“Tires and sticks as everyday toys, dirtied and swollen feet, wearing the only pair of clothing they own ripped and tattered, yet smiles so large in a World of the malnourished. Who are we to stand and stare with cameras pointed at them? Yet without the pictures, without looking at them and showing them over and over, it’s hard to explain to others back at home exactly why we are doing this. We so badly wish to make a change in this World. Our hearts, our ears, and bodies all see and listen and feel, but how can we understand when we are only seeing with our eyes, stepping foot on this land, but not actually living this life? We are too shamed to tell them that we indulge in food until we are more than full, and throw out enough for them to never starve again in their lives. Nobody deserves the fear that they will not be able to feed their family for the day; nobody deserves to sleep on dirtied floors, or starve, or be abused, or live through war or genocide and the loss and heartbreak that accompanies them. Sometimes in doing the small things, in taking the time to listen to people’s stories without judgment, in holding someone’s hand or giving a hug in times of need, in raising awareness of the issues and taking small steps towards making this World a better place, we can instill change in others to do the same; until we are all doing the small things to make other people’s lives even just a little bit better, and connecting those small changes to make something bigger than all of us.” ~Janine Tamis
Jeanne, one of the participants of the Healthy Mums Program (HMP) in Gitarama Parish gives testimony to how the program has impacted her life.
She says, “I feel accepted now. I have learned many new things. We share stories about our lives and I have learnt how to improve my farming and to prepare a balanced diet for my family. I have seen my child gain weight. I see the importance of saving money and am even comfortable going to the bank now. The tailoring I learnt enabled me to make this dress and the shirt for my boy. I now have a dress shop business. We study the Bible and I learnt about women characters in the Bible e.g. Abigail. It has taught us how to live in our community in peace with one another”.
This is just one of many testimonies as to the value of the HMP. The participants describe themselves as, “Women who are able!” and say, “We have influence and the program has inspired the whole church”.
For this reason the leaders are anxious to expand the program to have more groups and more preschools.