I adore the BBC radio channel. From my driver’s seat I can be carried away, via radio waves, to Syrian refugee camps, Whale sightings in Ireland or into the home of a celebrated author. When a recent story showcased a woman who rescues Monarch Butterflies, I was mesmerized. The woman interviewed spends her free time mending the broken wings of one of natures most fragile yet beautiful insects, and when she is done, they fly once again. It was an unexpected story of the power of one person to liberate the most minute of creatures. Listening to the words of the announcer, I was captivated by the motivation of the woman who was dedicated to this passion of hers. Her reward for the delicate and time-consuming work she did was only to see the Monarch’s fly once again: a momentary glimpse as they airlifted themselves back into a brief cycle of life and inevitably, death.
Eva is our Finding Freedom “Monarch.” Exactly one year ago we met Eva in a Guatemalan medical clinic. One of our founding donors was on a visiting medical team, and Eva had found her way to the consultation room of this physician, seeking help for her malnutrition and depression. The grief over the recent loss of her husband and the concern over providing for her five children had left this rural Guatemalan mother broken in spirit and body. She was twenty pounds below her optimal weight, lived in a house that flooded during the Central American rainy season and she had no income source. Desperation oozed out of every pore.
It took much more than we anticipated to heal Eva. The women we take into our program in both Guatemala and Egypt are the poorest of the poor. Entrenched poverty creates havoc in every aspect of the lives of widows and their children and a complex care plan is required to create generational change.
A year after admission into FFF Eva has had regular FFF sponsored food supplements delivered to her house, she has been started in our micro business program and her children are being educated via FFF scholarships. We have secured legal rights for Eva to own the land that her husband left her.
Last month, as Eva stood in front of her donated refrigerator (photo, left, in the same blouse), which she will use to sell cold and frozen drinks, the change in her demeanor was noticeable to the most casual of observers. There is a brightness of spirit that comes with hope.
Yesterday we received a donation commitment that will be used to build Eva and her five children a new house, complete with a concrete floor, waterproof roof and intact walls. Eva and her children will sleep in dry beds and have a locked door for the first time ever.
At the end of their metamorphosis this family’s needs will have absorbed much of our administrated time and financial resources. Knitting this fragile family back together, so that they can live their purpose feels akin to healing a hundred butterfly wings, one delicate strand at a time. A Monarch is meant to fly: A mother is meant to parent from a position of strength. Parenting is much like flight…neither can take place with broken wings or dampened spirits.