When we think of poverty we often have a single image of malnutrition. However, poverty and a lack of access to medical care allow the diseases of impoverishment to flourish. Health and Dental Care are often completely inaccessible to people living in poor nations.
My daughter has taken a voluntary nursing position in a floating hospital called the Mercy Ship. The ship is a fully equipped hospital with operating theatres, an ICU ward, medical wards, CT machines and allied health care. The Mercy Ship travels around West Africa docking into strategic ports at the invitation of African Nations. When the Mercy Ship team arrives in a new port there is always a queue of thousands of people who have travelled a long way, often by foot, for help. They wait in hope and fear and absolute desperation.
Waiting in the queue in Madagascar was a young mum with a tiny baby. This little girl had a cleft lip and palate which made it impossible for her to suckle. She was born at 4.4kg but seven months later was just 2.2 kgs in weight. Her mother had been expressing breast milk and feeding this little girl every fifteen minutes to keep her daughter alive. Claire told me that when she unwrapped the baby and saw her malnourished little body she burst into tears and wanted to flee the room. This beautiful little girl was given emergency tube feeding. Her weight increased and the surgery was performed to repair her mouth and palate. When she left Mercy Ship she was a fat and healthy beautiful little baby girl and malnourished no longer.
While in Madagascar the Mercy Ship performed 1,696 life-saving surgeries, undertook 34,458 dental procedures, and the Medical Staff saw over 6,486 patients.
Poverty seems such a huge and overwhelming problem and impossible to overcome. However, when we choose Fair Trade the purchase helps to provide a living wage for the person who created the product. Fairtrade organisations invest in equipping communities and focus on enabling them to access markets with quality products. The income from the purchase of the product enables the producer to build their life and their own communities and contributes to breaking poverty strangleholds. It is such a small cost for us, but a great gift for the producer community. A gift that gives them the opportunity to walk away from poverty and the diseases of impoverishment.
My daughter Claire is also a gorgeous model in a Global Mamas Dress for our online store. I am so proud of her.