Photo by Dave Anderson for World Ark magazine
I was browsing through the Heifer International magazine (World Ark) recently and came upon the photo above. It just grabbed me. The woman, Nai Paulo, is making tea. I was drawn to the bright colors and the elaborate ornamentation as it stands in contrast with the sandy, bare soil and the preparation of tea. The story tells that the tea is made from tea leaves, a spoonful of raw sugar, water and camel mik. After the tea, she will make porridge for the village children's breakfast. The story is how camels (initially provided by Heifer International) have improved the lives of the Maasai people in Tanzania.
Heifer International is an organization I admire. It gives families in impoverished ares (in the US as well as internationally) livestock or seedlings, along with training, to help them improve nutrition and earn an income. For example, a family can use camels for milk, chickens for eggs and bees for honey. Heifer asks that the family pass along offspring from their gift to others in the community. From the website, "Heifer's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways."
This Christmas, I will begin a new tradition with my niece. I'll talk to her about how some children don't have food or toys, and that she can help. I'll let her pick rabbits, chickens, bees, etc., that we will contribute. I think, even at three, she can learn the joy in sharing.