Last October, we visited the Rayland Rural Development Organization in Uganda, a community we are helping toward economic sustainability. Lynde Francis, from The Centre Zimbabwe, was inside the vocational training center teaching about 50 people “Long Term Survival Skills for HIV.” I went to see the new bakery -- powered by charcoal fire since there is no electricity in this village. That’s when I saw the starving young woman and her baby. The baby was tiny and listless. The mother was too malnourished to produce milk for the baby.
In rural villages, this image of mother and child is far too common. I greeted her and shook her hand in the Ugandan way. Our good friend Joseph, who runs the RARUDO project, and I agreed that we had to help this person who was in our path. Within 24 hours we had medicine, safe housing, a bed, blanket, food and supplies for the baby. We learned the woman had been starved and beaten by her husband. She had head wounds and a broken leg from being thrown. She had returned to her village, but had no family to help her. The women we trained will look after her – even though they told me they see many like her every day.
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