LIGHTING THE PATH
Empowering People, Changing Lives
Yaya's story of the walker
You do not always see the benefit of your work, but sometimes you do get that joy!
In my experience, most times in life you let God lead and you follow trusting that you are doing His will and other rare times it becomes so obvious that God used you for a specific purpose. I have to admit that my favorite times are when I see why God put me where he did. This trip had one of those moments when, out of the blue, the purpose for being there became crystal clear.
A little boy named Yaya, who lives in Kimini, is one of the people my mind always goes to when I think of the village. He is cared for by his kindly grandfather and other extended family after being abandoned by his mother. Yaya was born with physical difficulties causing weakness and great difficulty walking and using his arms. The family cares for him and he is obviously intelligent, but his future was very dim because of his difficulties. We had spoken with the family about putting him in school and they politely said they could not, primarily due to his inability to function independently.
When I arrived in the village I made a time to go and visit Yaya with some gifts from my brother and sister-in-law who are his sponsors in the Sheltering Wings child sponsorship program. I arrived with a 50 Kilo bag of rice for him and his family and some gifts just for him. He was carried over to where we were by an older boy in the family. He was filthy dirty and I asked about where he had been. It turns out that the family had been in the fields working and they take him with them and set him on the edge of the field. To do this does show how the family cares for him by choosing not to leave him alone all day with no care.
After seeing Yaya, I began to think about what could possibly help him support and steady himself enough to stand and walk.
I had purchased some plastic pipes and fittings for another project and my mind went to imagining what I could make with them which may help. I put together a design idea in my head and pulled out the hack saw and started in cutting and fitting pieces together. The result was a light weight plastic walker which I prayed would help and thanked God for the inspiration.We went to visit Yaya with the walker in hand and demonstrated how to use it. After a couple tries he steadied himself and got the hang of it and started actually walking with it! We cheered him on and he beamed with the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face. After watching him a few minutes we said goodbye and got in the truck to leave with tears of joy rolling down our cheeks over the miracle we had just witnessed. We returned two days later to check in and watched as Yaya walked and maneuvered around quickly with the walker smiling the entire time. It was mentioned that they may be able to enroll him in school and I pray that a whole new life may open up for him as he gets stronger and walks on his own. I give thanks to God for using me and letting the purpose for this trip become clear. It is a joy I will always remember and I am looking forward to my return trip to visit him again! - Dawn Malcolm
Lighting the Path collected donations and purchased a much needed prosthetic arm for Elizabeth! Thank you to all who contributed! You changed her life!
The Women's Aid Fund was established when one of the women we were working with needed a prosthetic arm. There was no way she could afford this and we saw that this would make a huge difference in her quality of life. Medical and special needs hinder the quality of life of many women, but are often never taken care of because the solution is not affordable. Funds will be held in an account specified for assisting these needs. If you would like to be part of this effort or contribute to this fund, please contact us! Blessings, Dawn
The Women's Aid Fund
Take time to look at your strengths and think about what you could teach or share with others. Think about what is most needed by someone in poverty or unemployed or in a tough situation and how you could help them meet those needs. Do they have a skill you could build on to help them begin a career? Do they have all the writing and computer skills they need to write a resume, search for job openings, do well at a job interview? In poverty stricken countries they may need the basic necessities such as food or water and you can teach them how to better meet those needs - grow a garden, purify water, build a better shelter. See others with your heart - with love and compassion even when they are different from yourself and let them lead you to what you can do to help them.
CURRENT NEEDS FOR PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS: Sewing machines, fabric yardage, frequent flyer miles, reading glasses, sunglasses
For our organization -
Volunteer: We welcome others to contact us regarding the development an empowerment project. We will consult with them, partner with them or guide them in their own project. We are looking for assistance with fundraising and all aspects of running the organization also.
Donate or fund raise to help up continue our work. Share the story of the organization with others.
Lighting the Path needs funding for the programs assisting the people being served and moving forward with projects for teen girls in Burkina Faso, West Africa, the women's co-operative associations in the villages of Yako, Dano and Kimini in Burkina Faso, West Africa and others.
Donate frequent flyer miles! This will help the organization minimize travel expenses!
Collect backpacks, reading glasses, sunglasses, children's clothes.
Help us link with companies or organizations who may have ways to help us meet needs!
Organizational areas which could specifically use assistance are:
Non-profit management advising
Fundraising, grant writing, donations solicitation
Event planning, marketing and promotion
accounting and legal advising
gathering information on importing goods and the legal requirements for each country
maintaining and updating the website
gathering information on educational and activity aids for the blind and disabled
gathering information on weaving looms and other hand made goods supplies