We've recently been thankful to walk beside a father who's navigating a really challenging time in his life.
Danilson became a father the same day he lost his beloved wife. To make matters worse, he had no way of feeding his new baby. The cost for two weeks of baby formula was equivalent to an entire semester of college tuition. He had no access to that kind of money and was facing some grim realities as he grieved his dear wife. It's a situation we would never have known about, but our friend Iliezer and his English student Irina who is also a nurse at the local hospital in Guinea-Bissau were able to intervene.
Above is Irina and Iliezer. These two people are responsible for helping their community and bringing hope to otherwise painful situations. We believe firmly that the solution to problems facing West African countries is found through locals who take initiative and are given access to resources (money). Local people understand their context and have the right approach to help most effectively. Irinia and Iliezer are just such incredible people. Through their efforts, in just over six months, four lives have been saved and over 20 other people have received life-changing assistance. School costs have been paid, micro-loans have been given and repaid, and mostly, medical bills have been paid.
At the beginning of August, we sent a wire transfer to West Africa. On the other end, Iliezer picked up money with Danilson. Together they went directly to the store to purchase what equates to nearly six months of baby formula.
Why so much at one time? Resources like baby formula are not guaranteed to be available. Iliezer knew it would be best if we knew there would be plenty for the near future for little Ivonilson.
There's no way around the fact that this is still a very sad situation given the loss of Ivonilson's mother. His life will be marked by that loss, as will Danilson's. But Ivonilson, who carries forward his mother Ivone's name, will have a life to live and stories to tell. And who knows, but some day, he might play a part in helping others around him.
For now, Danilson's radiant smile and those two boxes of formula are lighting up our hearts. We look forward to seeing that baby grow and grow.
Thank you for purchasing a product with a conscience. This was directly caused by the influx of orders that came from our story on CBS in June. We have the best customers! Thank you!!