I frequently ponder inequality in the world. It bothers me that I’m not working harder to change it. Somebody’s baby’s going hungry while we are still eating out. I understand consequence for negative choices but I can’t rationalize being born into despair. Recently, a patient of mine traveled to Haiti on a mission trip. She shared some interesting stories…
“The Haitian village that we worked in was a very close-knit community. Women are the primary caretakers of the children and most of what they know is passed down from the older women of the village. Unfortunately, this includes a ton of what we would call “old wives’ tales”. Because of the lack of financial resources, women must breastfeed. They simply cannot afford to buy formula. However, young mothers will often be influenced by older women that their milk is “bad”. They believe if a mother cries a lot (due to postpartum depression) while she is nursing her baby, that the tears will create a vacuum that literally sucks her milk up into her head where her brain will then poison the milk when it travels back to her breasts. Young mothers, not wanting to poison their babies with breast milk, will sometimes feed them a watered-down inadequate supply of formula leading to malnutrition. Or they will try to feed them baby food instead of milk when they are much too young to digest it well which leads to diarrhea
The Haitians are in dire need of basic nutrition and health classes. But I think it will take patience and consistent teaching over years — maybe decades — before it overcomes the old wives’ tales and superstitions they have been taught.”—–Denise
This year at Christmas, our office decided to forgo the annual secret Santa gift exchange and donate to Gleaner’s Food bank. I was then stricken with the decision of what to give the office staff that would follow this “give back” theme. I found a great local chapter of Amani Organization that solved my dilemma.
The Amani Children’s Foundation partners with New Life Home Trust to care for abandoned and HIV+ infants and nurses them back to health. Since 1993, New Life Homes has rescued over 1200 infants. OurIndianapolischapter sells beads and Kenyan market items to raise money to support these foundations. The beads are made by Kenyan women at the Kazuri Bead Factory. These beads are then brought to theUSand crafted into jewelry, key chains and novelty items. 100% of the proceeds go back to these hard-working Kenyan women to nourish and clothe their families. Thanks Indy Amani for opening the local chapter in 2009. More importantly, thank you for easing my mind when buying a gift for someone that isn’t starving. At least it gives me a morsel of integrity. This is my baby step to alter inequality, contributing to help feed infants hatched into desperation.
|What a difference it makes!|