NEIGHBOURS AID IN AFRICA
“Poverty is not an accident. Like apartheid and slavery, it is man made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” Nelson Mandela.
Yesterday I sat with a group of women living in a poor village in the Namanjalala slum of North western Kenya as they talked about their lives. It was raining and the slippery red mud made walking and driving difficult. Our hostess and her family live in a two room mud hut with a dirt floor. In malaria season it is difficult to keep the mosquitos out as there is no glass in the windows and the bush grows up close to the house.
IMAGINE living in this tiny hut with your family. There is no bathroom so bathing in private is difficult and you have to wait until dark and wash in a bucket outside. It’s hard to wash all over. By the time you have scrubbed your husband and children’s clothes and hung them to dry, you are often too tired to wash your own, so they stay dirty. You cook over an open fire and the men in the family will eat first. You eat if there is anything left when the children and the men have finished their meals. As a woman you are regarded as your husband’s property. He makes all the decisions. Even though you may have a small business, he takes the money because you’re the wife and your money belong to him after all, he paid dowry and he thinks it is alright to beat you since you are his property. If he dies, his male relatives will come to take everything because you own nothing. They may even take your children. You find it hard to believe that you are a valuable human being who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
This is reality for many of the world’s poor women and girls. “Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate. Speak up, judge righteously, defend the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9.
Neighbours Aid aims to help in the alleviation of poverty in all of its forms through the provision of education, nutritious food and healthcare for some of the world’s most needy children. We can’t help everyone but we can give a future and a hope to at least some.