There are many reasons to travel and as you all know too well, we are having a ball of a time; discovering, experiencing, relaxing, learning and finding adventures. This said, from the very start of this undertaking we knew our path would cross with so many people are in need and as often as possible, both Guillaume and I try to do as much as we can to help those who have been less fortunate than us.
Sadly, unlike our time back in South Africa when we both earned decent salaries, we are currently on such a tight budget that we are not able to help as frequently as we would like to and have been forced to limit our own contributions to the bare minimum.
Yet, there have been, and will continue to be, certain individuals, or charities, that strikes a chord with us to such an extent that we simply can’t turn away. Our friend Annamarie said it best, and we have decided to use some of her words for our own, unofficial, charity… help us help them.
You will therefore see post like these every so often and they will all be titled Why We Travel.
We have devolved a very strong friendship with David during our stay in Livingstone. A night guard at one of the backpacker in town, David embodies positivity. After many discussions and late night chats our conversations gradually developed into a friendship and we learned about his past and all the misfortune hidden behind his contagious laugh.
David’s parents died when he was a teenager and because of some clever entrepreneurship he was able to put himself through school after which he started a lucrative business, buying clothes in Lusaka and selling them in Livingstone, and got married. A simple flue he caught one winter was wrongly diagnosed as tuberculosis about eight years ago and the treatment almost killed him. In the year that it took for his body to recover from the damage done by the medication, he lost his business, went broke and his wife (who gave birth to twins shortly after he became ill) had to take care of him and the family, both financially and emotionally.
Now, seven years later he works nightshift on a permanent basis. He hardly sees his wife and children, earns minimum wage and often doesn’t know where the next meal will come from. His salary pays the rent and the small income his wife earns as a hairdresser has to feed and clothe the family.
In the interim his daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy and his wife with anaemia, both putting them even further back financially.
His wife is an extremely popular hairdresser, some locals would even call her one of the best in town , and according to David all they needed was one, or if possible two, commercial hairdryers. With this his wife can start her own hairdressing business, earn more money and hopefully give him the freedom to change jobs and find something that pays a bit more and be at home more often. This would also allow his family to find treatment for his daughter’s epilepsy.
Due to a series of bad luck David, who against all odds had managed to build himself a future, was dumped in dire situations so we asked our friends and family for help and thanks to their generosity we were able to buy him two dryers and put his family back on track with something more sustainable than cash.
We would like to thank our loved ones for the extraordinary gift that they have given to David and his family. They, and we, are forever thankful for this.
The Orphans in Nata
We have written about our emotional encounter with the Orphan and Aids fund in Nata and the extreme poverty we encountered there.
Since then we have also received money from family members for the Nata Orphan and Aids Fund which will be paid to them. Sadly our visit to Nata was too short to give more hands on assistance, but the fund will use the money as needed in this community.
Help us help them
We would like to continue with this trend all through our journey and have decided to call our own, informal aid Help Us Help Them. Any contributions donated in any from will be used along our journey to help those we meet who need it most. Be this hairdryers, cash, medicine, clothes or any other means that can make a difference.
We will post photos and stories about the help we have given to acknowledge those who contribute and to allow them to see what was done with their donations. This will also serve as a means to document what are doing with the money as well as a conformation that we are in fact using it for others and not ourselves.