Saturday, September 17, 2011

We are Family

Africa is a vast and beautiful continent and there are many, many countries that need our help. There are also many countries whose situation has already received worldwide attention (not saying that this has saved them) but at least you recognize the names (celebrity adoptions, a school for girls).

Among those countries that desperately need help and the attention of the world is a tiny country of 1.5 million people. The country is Guinea Bissau (if you haven't been following me, you can click on the "get involved" tab and catch up on some back history).

In a country that ranks as the 4th poorest country in the world, there is a lot to do and many to help. I would really like to get around to everyone but to begin with, my attention was peaked by stories I heard of a remote little village about 168 miles from Bissau (the capital city). The Balanta village of Djati is home to about 1,000 people. 

It began for me with the promise of a visit to the bush during my upcoming trip to Guinea Bissau. I was curious to know what these people were about and hear of their customs and dreams for the future.

Maritza, my contact from Casa Emanuel Orphanage (also our host, guide and translator for our visit) was kind enough to contact Pastor Freddy and Raquel (who speak Portuguese) and get some information and photos for me.

Once I heard their story, I knew that someone had to help. I truly believe, that someone, is me. So I decided to adopt this little village and try to bring their story to the world (in my own small way). Interestingly enough I had no hesitation in taking on this task.

Maritza has a meeting set up next week with Freddy and Raquel and she will compile some more stories for me on a more personal level. I will pass that information along to you as well via future posts. I already have some ideas about getting them some of the help they need. I also have a rough estimate of the cost (which is surprisingly low considering their circumstances - I will post exactly what we need after I confirm) but we must not let money be the object here!

When you watch the video you will see a very resourceful people. I hope you will continue to follow this story and I hope you will decide to get involved!

Historical Background de Djati
Dear Devon,
Let me give you some information in regards to that village in the bush,  Raquel and Freddy have been working with that village for about seven years. They first heard of the village through some of the students that would leave the village and come to their school in a nearby town, she also had contact with people from this village when they would come out to the nearby town seeking medical help, Raquel has a small “ room clinic “, she is not a doctor but a medic who has worked as a nurse with lots of field experience and whenever she doesn't know she calls her mentor a doctor in the city that guides her as to what she is to do, Raquel is an amazing woman, working and helping the patients ,

The boys and girls that were leaving the village, were doing it because Djati has no school, no medical facility, no well, nada.

The village is remote and isolated in the bush. Djati is approximately 269 km's from Bissau and 60 kilometers from the town where Raquel and Freddy have their clinic and a school. The village where they are located is called Quebo.
It has a population of approximately one thousand  people.

The only help the people of Djati receive as far as health care, education, first aid, spiritual help comes from the small mission in Quebo. Raquel and Freddy started working in Djati five years ago, they have approximately one hundred students and with the help of donations they pay three teachers, the teachers work and teach during the mornings and during the afternoon. 

What has been difficult for Raquel and Freddy is that their outreach program is fairly new and they do not have enough financial help, up to now they have managed to build adobe structures and cover them with hay, but the rains are constantly damaging what they have built and every year with the help of the students they have to rebuild in order to go on.  

They received a donation of one thousand dollars from a visiting friend  and  were able to build  two rooms and a bedroom where they house the three workers that help at the school.

With the money received they also bought cement, twenty five steel rods to build the support pillars, and the blocks were made  by the children and then the adobe blocks were burnt to give them consistency and make the structure more stable.  The sand was not purchased but they went and took the sand from a nearby pond.

To get to the village, Raquel and Freddy along with the kids go by truck, an old 4x4 that is loaned to them from another mission, or they have to rent a truck and it becomes expensive. If a car is low it will not be able to enter during the rainy seasons.

Right now, the children are trying to finish their first classroom but they need to still buy the metal roof for the building, As far as the well it may be hand dug and a reservoir tank must be purchased, along with a small generator to pump the water to the reservoir tank or the water may just be hand drawn to save money.

After the first classroom is built they want to build three more in order to reach 400 students. The school house will benefit not just the children from Djati but other children from the nearby villages are willing to walk over to get an education.

They also could use a two room structure that will allow the villagers and trained children or visiting nurses or doctors to attend the sick and if this two rooms were built we are sure many of the sick individuals from the nearby villages will come seeking medical help.

Devon we are speaking of a village where there is absolutely nothing, adopting this village will benefit many and they really could use the help.

May God bless you in our endeavor to help them.

Please let me know what you think, and if you have ANY suggestions I would be more than happy to hear about them.

Now please watch this little slideshow I put together about
                               Life in Djati

Please share this post and video with your friends and family

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