One of the foundational principals in our partnership with the community at the Yellow Flower Cemetery is to trust in their incredible capabilities. We learned early on that they don't need handouts and photo ops. They don't need a white knight to ride in and save the day. Even though they live in poverty and are systematically subjugated, they are strong. They are survivors. And at the end of the day, what they need most is someone to support them, someone to believe in them. What they need most is what you and I need most, someone to love them and to fight for what's best for them.
That's why we focus on working side-by-side with these friends of ours to support and encourage long-term opportunites for them. And even though this is was an early lesson for us, we continue to be surprsied with what they can do. Like Ruth's Boutique - a retail service selling items handmade by the women - which was conceived of and created by the community and which, with the support of our network, is now selling items all over the world with online partners like 139Made.
Another example is the veracity with which the children have tackled their new educational opportunities, children whom many in their city would discredit. Children like Rico, who recently graduated from vocational school to become a mechanic and who is considered by his peers and teachers as a respected leader with a bright future!
This inspirational community has faced more challenges than most of us can imagine. And yet, with a little help from their friends, they're finding a new way forward. We can't wait to see what they do next!
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