With your help the people of West Africa have "a chance, not only to change their own lives and their own destinies, but to change the future of an entire generation".

Friday, June 29, 2012

In order to change ....

Submitted by Rachelle Milam

I’m not sure who said it exactly, but someone once said, “To change, one must be sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Here in Ghana, we can definitely understand that! As with anywhere else in the world, people here will not change the way they treat community and family health if they do not see a need for it. If a man has a broken leg, he has two options - he can treat it, set it, try to help it get better, or he can leave it broken. If he does not know how to treat it or he does not think it serious, he may just leave it and say, “Oh well, I have another leg. I’ll be all right.” And he may live. He may never regain the use of that leg because it healed incorrectly, but he may live. He may struggle every day the rest of his life to compensate for the loss of that leg, but he may live. However, if he values his body and he understands that he does not have to leave it broken, he may decide to go to a doctor to get the leg treated properly, or maybe he or someone in his village might even know how to set it and care for it. All this to say, if people don’t understand or see a need for change, they aren’t going to change.

When MoM did its first drops, they dropped to many communities along the river. As of right now, we are in contact with only about 20 of them. It is possible that some of those drops were never found, but it is also possible that some were found, and simply disregarded. The value wasn’t seen or understood. However, in the 20 or so communities that called back, there was a consensus that they were sick and tired of being sick and tired. They were also sick and tired of being forgotten or ignored. In a still developing country, community health is growing as an idea, but often aid is sent to only the largest and best equipped towns and districts. Often, the rural and remote villages we work with are not seen as worth the effort when it comes to outside aid. In the time since our first drops, we at MoM have done our best to make sure that these communities are receiving the correct information to bring about the changes that are so desperately desired and needed. The cooperation of a group of people working towards changing their world can radically change the course of the future. Who knows if because one person, one community saw the need to change the way they treated public health, one life might be saved? To us, that makes it all worth it. If just one life is changed because we were able to give them the tools to change their world, is it not worth it. To some, maybe not. But as we’re concerned, we too are sick and tired of seeing people sick and tired, and we’ll do what we can to help change it.

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