Friday, November 19, 2010

Where it goes

I believe in paradoxes. According to the Christian faith, "the first shall be last and the last shall be first". Of course, that is a promise for another world. But such reversals of fortune happen in our world as well. And there is beauty, and some kind of truth, in them.

The SHONA women were expected to be burdens on their families, at least financially. For poor families, in a war zone, a child who cannot walk, is going to be a struggle. She can't go to school, she can't carry water, she can't work on the farm, and she can't run from danger.

So it is an amazing accomplishment, when these young women go on to live independently and support their families. In fact, they have become the main breadwinners for their large families.

Suddenly they are the ones carrying the responsibility for their mother and father, brothers and sisters. It is a heavy responsibility, but they carry it with grace. I think that is the beauty of paradox. The person who has been carried herself, is in fact the most likely to carry others.

Instead of spending the money they earn on themselves, they buy medicine for countless family members, put children in school, and keep a roof over their heads.

Here are a few of the things SHONA women did, through your purchases, just this month.

*Riziki paid for a hernia operation for her younger brother. He was waiting until she got paid because there was no other money in the family to pay for it. Riziki also paid for medicine for her mom who is sick.

*Mapendo gave her mother money to rent a new parcel of land. The land that she was living on had been reclaimed by the government for road construction, and she literally had no where to go.

*Argentine paid the school fees for 4 of her younger siblings so that they could return to school. Argentine never went to school as a child.

*Riziki paid the school fees for 3 of her younger siblings so that they could return to school.

*Solange rented a small house by the road for her 2 younger siblings. Solange and her siblings are orphans, and the area they grew up in remains unsafe. Her younger siblings had been living in a refugee camp, and then had returned to their rural home to try and farm the land. However it is so unsafe in that area that the population farms during the day, and hides in the forest to sleep at night. Her siblings were literally sleeping in the forest. Solange rented a small house in a more secure area by the road so that her siblings would have somewhere to sleep.

*Argentine started saving money for a new set of metal leg braces for herself. The metal leg braces that all of the women wear have to be replaced every year and they are quite expensive for them. The women were previously able to obtain them for free, but now, because they are seen as successful women, they have to pay for them. Argentine started saving for her own leg braces...
but only after paying her siblings school fees.


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