Not a single story … but a real one nevertheless

I simply have to share this today.

My friends Heather Haynes and Cathy Cleary have recently returned from a trip to Congo where they have been helping a group of women who have had horrific experience with war and rape and disease and poverty.   Cathy and Heather have immersed themselves in attempts to assist these women.  I have watched a couple of their YouTube posts and must encourage you to do the same.

My experience in East Africa has taken me to places where poverty and the consequences of poverty have impacted many lives.  Lack of opportunities for education or health care, no clean water to drink and no place to defecate except a field or behind a tree or in a plastic bag that is thrown to the railroad track that runs through the slum.  This is poverty beyond what you can comprehend if you don’t see it.    But I cannot imagine the heart-wrenching that Cathy and Heather feel when they witness the women and children who have suffered not only poverty but emotional and physical abuse. And in this short video,  I see how the children are perplexed and touched by Heather’s emotion.

Through the work I do with the CanAssist African Relief Trust, we attempt to improve infrastructure so that entire schools and communities can benefit.  We rely on the generosity of Canadian donors to do this work and so far have been able to fund about $600,000 at schools, clinics and communities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.  In July we will be mounting our fourth annual Canada Day Challenge where all (tax deductible) donations to CanAssist will be matched by the Sasamat Foundation of Vancouver.  

Heather and Cathy are also looking for sponsorship for some of the children and women that they are working with in Congo.  You can sponsor a child for $1 a day. This provides shelter, food and education.. plus health care. Women- $40 a month for two years. This provides a small stipened each month and sewing training, group support… second year is business training and exit kit. They are not yet resistered with CRA so there is not tax receipt but as the MasterCard ad says, the reward is Priceless. 

Those of us who work doing this kind of charity in Africa have to tell the sad storie and show the need.  But we must also acknowledge that this is not the only story with which to brand Africa.  There are lots of well-educated, polite, generous, happy folks that we meet every day. The cities rival Western cities for their vitality.  So a trip there is not all doom and sadness.  In fact, even in the middle of poverty there is joy and laughter. Witness these vulnerable kids at the Congo orphanage singing together.

You can learn more about Worlds Collide here – http://worldscollideafrica.com

And we are always happy for your support at The CanAssisst African Relief Trust http://canassistafrica.ca. And if you donate to CanAssist in July the value of your gift will be doubled with the Sasamat match.

2 thoughts on “Not a single story … but a real one nevertheless

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