It’s February!  A time that is always fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day with those we love. This is also the time when we reflect on the various ways we show love within our sphere of work in Africa.

Love comes in the form of helping practically, as we are doing with hundreds of parents on our Micro-Finance program and their children on our school feeding program.

Love comes in the form of time, as we learn to slow down and listen to those around us.

Love comes in the form of acts of kindness, as kindness breathes life into a weary soul and ultimately shows love to those in our path.

Love comes in the form of physical touch, where hours of hugs from a western visitor spoke love to one of our little ones. This child is new to our safe home. When it was time to participate in other activities, she was happy and content to sit and be held.

From Hopelessness to Compassion

In January, while visiting Benin, it was fun to slow down long enough to sit with the women on our Micro-Finance program and listen to how they were doing. One woman proudly showed me her new soap making business. I was very intrigued by how she created soap using palm oil and palm nut ashes. As she explained her business, all the ladies around her chimed in about how soft their skin felt when they used it. 

The woman with her homemade soaps

What I loved about this is that all the ladies were so supportive and encouraging one another. They were not in competition. Each person there came into our program because of their dire situations and hopelessness. Now here they were, encouraging each other and full of life. Their compassionate and loving hearts were incredible to witness.

Most of these ladies had trafficked at least one of their children before we met them. With our encouragement, many have located their trafficked child or are currently trying to find their child to bring them back home. Each woman has one or more children on our feeding and school program because the children were at such a high risk of being sold.

A Shift…

What is also pretty amazing to witness is the chunky babies all around these precious mothers. This is not what we would have seen in the past. When we first met them, these mothers struggled horribly to feed their children.

As a result of our Micro-Finance program, their value for life has completely shifted. These women are now able to provide for their families and fight for their children’s well-being. Once these parents become self-sufficient with their businesses, we graduate their kids from our feeding and school program.

Thank you for helping us with these amazing efforts. You are making such a huge difference by showing love through your actions to those who need it most.

Rebecca Pratt, President

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