I won’t trigger emotions by putting down every single narration of volunteers who went for scouting, how they described the poverty, pain and sadness experienced by the poor. Some volunteers said to me “you don’t get to witness the real sufferings of the people because you haven’t visited their homes you only see them in a place with their tallies coming to get palliatives; people are really suffering you should scout with us so you are able to pass the message deeply to the government maybe they aren’t aware”.
Over the years, I have heard people use the word humanity in place of humans, that they trigger some explanation about its usage. Humanity is in our attitude towards people, humanity is not just about being human, it’s about being good, affectionate and kind towards others. It isn’t about maintaining a cordial relationship but approaching people in your society with kindness; that sense of sympathy just so you are able to light the candles in the hearts of people, that is sometimes dispelled by the troubles and worries they undergo.
There are people who through bereavement, unemployment, disasters, destructions, ill-health, etc are unable to cater to their needs, that they now depend on others to survive. This set of people are usually very desperate for care and love and when they are being ignored and disregarded it hurts the innermost part of their souls. They endure hardship and lack by gnashing their teeth at night, weeping and praying to their God for the gift of bread. When they come to you, when you see them around you, all you have to show is your true humanity which is displayed or defined by the kindness extended towards them and not mock them.
We have enough to offer to curb the increasing rate of poverty in our country, it is true that in many ways our society has failed us but we can end poverty by simply sharing what we have as individuals, some people have more than they need while others have nothing and they are in need. When Mother Teresa said “Poverty is not made by God, it is created by you and me when we don’t share what we have” I saw no lie in this.
Again it was a Saturday and another outreach, the team went out to reach out to the vulnerable people of Tombia. Tombia is a really beautiful community, with a very big River surrounding the community. The buildings are clustered around each other, men, women and children waving, smiling, greeting, interacting amongst themselves as volunteers walk into the town hall. The structuring of the houses reminded me of the tales of moonlight, because of the bond shared amongst the people and how they can easily access the homes of one another.
The people of Tombia are mostly fishermen, some also pick periwinkles and a few engage in livestock farming. There are many aged people in Tombia who have stayed above 80-90 years. At Tombia we saw old women and men who are also disabled. We met talented kids who bid us farewell with their beautiful dance steps. Reaching out to these ones made a great impact in their lives as some cried, danced and couldn’t thank the volunteers less for the kindness extended, some even felt pity for the volunteers and they imagined the troubles we must have encountered coming to them.
A very elderly woman said to me when I asked her why she was crying as she used the exit door after receiving her palliative “Una don suffer naa” I was confused because we never complained to mama, so I asked to confirm what she meant and she said” you people naa, Una done suffer” as tears again flowed from her eyes, I felt the depth of mama’s passion and I realized that if mama were to be in our position to help she would do more, we asked mama to stop crying because indeed we were there for her and others like her and we weren’t complaining about whatever she assumes to be our suffering. This is a clear display of humanity, mama is a kind, caring woman faced with the challenges that crippled her and restricted her from helping, be like mama, she has a big heart. You don’t need to do so much simply be kind.
The outreach was a successful one as we were made to work with the youth leader and his team, it was a wonderful outreach, seeing the youth coordinate the people, ensuring they observed social distancing we haven’t experienced such in our previous outreaches, the volunteers usually would do all of these but this time some members of the community did and it made the distribution easy. They also hosted the people with Dried fish and fresh fish pepper soup. Tombia people are welcoming and nice.
We left Tombia knowing that lives were touched. A woman said “without requesting someone gives you something really reasonable, I do petty trades and I am not comfortable sitting idly, she was really excited and we are also excited we made them happy.
Be wonderful! Be kind! Be intentional!