Inspiring woman: Jordaine Chattaway
I was lucky enough to meet Jordaine when I was judging Miss and Mrs International Australia. I hate the word "judge" and at times the job of "judging" made me feel incredibly uncomfortable because each of the women in the competition was deserving of a win they were bright, incredibly humble and did a lot for the community. This contest was based on their charity work and integrity so was very different from other pageants. There was something about Jordaine's warmth and positivity that I and the other judges were drawn too. She has a wisdom beyond her years and a passion for helping children all around the world.
She is my inspiring woman of the week. Enjoy. xx
Name: Jordaine Chattaway
Passion: Creating awareness of and working to improve the quality of life for orphans around the world
What is your goal: My personal life goal is to see that when I leave this world, I will leave knowing I have loved it, cared for its people, and helped plan for its future. Our goal for the Touch of Global Goodness program (which has been designed and created to show children living in orphanages that they are loved and that their lives have a purpose) is to see that children living in some of the most under-funded, under-resourced orphanages around the world are given the necessities to be cared for and shown enough love to give them hope for a bright future.
How did you find out about this issue: Last year my husband and I travelled to Silamosik, North Sumatra where we stayed at and worked at an orphanage called 'House of Hope' which is owned by two Australian pastors. We arrived there expecting to be heartbroken at what we would see but were pleasantly surprised to see healthy, happy children who proved that being loved was the greatest necessity. These children were honestly some of the happiest children I have ever met. They had the necessities like clothes, water, food and shelter, but their greatest treasure was the love they received from the staff at House of Hope and the love of God that those staff members reminded them of daily. The children were so grounded and deeply peaceful that they truly touched my husband and I. They reminded us about the beauty and peace which lies within the simplest of things. The trip truly changed our lives and it was when we returned to Australia and visited a Missions Summit in Adelaide, South Australia, that we were unexpectedly provided with a life goal. We saw a video which was played titled 'The Dying Rooms'. It was a short video adapted from a 1995 television documentary film about Chinese state orphanages. It was filmed by a group of filmmakers who gained entry to the orphanages by pretending to be American orphanage workers. Their footage showed children bound to chairs, rocking back and forth. It showed children who were dirty, naked, starved and dying. What truly made the film instrumental in turning the spotlight onto these practices was footage taken when the filmmakers found a 'dying room' where an unwanted baby girl had been left 10 days earlier to die. I would warn anyone who chooses to watch this footage as it contains images you will never forget. It is truly haunting and reminds me of the work yet to be done across the globe. This video allowed us to see the dark side of having no-one to protect you. It made us want to help children who did not have the love that is being shown to the children at House of Hope a chance to walk the same path. So that they too can grow to become strong, loving and compassionate leaders in their country as I know the children in Silamosik will one day become.
The most awful part of your mission that you may have seen/heard: One of the most awful accounts I have heard was something I read while researching the work being done in China. It was in a 1996 report by a woman who visited one of the 'Dying Rooms' in an orphanage I won't name. The passage that tore at my heart was written in reference to a staff member at this orphanage:
"She visits the dying children each week, taking a mental count, but she never touches or holds them. She feels that such human contact would be cruel to children who have never known warmth or affection or holding, and would perhaps prolong their dying."
I am not yet blessed with my own children but I love children just the same. I love people too, good and bad. We are a beautiful creation with the potential to save this world and yet we often turn our back on each other. Touch is an essential part of a child's development and to think that some babies have been born nameless, and remain so, untouched, until they die, never to have truly 'existed' is a disgrace. It is an unforgivable theft of life and opportunity.
What are you trying to achieve: Touch of Global Goodness has two primary purposes. To create awareness of children living in orphanages and to provide these orphanages with whatever is most needed at the time.
When it comes to awareness we have a vision that to create change in the world you need to start with understanding and compassion. We believe that people are loving and compassionate and that by sharing the stories and photos of children living in these areas we can inspire others to think about what they can do to help. However, I want people to understand that you don't need money to help. In a time when most people are concentrating on their own finances to ensure their families are looked after it is important, if not essential, to stress that fact. A huge portion of making a difference is simply caring about these issues. Touch of Global Goodness supports this belief through its Global Footprints program where we provide free cardboard footprints for children - or adults - to decorate and leave a message of hope on for us to send overseas with any packages we send. This portion of the program was designed to allow families, school-children and people who want to simply show their support and spread a little live to do so in a free, hands-on way.
In terms of Goodness Gifts (care packages) one thing we are truly passionate about is working with people who either live in (staff) or work at the orphanage who can tell us what is the greatest need. We understand that what we think they would like (toys etc) may not be what the children need most so we plan to understand the necessities and try to help raise funds to meet those needs. For example, there are some orphanages who can't afford or do not have access to basic items such as proper bedding or nappies (or equivalent). We would work to raise funds to purchase those items for the orphanage from their own country (where possible and available) in order to support the local economy. We want to show these children they are loved and supported by Australia but we want them to be cared for first and foremost.
The most inspiring children/people you have come across: A young girl at House of Hope called Carolina. She had practically taught herself the english language by speaking with Australians who visited the orphanage. She asked me why people thought 'wealth' meant having money. When I couldn't think of an answer she told me that it did not make sense. She told me she was the "richest girl she knew" because she had two eyes, two legs, a heart and Jesus". I was speechless. I will forever cherish this moment with this young girl. She is amazing and a true inspiration.
Where are you at now with your journey: The Touch of Goodness Foundation, along with my husband and friends are all working together to build a selection of options for people wanting to help but there are many challenges with setting this all up. It can be overwhelming to think of all the work that needs to be done and how you can possibly start to do it. We have already raised funds and putting together the logistics of getting our first Goodness Gifts over to the House of Hope orphanage in Silamosik and are trying to build contacts to start working with orphanages elsewhere. My husband and I are constantly brainstorming fundraising ideas and ways to build awareness and so this year, to see some of those ideas become a reality would be a great start.
Whats next for you: My first goal is to see that the Goodness Gifts donated and purchased by people for the children in Silamosik are delivered and that we report back to those people so they can see and truly understand that they made a difference in the lives of these children. Then we are determined to connect with as many orphanages as possible right across the globe. The work is constant and will never really end. But that's okay because the busier we get the more of an impact the Touch of Global Goodness program must be making.
How can people become involved/help: Information is available on my Facebook page (search Jordaine Chattaway Mrs International Australia); www.touchofgoodness.org.