Dearest and devoted friends – students, parents and teachers -- of the Azawak,
How exciting to have you all present at the 5th Walk for Water being held at Lake Frank. As you spend your morning walking in compassion for the children of the Azawak, I sit here in the tropical rainforest of the Central African Republic. I’m impatient to share with you my experiences here with the Bayaka pygmies, also one of the world’s most underserved populations.
What strikes me the most after one month of working here is that no matter how difficult the conditions for the pygmies here are, they are nothing compared to our friends in the Azawak. Here, the forest provides abundant and delicious food, as well as streams of water to drink from. In the Azawak, our friends are lucky to have one bowl of rice to eat, and of course, one glass of mud to drink in one day. In the Azawak, luscious green forests and rivers filled with fish are replaced by neverending stretches of lifeless sand and dirt. There, the daily and pleasant rainfall and relatively mild temperatures are replaced by blistering heat and drought. The stark contrast between what I see here and what I’ve witnessed in Niger reminds me just how challenging the conditions in the Azawak are. It also helps me admire and respect my friends in the Azawak all the more, as they struggle to resist and survive despite their most hostile environment.
Thank you for everything you have done for the Azawak over these past several years. And thank you for your continued devotion. This trip to the Central African Republic has helped emphasize in my eyes just how desperately our friends in the Azawak need our continued support, not just to build the boreholes and bring water, but also help them have other forms of help – simple things that we take for granted on a daily basis such as proper health care, schools and education, a way to grow and have food… the list goes on!
Yours for the children in the Azawak,
|Around 100 people gathered|