By James B. Mansaray, Freetown, Sierra Leone
As I travel through Sierra Leone to distribute supplies from NHA to those in need, I think of who and what generated the compassion to help Nazareth House Apostolate to do this work.
When I consider the people in the world, I know that for some its just not "their thing". They have no desire to give or help. Then there are others, without perfect reasoning that will say "it’s not my business". In the scope of how many people there are in the world, few will say "Lets help", while a majority will just linger and wait for a start before they give a helping hand. But for Nazareth House to be such a small organisation, we certainly have a whole lot that join hands together as a team and end up making the perfect change for a BIG SMILE on the faces of those in pain around us.
Those who don’t know that there are people suffering in Sierra Leone, they need to be told. If people are thinking that the pain of others is not their business, they have never been hungry and had someone hand them a bowl of rice. If they had been hungry or sick, they would realize the need to be involved. Many of those sitting on the fence need to look at these children, so poor, having nothing in life. Understand the smile that stretches across the face when they are given something (no matter how tiny) to ease their pain. Certainly, your own struggles seem smaller at a time like this.
A stop at Kamano Village few miles from the NHA school, this village hosts many helpless children: boys and girls who haven't learned their A.B.C.’s, rarely, if ever eat a breakfast or lunch and only when they are super lucky do they get a chance to eat a dinner. None of these children ever watch TV or play with toys that they didn't make themselves. They have nothing like most of the present day children, no gameboys, ipods, they can't even comprehend what those things are. More importantly, those things would not excite them. They want simple things, like a meal or not to have worms.
As I make my way through the villages here in the country of the poorest of the poor, its seems that the next child is worse off than the first. When I think I have found a child who is most needy, another one pops up even needier.
Poor Baimba is a typical example, welcoming me in his only clothing he owns, tattered and dusty. The clothes are only dusty on dry days, wet days his shredded attire is soaked and muddy.
He is nothing but the clown of the village and he himself accepted it as it is. My first question to him was, "are you ok?" And his answer was “wotin u tink Cameraman” ? Meaning, "what do you think Photographer?" These are the situations that NHA faces everyday. Seeing a need and meeting it.
Tattered Baimba was the first case and by the time I could blink my eyes, I was greeted with more kids living in the same fate. Half naked, hungry, or sick patiently waiting for a big pot filled with only boiled potatoes or cassava.
What they consume is always lacking the basic food necessities’ that a child should have to grow healthy. Most of the children are left alone to fend for themselves, without a real idea of what moms and dads mean in the life of a child. Babes with no future, left unattended, barefooted, but still carrying the smile and signs of hope in their eyes.
Borbor pains (boys in pain) and Titi strain ( girls in same strenuous state) roaming the streets, roads and check points to make a sale
with whatever little they have to bargain with.
Huge baskets on the heads, or dozens of live birds in one hand,
they barter with all sorts of words to cajole those in automobiles into making a purchase.
The tradition of the youth fending for their parents is a must, a belief we all should detest. A tradition that we should curb in order to make a better life for them. Desolate villages driven with nothing but poverty but in the midst of it I see hope amongst these peace loving people. This is what NHA does, it cares for the people, gives them hope, helps them to become what they had no chance to become.
You could make it happen for more children like Baimba - provide the right education, good health, filled bellies - it doesn't take much. One donation to NHA will help someone out, regular donations each month will keep it going for more and more. Don't wait around for more people to be involved, jump in now. The need is here and its not going away on its own... we here in Sierra Leone...we are all waiting for you.
Give today, Give to Nazareth House Apostolate
2216 Goldsmith Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
or via the website at www.nazarethhouseap.org
God bless you all,