by Lisa Tresch,
Rising Village Executive Director
Many years ago, when my husband and I were deciding whether to give to a large nonprofit that worked in lower-income countries, we focused on three things to help us make our decision: 1) a clear and passionate communication about their mission and purpose, 2) transparency about how they used our funds, and 3) stories about the difference our money was making in the lives of real people. In two previous posts, I wrote about our mission and purpose, and how we use your funds. This post is a story about someone we want you to meet.
Yaw’s small house sits on a hill, which these days, makes it very difficult for him to get in and out of it. Yaw injured his leg while cutting timber a few years ago after a large tree fell on him. He didn't have the funds to get the injury fixed, so he is now dependent on crutches and is unable to work. His four small children watch him struggle to go up and down the stairs in the front of his house, or the hill that leads to the back of the house. They have watched him struggle alone for the past three years, since his wife left him soon after the injury. This left the family without anyone to provide an income. The children were in and out of school, wearing torn uniforms and sleeping on the floor in a room piled with their belongings.
Yaw's crutches and injured leg didn't stop him from walking a mile to visit the mission house to attend our Sunday lunch with the Rising Village families. Even after making the difficult trek to the house, he grinned while he watched his children laugh and color pictures on the porch. Yaw desperately wants to support his children, but his injury is holding him back.
For families like Yaw’s we provide crisis intervention to return children to school in clean, new uniforms stitched by Rising Village seamstresses. Through donor support, we also provided a hand-crafted bed frame made in the village, a mattress, and a bed net. Our director, Isaac, along with Yaw's children, spent one Saturday giving the room they sleep in an extreme makeover to create space for the new beds that would soon fill the room.
Yaw's family is at risk of being separated. He is unable to work, earn an income, and provide for his children. He needs long-term sustainable income. Our next step is to help Yaw find a job that can provide him with that stable income so he can support his four children. Most jobs will require that he be able to walk without his crutches, so his options are limited. But we are working to find a creative solution for Yaw so that he can move forward. He is holding out hope, and so are we.
We think you should know that your donations go to making life better for families like Yaw's. We don't just hand money to families, but we work to find long-term soltuions that provide higher, more stable incomes for heads of households. This, we feel is the key to helping families rise.
You should also know that we do this because we believe in the dignity and capacity of people like Yaw and his children. We believe that it is God's desire that Yaw, and everyone in the villages where we work experience the wholeness of mind, body, and spirit, and move toward becoming who God has created them to be. Through love and grace we hope to help people like Yaa discover wholeness.
Click here to see photos of Yaw and his family.