Jack weaving his way to make vision a reality

BANDS OF HOPE: Jack Villa, 7, with the loom bands and other items he is making to sell to raise funds for orphans in Africa.

BANDS OF HOPE: Jack Villa, 7, with the loom bands and other items he is making to sell to raise funds for orphans in Africa.

JACK Villa is a little boy with a big heart. Three weeks ago the seven-year-old enjoyed a performance by members of the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda at the Grace Christian Fellowship Church.

So inspired by their incredible stories of hope and survival, Jack decided he wanted to do something to help.

"I wish they were as lucky as I am," he said.

"I hope lots of people will help me by buying my bracelets and key rings."

Jack's mum Renae said Watoto was a holistic care program initiated in response to the overwhelming number of orphaned and vulnerable children and women in Africa.

"In the car on the way home after seeing the choir Jack told me that when he got older he wanted to have a shop and sell loom bands and raise money to give to them," she said. "I told him if he really wanted to do something we could work towards it. Initially he wanted to raise $5000, but I suggested we try something a bit more achievable and we came up with a target of $500.

"As it turns out we can sponsor a child for one year with that amount."

In the past three weeks, with the help of his parents, little sister Isabelle, 4, and cousins Lara, Madysen, Elise and Emilia Collier, Jack has been making items to sell including leather wrist bands, bookmarks, loom bands and key rings.

They will all be on sale at the Grace Community Markets tomorrow in Altin Street from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Mrs Villa said the project had become a real learning experience for Jack, who had worked hard so far to achieve his dream.

"The thing I love about Watoto is that it's not just an institute, they put these children into families," she said.

"It's just a beautiful program that provides physical care, medical intervention, including HIV/AIDS treatment, education, counselling and moral support.

"We have taught Jack from an early age that we live in a very lucky country and I think that has probably helped soften his heart. He is the visionary, we are helping him."

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