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As we render assistance to the children’s homes of Africa we find that they often use our funding in order to buy food for the children. The most expensive food includes meat, fruits and vegetables. With the objective of helping them become self sustaining we have started teaching them methods whereby they can obtain these essential foods without expending their precious money.
As all homes buy their vegetables at the local outdoor market we have given them a method that will provide them with all the vegetables they need at no cost. On market day the house mother goes to each vendor and asks for a single item. It could be one tomato, one banana or one carrot. Merchants see almost no value in a single item of this kind and willingly accommodate the simple request. If reluctant the mother asks for only a blemished product that would otherwise not be sold. In return for the item the mother expresses genuine gratitude for the precious gift. She then proceeds to the next vendor and makes a similar request. By the end of the morning the mother has more food than she can carry and each merchant is happy that they could help the children without suffering themselves.
Several of the mothers have now employed the process and now have cut their vegetable cost to zero and are welcomed by the merchants in the market who look forward to the expression of gratitude each time they give “one tomato”.
In Africa they have a phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” This method to obtaining food is the direct application of that principle. Most people want to help but those with little don’t know how they can contribute without causing hardship to themselves. This request is simple, clear and within the limits of those approached. It is working!