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Day 3 in Cameroon: Hope, and a better life for kids
Submitted by Mandy Moore on August 12, 2011
I'm half way across the world, and today I am reminded of one of the many things that connects us. It's the hope that a parent in LA or DC or Yaounde has: that their child will have a better life than they do.
Today our group traveled to a rural village in the Okola district of Cameroon. The entire village (about 500 people) welcomed us with traditional song and dance - we met men, women and children, even the village chief - it was a very special welcome.
I then had the chance to talk to Madame Ngono, who is raising 10 children. On the wooden bench in her mud home, she spoke with me while her grandson patiently sat on her lap. I could tell by his squirming and the squeals of other children outside that he would have much preferred to be running around with his friends. But, she is a strong woman and dedicated caretaker - he waited for her instruction to join his friends.
She told me how nearly every child in her family suffered from malaria, how many children in the community died as a result. How she suffered with malaria many times and how it affected her ability to farm and parent and take care of her extended family.
She knew of the upcoming net distribution (thanks Nothing But Nets supporters!) and her face changed when we began to talk about having mosquito nets for her children to sleep under. She relaxed, and even smiled. She is a strong and stoic woman, out of necessity. But for just a few moments, she expressed joy.
As she was talking, I realized that she is not unlike any other mother or grandmother. What gave her joy, and peace, was knowing that she would soon be better able to care for her family.
I'd love to be able to say that all of the grandchildren in Cameroon are being protected from malaria - that's not the case. This is something we can change. The government of Cameroon, the United Nations, and PSI are coming together to deliver nets to families throughout Cameroon, but there is still got a long way to go and there is a funding gap to make the distribution complete.
Help us reach this goal. Send a net and save a life today. For just $10 - you can help give grandmothers like Madame Ngono what all grandmothers and mothers want: the simply ability to protect the ones she loves.