Introducing Faim No More
My mom was born and raised in Africa and when I was a child I traveled to Abidjan. I will always remember my visit. What struck me most were the children running to us in the streets as we offered them candy. They had so little and we had so much. Even at 6 years of age I remember thinking about our inequity.
Throughout the years we have stayed in touch with some of the people there who touched our family. Bila, our family chef, is one such person. He is an extraordinary man. Honest and loyal with true values and dignity. I remember his big personality and even bigger smile.
Shortly after my family left the Ivory Coast, Bila returned to his family in Burkino Faso. My aunts went to visit Bila many years ago. They found his village was nothing more than a “rag-tag group of mud huts with nothing inside them but the odd bundle.” They share a communal kitchen in the middle of their courtyard with a few broken terra-cotta pots (but nothing was ever cooking in the pots). The children in the village had distended bellies but beaming smiles. They flocked to my family to hold their hands. What struck my family most was the fact that they had no water in the village. They had to walk several kilometers to a neighboring village to draw water from the well. Since that visit, my aunts have sponsored many initiatives to help Bila’s village. From digging a well to providing seed, food and livestock.
When we reconnected with Bila a few months ago and asked how he was doing, he responded “J’ai Faim” which means, “I am hungry.” Drought had touched his community and their crop suffered. The well is likely what saved their lives.
I have had African bracelets in my jewelry box since I was little. As much as I donate and downsize I have never given these away. They are unique and represent my past. I recently started wearing these more and everywhere I go I get compliments on them. When I heard Bila was hungry I knew there was something I could do. Bila and I have worked through intermediaries, phone calls, emails, photos and bank transfers. Last week my shipment arrived and now I am able to introduce you to, “Faim no More.” Hungry no More. This is my small effort to do something BETTER for Bila, his family and his community. In turn, I will provide a little piece of African style and culture to the people who enjoy these beautiful bracelets. My hope is when you wear them you feel as I do. I think of Bila and his community and give gratitude for all I have and am able to share.