On this day of Thanksgiving I want to reach out and thank all of you–in the most heartfelt possible way— who have contributed monetarily to this profoundly worthy cause following my last article where I introduced Kama Trudgen and the nine women seeking to transform their own health and the health of their Yolngu community. Both Kama and the women in her care are deeply moved by the outpouring of support they are receiving from all of you. To them, this is a beautiful miracle—but they are still short of their essential monetary goal to make their humble need (and dream) a reality.
The Australian Indigenous Health Project launched by Kama and her husband, Tim has already raised just over $41,000 in donations from caring people, but this is still short of the $54,000 needed in order for ALL these deserving and health-challenged women to receive the help they need. They have just 11 days to reach this goal now and time is rapidly ticking…
Keep in mind, that these women are not asking for any sort of “handout”, but instead for an opportunity to create real, foundational self-empowerment. Lives are literally at stake in a very real way in this, and quite possibly the very future survival of other similarly suffering Aboriginal people groups throughout Australia who have a real potential to benefit from the success this project can offer. It is an opportunity for all of us to help right a grievous wrong and potentially even inspire indigenous people groups everywhere if this program is successful and the news of that is allowed to spread far and wide (which I will personally see to, to the extent I can).
There is also a very real urgency in all of this, as more people in the community are succumbing as I write this to entirely preventable ill health and even death—even since my earlier blog post a few days ago! My most recent email from Kama had this to say:
“I am trying to support these incredible ladies on a journey to rediscover their health, but along the way many of their very close family members have died. This is so heartbreaking, as it is often from preventable diseases that these guys are only just coming to understand. They have such a beautiful vision to help their community, but they are not there yet, and it is too late for many people that we love. It makes it feel very urgent, but at the same time nothing moves very quickly at all, which is a challenging tension. Of the three ladies who have worked most closely with me, one is now caring for her Dad who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, one recently buried her husband, and the other her youngest sister died suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago from a stroke, leaving behind a little son not much older than Eli. The funeral is only just about to start next week- as there is a queue of constant funerals here. Pretty depressing stuff, but the reality here…”
It is impossible for any of us to fathom the intense grief and pain these women live with as an ongoing daily reality. And it doesn’t have to be this way! WE can actually do something about it!
Some people ask the question Why the need to go anywhere? Why not simply do all this right where they are?
Kama is not paid to do the work she is doing (nor is she asking to be—regardless of how deserving she obviously is) and resources in Galiwin’ku are severely limited. Also, Kama herself has a two-year-old son and many other personal and community responsibilities, making it impossible for her to single-handedly simply create some kind of health retreat locally on her own from scratch with zero available infrastructure. Eventually, creating a local educational/health center run by and for this community is the goal– but first these women need to come to some measure of restoration of their own compromised health before they can hope to spread health to the rest of their community. That is why their traveling to this health retreat is so critical. As Kama rightfully points out: “You cannot expect the people who need the retreat themselves to be able to build it. They need to be empowered first to have the knowledge and skills to create it for their community.”
Kama went on to more optimistically share:
“We are now well past our tipping point, which means THIS IS HAPPENING!! We are super excited!! We have enough funds (at least to start) and that means we can go ahead with a smaller group. But we still hope to take the whole group along to Living Valley Springs, so that they can support each other, build knowledge, and be a strong transformative force when they return to Galiwin’ku. The more women we can take the stronger the foundation of this work.”
They are less than $13,000 away from reaching the goal that will allow all of these deserving women to take the next critical step in their healing, but time is running out—in more ways than one. Compared to many other worthwhile charities, the amount of money that is being sought here is minute— especially considering the very real life-and-death difference it will make. And it IS reachable!
As soon as I finish writing this post my plan is to go back to the Hope for Health site and contribute yet again. I am hoping many of you are willing and/or able to follow suit and do the same. If everyone my earlier post reached would have contributed just $10 we would have already far-exceeded the goal. Your moral support and heartfelt positive intentions are deeply appreciated and needed here— but the unfortunate bottom line, real-world practical need right now is money.
If there is any possibility at all that you can contribute more to this beautiful, life-saving cause, here is the link yet again: