Fingerprints Across Africa invites you to make a difference in someone’s life. We adhere to the saying, “Once someone touches your life the fingerprints last forever,” and we invite you to join us in leaving your fingerprints on the lives of others — specifically in Africa. Sometimes, though, making a difference in someone else’s life happens in seemingly small ways. Let me provide one example.
We had a medical team come to the village of Dubai on the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi. As usual, each morning about 4 a.m. the villagers began to line up even though the team would not arrive until after 8 a.m. This team consisted of dentists, opticians, pharmacy techs, a couple of doctors, and some nurses along with non-medical personnel. In many parts of Africa, quality medical care is very limited with people often having to travel long distances to find a “real” doctor. In addition, the doctors from America would explain what the problem was and how to treat it — unusual to those who are normally not told what is wrong with them.
On this particular day, we were seeing the normal maladies for this area. Then an emaciated 13-year old boy slowly navigated his way through the crowd with a grandparent on each side propping him up. Due to his physical appearance and poor health, this young man was led to the front of the line as he did not have the strength to wait long. He soon confirmed our suspicions…this young man was dying of AIDS. He did not come that day for a cure — he knew there wasn’t one. He also did not come for ARV’s (anti-retrovirals that were not available at that time in the country) that may prolong his life. He came for aspirin. You see, neither this boy nor his grandparents had any money for any kind of pain medication to ease his suffering. While the medical team could not add years to his life, they could make his remaining time more comfortable.
The medical team not only touched his short life by providing pain medication, they also provided spiritual hope for him and his grandparents. While the boy only lived a few more weeks, he was able to spend his last days more comfortable because a team from America had come to his village and gave him over-the-counter pain medications. When you touch someone’s life, they touch you back. Hundreds of people were treated that week by the team, but this 13 year-old boy touched all our hearts and made a lasting impression on us.
This October we are taking a medical team to Malawi. If you are interested in partnering with us (by going or by giving), please contact us or visit fpaaf.org. You will be amazed at how much you can touch and impact another’s life.
TAGS: Africa, AIDS, aspirin, Malawi, medical team CATEGORIES: Rhonda