What is this little girls favorite food?
From what I understand she only has one food option. Flour mixed with water to make a flat bread. She likely eats once a day and maybe sometimes she will have something else if her family sells a goat. If her family is one of the families that has goats. But even still seems like a happy bouncy child. As all the children seem to be. They laugh and giggle and skip and grin. They all seem very close. Siblings wear siblings and hold their hands. Boys walk with an arm thrown around a friend. They may not have much water to drink and the water they do have is not suitable for drinking and is making them sick but still they are joyfull.
Who am I with here?
Three friends and fellow bloggers.
Jennifer mother of four and author of imnotsuperwoman
Heather mother of one and author of journeyheather
Laura mother of two and author of housewifeintown
What makes the people so filled with joy?
That is a tough one. They live in very close communitees. They are all born into these rough circumstances where helping one another is necesarry. They share a very strong faith. But why are they so joyfull? I guess they choose to be. Given the circumstances that is amazing.
What would they do if they could do anything?
Find sustainable income for the sake of their children and stop living day to day. They want to have healthy water to drink. They want to protect the health of their children. They want their children to get an education.
What is the education system like?It will be differant depending on if they live in a city or a small remote village like Megaladi. It would also depend on the level of support they may recieve whether it be from the government or a nongovernmental organization.
In Megaladi they have a small room with a few desks. The floor is very fine dirt. The children stir it up and it causes problems with their eyes and noses. They have one chalkboard. Some children have to take the goats out to graze and can not take the time to come to class. Others come but have no energy for learning.
What does a day look like for the women?
Women are burdned with the chores of getting water each day. They must walk very far to bring water that can be used for drinking. If they have babies they carry them along on their backs. If they have small children they must walk along too. The water in the village is not suitable for drinking. Sometimes they have no choice and drink it anyway and it is making them sick. There is not much time to focus on anything else. If they had a nearby water source then the burden of fetching water would be lifted and it would start a whole chain of events that would lead to positive results. They would be able to plant food to eat and sell. Their animals would not starve and die. They could focus on learning a trade and generate an income. They could teach their children basic handwashing skills to reduce the spread of disease. If they did not have to send their children out to sit with the animals the children might not decide to just keep walking and never return.
They live a hard life. The've learned to live on handouts and their mindsets are not such that they think too far ahead.
GHNI hopes to change their thinking. They want to show them that they can use local resources and they want to work together with them on small scale projects that set them up to succeed. Simply giving them ideas and working together beside them may change their lives forever.
Imagine if they would plant a grove of trees and (when they do get water) water them. It sounds so simple. Just plant them and water them and leave them alone. The mango trees here get enourmous and are beautiful. But it's hard to plan ahead when you have little energy and are used to lots of handouts that quickly go away.
If they were given a large sum of money today they would spend it today because they and their children are hungry today.
The good news is they are willing to learn and want to be shown. I believe in them. I saw it with my own eyes.
This place will change. I believe in the work GHNI does with these villages. Megaladi may one day be a fruit orchard. It may become known for producing organic produce. It may become a dairy farm. It may become a cattle ranch. They might become famous for producing the best goat cheese around. The school system might become known as the best in the region. Who knows? Whatever they become I'm excited to watch them grow. I will stand with GHNI and cheer them on until they graduate the TCD program and I invite you to come along.