March 2019 Newsletter
By: aafadmin
Mar 18, 2019

Dear friends,

9642de9a-8e2e-4dda-9a91-7d9e604e9886“A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is the expression which came to mind when one of our team in South Africa sent this photo to me this week. It is a glorious picture of HOPE.

Mumsie, who has worked with AAF on garden projects for the past decade, is delicately holding the hope of a healthy vegetable seedling while eager Zulu Grannies sit poised, expectantly taking in the sight of life within her fingers.It is said that ‘where there is life, there is hope’. AAF is bringing real hope to so many.

Southern Africa is currently in the grip of a crippling drought which is devastating food security. The impending election is creating political unrest and food prices are climbing beyond the reach of many families. There is almost a national drought on hope.

Hope is a tremendous life force. It is worthy to note that hope can be packaged differently for people depending on their circumstances. Our hopes and dreams here in Australia are plentiful, and often very worthy. Rarely however, do they reach into the realm of basic food and shelter, needs that are essential to sustain life. Commonly our hopes are for our loved ones’ happiness, good health or enriching holidays. The grannies in this photo have simple hopes – often grounded in their families’ basic need to put food into children’s bellies, water in their buckets, shoes on their feet, medication for a sick or dying child, or a lock on the door so they can sleep safely.

This is why this picture represents renewed hope. Our faithful team and generous donors tirelessly raise funds and awareness for people who are in desperate need, with very dim prospects. AAF employs Indigenous staff (unemployment is estimated at 70% in some regions) who develop relationships on the ground, allowing them to penetrate deep into remote communities. Our teams are well placed to locate the most desperate families living in mud huts dotted throughout surrounding mountains, locals who would otherwise have limited access to employment, transport, running water or electricity. AAF is transforming lives with renewed hope.

Mumsie exudes hope. Friends who have met Mumsie recall her warmth, wide smile, and enormous hugs. Mumsie educates communities about the benefits of growing fresh veggies to feed hungry children or adults on medication for HIV/AIDS. She teaches locals how to nurture the seedlings that AAF provides so that they bear fruit. She educates them about fencing, mulching and watering as well as teaching locals how to creatively solve problems. AAF has seen countless lives transformed through Mumsie’s efforts, her gardens and the rich relationships she has cultivated. The success of a crop enables a family to be self-sufficient. Households are empowered away from receiving free hand outs which gives birth to renewed self-worth. Glorious hope indeed!

The challenges faced by these communities extend beyond the need for food and shelter. While Mumsie works alongside families to help them become self-sufficient, children who are in desperate need of birth certificates, education, medication and simple life skills are identified, nurtured and grown by other faithful members of the AAF team. Some of these team members are living examples of the transforming impact that AAF is having in communities, having benefited themselves from AAF’s projects. This cycle of hope has the power to break the cycle of poverty.

A picture is truly worth a thousand words. Please donate now to help AAF bring real and lasting hope to vulnerable families yet to be reached.

Jane Gray
AAF Boardmember.