In honor of Lewis John Williams

UPDATE: We are so honored to announce that over £600 has been donated in honor of Lewis John William’s life. The funds will be going towards Project Education, and will fund almost a full year of schooling for Andrea, Abdulli, David, or Pendo. We are still looking for long term sponsors for everyone but Pendo – please get in touch if you are interested in changing a child’s life! Thank you endlessly to Jordan, her nan, and everyone who contributed. You’ve created a beautiful legacy.

Jordan with Franky last year

A wonderful former volunteer and friend of The Small Things and the orphanage kids named Jordan has been hit hard by the death of her grandfather this week. However, she has been comforted by a generous gesture that her grandmother has chosen to make – instead of flowers or gifts, they have asked for donations, which will be split between The Small Things and the British Heart Association. We are honored by their generosity, and so happy that Jordan was able to so clearly communicate her love and passion for these children to the people around her. Here are some of her recollections about him:

My Grandad’s name is Lewis John Williams and he was 85 years old when he died on April 7th , suddenly but peacefully at home with my Grandma. He was called John his whole life to family and friends. To me he was ‘Dad’, we think I picked it up from my Mum when I was little and it just stuck.

I can’t really sum up what he was like; I would be writing forever. He was the best Grandfather anyone could wish for; I have memories of being driven to the park near my grandparents home where he would let me play for hours and hours. We used to go to Bournemouth when I was younger twice a year and he would spend so much money letting me play on all the rides and play all the games on the pier and never complained once. My grandparents never forget Christmas cards, birthday cards, Easter cards, good luck cards before exams, well done cards for when I passed the exams and Valentines day cards. They would be on time every single year without fail. He used to tell me stories (completely ridiculous and made up) about how he was best friends with the Queen and I would make him tell them over and over. He also used to take me swimming when I think he hated it, as I used to make him ride the rubber ring ride forgetting he was over 70. I could go on forever, and I think I’ve gotten a bit carried away! But basically, as a Grandad, he was so loved and adored by both my sister and myself, and I will always remember the memories he has given me and never ever forget him. I know he’s around all the time anyways.

As a person, he would do anything for anyone. He loved my Grandmother and looked after her and they had so much fun, they were always laughing together about the silliest things; and the main thing about my Grandad, I know this, and many people have said, that he was ALWAYS laughing, making jokes, and not one of his friends has ever seen him in a mood. He was always smiling and couldn’t do enough for anyone who needed help. He has lived in the same place for his whole life, except for the periods of time in his life where he travelled, and has therefore made hundreds of friends who will all miss him dearly.

As a Grandad, he would worry about my sister and I unnecessarily. He was especially worried when I decided to go to Tanzania for two months last year, and even though I know my grandparents didn’t want me to go, he was always so happy to hear the stories and to see pictures of all the kids. And true to the way my Grandad was, he would be so happy to know that he might be able to help them in any way. My Grandmother deciding to split donations from his funeral between a heart charity and The Small Things would have made him happy and is so very appropriate considering it was his nature to help anyone he could, even if it was just a small gesture.

John and Jordan

I don’t know what else to say other than I love my Granddad very much, I’m so proud of him, and I am so very lucky to have grandparents like I do. My heart goes out to the kids at the orphanage when I think about how lucky I am to have someone like my Granddad in my life, but then I remember that they all have each other, and all of us volunteers and the Mamas who love them just as much. And I hope that whatever the amount is donated will help the children, even just a little, in whatever way possible. I know my Granddad would hope so too.

We’re so grateful for the beautiful gesture, and our hearts are with Jordan at this difficult time. This is what The Small Things is about, connecting the amazing web of people who care about this children to work together on their behalf. This is a fantastic example of that web being not JUST about people who have met the kids in person, but those who have fallen in love with them by proxy, through stories, photos, and videos. We’re so grateful for all those members of the Nkoaranga extended family, and we wish peace and comfort to Jordan and her family.

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