Two Acadiana women traveled to Africa to make a difference in the lives of strangers. In the process those strangers became family. Fran Clarke and Heather Lecky sat down with me to discuss their adventure.
"The graciousness of the people in Liberia is so profound, it's paradoxical to the hardships they live in," says Fran Clarke of Yassah's Sisters.
For fourteen years, civil was destroyed the country's infrastructure; hospitals, schools, hotels, every type of building imaginable.
"You have a country trying to rebuild itself without roads, electricity and without clean running water… you know those hardships we knew we'd encounter, we didn't go there as Americans looking for luxury." The group made the trip with one clear mission. Yassah's Sisters non-profit organization has been helping Liberian women purchase farming supplies since 2010. They started with 700 dollars to help 25 women but quickly expanded to over 110 women in several villages. They brought a palm oil press, cassava mill, nut sheller and other machines to increase productivity. The result has been nothing short of revolutionary. "It really doesn't take a lot to make a profound difference in the life of a women living in poverty, we don't have to make a huge sacrifice of ourself to improve their lives," says Lecky.
The women brought back colorful treasures and toys to remember their trip but most importantly they gained a new perspective and appreciation. Both women hope to return to Africa to continue their mission.
For more information on Yassah's Sisters visit Changeagentlive.org