** UPDATE: We are stunned. In just 1 HOUR of having posted this, over $1000 was pledged by those who subscribe to this blog via email. We now have enough to purchase the cart and pay off the debt from her children’s school fees. This morning has taught me that the readers of this blog are more than a group of ‘disconnected’ individuals ‘logging on’ from the comfort of our own private lives, but rather, we are a tribe waiting and willing to be mobilised into action!
There’s a lady on our street. She’s been here since day one. And every time we pass her she cracks the widest smile. Despite her two front teeth missing, there’s nothing brighter. She faithfully sells us our bananas and makes the best pakora (diced veggies fried in batter) you’ve ever tasted in your life. Well, she did… until this happened.
The morning we walked out and didn’t see her familiar smile, we knew something was wrong. She never misses a day. Nor can she afford to.
And when we saw the burnt remains of her vegetable and cooking cart, we knew that we were looking at her livelihood in ruins. Two days later we found her on another street. No cart. No fruit and veg stand. She was sitting alongside the gutter roasting a few cobs of corn on an open fire to sell to passers by for whatever she could. Literally eking out an existence any way she could.
We asked her what had happened and she told us. “Some young boys came in the night and burnt it all down. No one knows why. I told the police but they don’t seem to care.”
As we sat down beside her we started to hear a bit more of the story of the woman with the big smile. And it turns out this wasn’t the only problem on her plate (originally I included more details about her story but have since deemed these best kept private as we’ve gotten to know her and her family’s situation better).
We don’t normally advocate for the direct giving of money to people in need. We’re development workers after all who prefer models of empowerment and sustainability. Micro-finance and self-help groups are the language we speak.
But this is different…
A crime has been committed. This wasn’t deserved. This friend of ours already knows what it means to work hard, take care of a family, and do the best with what she has. She has been doing it all her life.
You have to understand that for a woman living in poverty, there is no ‘safety-net’ or ‘rainy day fund’. Something like this can sink her entire livelihood.
This isn’t about ‘development’ but correcting a wrong that must be made right.
Would you help us make it right?
We’ve spoken to our friend about what she would like and she has told us that she needs a new cart.
So we need $250 for a new cart and the capital to re-start her business.
So we are asking you to contribute financially to this goal.
Q. “Why are you asking me?” – Because I believe that the readers of this blog are more than just a bunch of disconnected individuals ‘logging in’ to read these articles in isolation. I believe that the growing number of readers on this blog are part of a community that cares and wants to seek justice together.
Q. “Is this trustworthy?” – Our organisation – The International Nepal Fellowship Australia – is facilitating the transfer of funds for us but my wife and I are solely responsible for this neighbourhood project. We will provide receipts as ‘proof of purchase’ and a photo of us enjoying some of our friend’s delicious pakoras once she’s back on her feet!
Can you give a small donation to show our friend that there are people who care for her?
If you can and would like to give, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the amount you wish to transfer and I will instruct you on how you can give safely and securely via PayPal.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have,