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".

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The will to live... better

Submitted by Rachelle Milam

Abraham Maslow once said, “All the evidence that we have indicates
that is reasonable to assume in practically every human being and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse toward growth, or towards the actualization...” Can I just say that I LOVE this quote because it is SO true, especially here! Most people are not out to make themselves sick, nobody WANTS to be ill, disabled, and most people don’t want to be the same person in fifty years that they are now. Here in Ghana, most of the time, life is about survival. Life is about bringing in your crop or making enough so that you can feed your family for another day. When things like sickness or disability comes along, people usually react in one of two ways - they ignore it and continue to try to survive, or they essentially live as invalids. There isn’t a whole lot of in between. Granted, maybe that’s just how I’ve observed it. However, it’s amazing to me to watch the way some people persevere. When they come across something they think will help their way of life and it is attainable for them, they latch onto it with and enthusiasm that is amazing to me.

I see this enthusiasm in the communities we’ve come to know - They have a very decided will towards health, a desire to grow in knowledge and to see their children grow to be adults. When I hear about a community willing to implement new practices to try to avoid things like diarrhea or malaria, I see their will to live. They move beyond simply surviving, they begin to live. When they move towards better health, there is new hope for every baby gasping in its first breath of life.

I remember once hearing a man who worked in Israel say during his presentation, “When you see these pictures, you simply see faces from a distant land. But when I look at these pictures, I see friends. I see lives changed.” I’ve never forgotten what he said and it’s become even more relevant to me now. To our readers, I hope when you look at the pictures on this blog, you don’t simply see faces from a distant land. I hope you see the lives that are changed. They are not so different from us, and they too have an active will towards health, towards life, and and a fervent impulse to grow.

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