There’s a magical feeling to the end of each year, regardless of how it is celebrated. Here at CARE, with staff in 84 countries, there are many celebrations taking place at this time of year.
I am sure I will be hearing about some of my colleagues enjoying doro wat (spicy chicken stew) and injera bread Christmas feasts in Ethiopia, or Christmas Eve gatherings with cinnamon and clove spiced hot chocolate, in addition to peneton – a special kind of fruit cake – in Peru. In Nepal, the Diwali celebration has already brought together Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, who string their streets and homes with lights and oil lamps, their beautiful Festival of Lights brightening the dark winter.
These celebrations share a common spirit – one of peace, hope, and unity. It’s a message that reminds me why so many of us dedicate ourselves to this work, whether as full time staff, financial supporters, or volunteers.
As you make your plans to celebrate the holidays, I hope you think of yourself as part of a worldwide CARE family. If you can, take a moment from the hectic holiday preparations to reflect on the lives touched by the generosity of CARE’s donors.
It is because of the support of our donors that thousands of Ethiopians have clean water and nutritious food for their holiday feast; that women in rural Peru can afford to get their small businesses off the ground; that farmers in Nepal learned to grow stronger, better crops.
No matter what you celebrate, or which traditions you follow, happy holidays from the CARE family to yours.
Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE