all the amazing gifts provided to each child, which will impact the families and the community as a whole. Amen!

We don’t necessarily associate Christmas with hot weather, blue skies, and corn growing tall in the sunshine, but celebrating Christmas surrounded by loved ones is a treasured tradition for Christians all over the world.

We are so thankful to join with our East African family in celebrating the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ. In his name, may we continue to grow in love and compassion that transcends languages, cultures, and countries. Thank you to our entire Lahash global community for joining together to acknowledge the true significance of Christmas. Whether singing, dancing, giving, receiving, feasting, or sharing, it is all because of Jesus that we celebrate together!

If you’d like to be part of creating some fantastic Christmas parties in East Africa this year, head over to our Giving Guide at lahash.org/christmas.