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Nikchick [userpic]

Again in Africa

May 14th, 2007 (11:10 am)
impressed

current mood: impressed

I've written about my friend Catherine's efforts in Africa before, in 2003 (the direct link to that entry is broken, scroll down to "Letter from a friend in Africa") and again in 2005.

Catherine's story and photos behind the cutCollapse )

Catherine is thrilled at what they've accomplished and isn't stopping there. She's looking into setting up a real microcredit program, personally funding another group, looking to raise funds for a school she's adopted, and more. The women she funded are full of hope and new ideas: open a kiosk selling veterinary medicine so that the community wouldn't have to go to the market (2-3 hours away) or into town (3-4 hours away by direct vehicle, which virtually no one has, otherwise overnight trip); setting up a drinks kiosk; selling fabric; buying seeds, clothes, and building better huts for their kids. As Catherine says, "All of these things not only help the women, but also help the community because it means the community can access more resources without trekking to the weekly market 3 hours away.

In the same vein, there was a Mother's Day human interest story in the news yesterday about a University of Washington student (who lost his parents and six of his 10 brothers and sisters to illness by the time he was 13) who went to medical school to keep that from happening to others. There's a part in that news story where they talk about women having to walk 17 miles with a sick child looking for help that they may or may not be able to afford, that may or may not even work... That would be like me walking from my house to Microsoft HQ, carrying Kate on my back (in the 100 degree heat, no less, it is Africa after all). Holy crap.

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