Amanda’s Village: Strong Women Needed
Amanda’s Village: Strong Women Needed
“I see a strong group of women.” -Anne
Her biggest desires are a bed for her children, and a toilet.
She is 30…she’s a widow. I met Jasmine in Bangladesh last week and my heart shattered into a million pieces. Her husband died 6 years ago, she has 5 children. Her only option as a woman in poor Bangladesh is to send her oldest son, 8, out to work. He is a mason, a brick layer, at 8 years old to feed his mother and children. That’s too much responsibility for a child.
I stepped out of her shack of a home with just one bed for her and her children trying to hide my tears.
I too have raised children on my own. I too have a son around that age. While I am able to take him to soccer practice and sit and watch his baseball games, she’s sending hers out to work.
A spark of anger started igniting inside of me, I wanted to scream THIS IS NOT FAIR! Someone needs to help her, then I realized, it’s me. It’s you.
It’s an accident of attitude and longitude that she was born in Bangladesh and you and I were born in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
While she is wishing for a toilet in her home and a sewing machine so her daughters can use it to earn money to support the family too, we are complaining about cleaning the 3 toilets we have… well at least that’s my normal complaint.
I listened to the stories of a women’s group in a poor village in Bangladesh, they have been assembled by World Concern to empower each other and it’s working. They gather together to share what they struggle with and try to find a solution. Eventually the goal is for them to accumulate savings as a group, and then give each other micro loans to start earning income together. More women should work together like that in America.
They are a very strong group of brave women. The inspire me to be more brave too. Like to go on the radio and ask for other strong women that were born in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to leverage the free gift they received and extend it to these women. They need support.
Then there’s Shajada. She didn’t come out of her home for the women’s group meeting. She is too sad. You see, she lost her 5 year old son. Not like lost in a crowd, but one day he just disappeared. 2 years ago. She suspects he was taken and sold. World Concern officials here suspect she is right. I asked stupidly what for? I thought it was just girls. Oh no… just as many boys now are sold for unspeakable things too.
Now that World Concern is working in her village the mother’s and children like Shajada and her missing son will be educated on how to prevent this kind of thing. They call it the Child Protection Program. They will be taught what to look for and also informed of the dangers of leaving young children on their own. They just don’t know.
In other news, as I fell asleep in my room in Bangladesh every night there was a lizard on the wall. I tried my best to pretend he wasn’t there. After seeing mothers sharing one bed with 5 kids, and toilets out doors with no privacy for multiple families to share I can’t possibly complain about one little lizard.
I finished that day at a Christian Church service… in a Muslim country. Now THAT was a once in a lifetime experience. The church was built in 1910 and is still going strong. They treated the American guests like royalty! They gave us flowers, let us stand up and introduce ourselves. I felt like a sham. They are the ones that Jesus says are royalty. They are the ones that should be honored for what they’ve been through and for never giving up. At the end of the service we came up front to pray for people that needed. I prayed for two women that had the same concerns of any other American woman. One wanted her kids to pass their school exams and to heal her back pain. Another one woman praying to pass her exams so she can graduate.
There is no difference between your needs and the women’s needs. We are all the same. They just need a little bit more help…and I’m pretty shocked God has picked you and I to bring it to them…
If you find yourself grateful to be a FREE woman, free to work, free to walk around without your head covered, free to choose who you marry, free to choose at what age you’re ready to marry, I invite you to help those other women that are not as free.
For about as much as it costs you to go out to dinner this week, you could help these women become free. When you sponsor Amanda’s Village with World Concern in Bangladesh for $39/month you help them have clean water to drink, provide a toilet and solve a health crisis. It helps send their children to school, and eventually provide micro loans so they can earn enough on their own to support their families. Every woman deserves that opportunity. You give it to her.
Please be one of 5 people that read this blog to sign up to save women like Jasmine today at www.amandasvillage.com.