Her 25-year old body hosts the exhaustion of a much longer life. Her tired eyes do not smile along with her weary lips. She pulls her twin 10 month old little boys close to her on the grass mattress where her family sleeps. She does not demonstrate the usual energy to a stand up welcome as is custom in the Ethiopian culture.
We sit down on the dirt floor next to where she sits with her babies on their damp mattress. The weaker little one searches for the comfort of Mama’s breast and I notice the malnutrition symptoms of his light hair, a frail bone structure visible under his loose, dusty skin. His brother smiles and interacts with caution, just slightly more present and alert. My heart aches as Mom tries to hide her deformed feet in her green plastic shoes.
Their little hut is already leaning sideways, preparing to collapse to one side – rusted metal sheets provide spotted sunlight and in the far corner of their hut, the bright day light forces its way into the otherwise dark, depressing interior where this young widow protects and watches over her baby boys’ growth…….
We learn that Mom is fed by a compassionate government hospital worker who brings them the daily left over food from hospital patients. She sun dries the injera and warms the ‘wat’ (sauce) in a borrowed pot over a little fire, provided by a friendly neighbor. Her brother delivers river water to her from his own little water business.
The details to her husband’s death and burial, are unknown to her – she survives, with 2 babies! We ask her what her heart’s desire is if she would have resources to do with it as she pleases. She responds: “I will start my own injera- or veggie/fruit selling business to feed my children so that they can go to school later.” At the end of our conversation, she allows me to take photos of her deformed feet. We pray over her, encourage her for being such a devoted Mother and depart with heavy hearts.
I hold on to the strong of our Social Worker on his motorcycle as we bounce over the uneven terrain – in silence back to Wolaytta Village. We sit down inside the beautiful compound ……. Brainstorm how to activate the plan which we both know of already:
- I plea with a friend-Orthopedist to consider having a look at her feet to see if surgery would be an option to correct her feet;
- The priority needs are to get Mom and babies off the damp ground floor, so we search materials for a bed, check our “Help-fund” and discover that we do not have much to help her with yet, as we are still building WV-businesses. We continue to list the absolute necessities and gather MITTIN, children’s clothes and blankets from saved donations;
- At the end of the day, I arrive home and discover 1 500.00Birr waiting in response to my plea with Our PROVIDER! We will continue to watch this little amount stretch to demonstrate grace, blessing and care for 3 little desperate people. We work towards helping in this mother’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs to care for her sweet twin baby boys!
Another USUAL day to UNUASUAL motivation.
Grow WOLAYTTA VILLAGE (facebook) into the full potential of its vision – as fast as we possibly can!
MITTIN is being produced weekly – sales are still slow, as we face desperate poverty situations such as these regularly, forcing us to feed the hungry and the poor. THUS, Wolaytta Village has been planning for a second and third supporting business to propel the goal of building a self sustainable business module, so that we can care for orphans and widows faster!
WRAPS (facebook) is constructing its own workshop on WV-property, preparing to join us soon!
BAKERY has been recognized as a tremendous need in the area, providing great potential to develop a strong business in the community to 23 000 Soddo University Students, 2 500 Ottona College Students and Ottona Hospital, several little cafes & restaurants in Soddo and nearby villages! We are fundraising to establish a WOLAYTTA VILLAGE BAKERY now!
WV-SHOP is selling MITTIN, coffee, chaikimim, kolo and a few cultural art effects to increase the profits so that the profits can be applied to minister to- and care for orphans, widows & the poor, eventually helping them to grow their own independent little businesses to care for themselves!