Villages in Partnership works in conjunction with each of the villages’ “VIC”, Village Implementation Committee, to identify the most vulnerable families in the area to visit. This allows our American team to gain some insight into the daily lives of those they are serving. Today, I travelled to the village of Disi and was welcomed to Addada’s home. Her actual name is Patuma but everyone calls her Addada, a term similar to “grandmother” and one of endearment. She welcomed us to join her on a straw mat outside of her home which also happens to be what she sleeps on at night. She doesn’t know how old she is but says that she was about 10 years old around the great famine in 1949 – putting her around 80 years young.
We asked her questions about her household, how her harvest was, how far she has to walk to access water… questions that one would rarely, if ever, ask in the United States. Her 14 year old granddaughter, Shalom, lives with her because Addada can no longer take care of herself. At 14, Shalom is Addada’s sole care provider. Shalom works in the garden in hopes to harvest enough food to feed her and her grandmother, she carries water on her head and helps manage Addada’s health. It was heartwarming and incredible to witness this young woman care for her family with little to no resources. Having helped care for my own grandmother, I appreciated how special this was and how difficult it must be. It was a privilege to be invited to their home and I am humbled by my time spent with them.