Below are a few of the profound ways that our mighty world leaders have lifted up themselves and their people during this crisis.
Xoli Fuyani ~ Capetown, South Africa
In South Africa, Xoli has been able to draw on our support to bring sanitary pads, hand sanitizer, masks, a journal, a small chocolate, mobile data, and hope to her girls in the townships of Khayelitsha and Lavender Hill.
“These girls are particularly affected by the secondary impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. Many people living in townships rely on informal sector employment, much of which has dried up under the lockdown, leading to unemployment. Moms are often caught between buying bread for their family or sanitary pads for their daughters. These are very difficult decisions to make when living under economic stress.”
Amidst all of this, Xoli has been able to focus on her long-term students, a group of brave teenage girls. Each afternoon, she meets with her girls on WhatsApp, conducting her girl’s group to support their need for connection and perspective. Our resources not only supported these basic supplies, but Xoli has been able to provide the girls with internet so that they can stay in touch.
Without internet, none of these quarantined teenage girls can reach out to check on and uplift each other. Information about self-care in these times would not be accessible. Many of these girls are the leaders in their families, providing healthcare information and advocacy for those in need. Our love in action has supported their capacity to meet up online one hour a day.
Of course, after years of empowering the girls to make their own reusable cloth menstrual pads, it has been sad for Xoli and I to now be guiding them back to using disposable products. Hopefully, this will be a short-lived new/old norm, but for now without water there is no way to wash the reusable pads. Xoli has worked diligently to get water supplies into the township in a way that did not cause large groups to gather and expose one another unnecessarily to Covid-19. Thank you Xoli for your powerful advocacy and steadfast tender loving care.
“Golden Bridge funds were able to ease the situation and brought back Dignity for our girls.”
~ Xoli Fuyani
DJ Grin the Peacemaker ~ Ohio, USA
Donation Mahanga, otherwise known as DJ Grin the Peacemaker, is a resettled Congolese refugee living in Akron with his wife, Sifa, and his 5 children. He describes this time in the following way:
“It’s been a traumatic situation for me and my family/community, more than it was when we were fleeing out of our country Congo with over 6 million people killed!! As a youth and community servant, it is the most hectic moment in life to be told to be in your house, not to go to work when monthly bills can’t stop coming in, being told not to visit nor being visited by anyone in our community.”
DJ respects that he could have lost his life like so many others who faced genocide, famine, and disease as refugees. He describes the miracles in his life of meeting the right people and the Golden Bridge community, the gifts of receiving words of encouragement and support from all of us. With our help, he was able to step out of a work situation that was putting him at risk. DJ now aims to create new ways of generating income. For now, he is recovering his health and reaching forward to his community, encouraging others to be safe and spirited in these rugged times. DJ will continue to bring his musical ministry to the world in ways that will heal, educate, and inspire. Check his video out above. This epic peacemaker is grinning love and gratitude to us all.
“God created us for a purpose, and we can’t go away from it, neither can we die before we accomplish that mission.”
~ Donation Mahanga
Yolanda Demetrio ~ Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Yolanda Demetrio is the founder and director of Espaço Aberto, a revered dance studio serving hundreds of children, teens, and adults in the Rio de Janeiro area, especially in Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil. We learned that the Covid-19 virus is fast-moving through her community. It is impossible to quarantine at home with people living so close to each other in the favela.
Without jobs and internet, information and supplies are hard to come by. People are literally being left to die on the streets. Yolanda has been a steadfast leader, providing food staples, love, cleaning products, and online dance classes to her people.
“Com ajuda de Golden Bridge pude ajudar que ficaram felizes porque tinham o que comer os dias seguintes.”
“With the help of Golden Bridge, I could help families who were happy because they had something to eat in the following days.”
~ Yolanda Demetrio
Yolanda talks about how this basic support is “…saving our lives.”
Our Golden Bridge team knows that our lives are forever woven with this beloved community. We save and serve one another’s lives in different ways. Our work together in Rocinha this past year has deepened our bonds of love and shared devotion to raising healthy leaders in wholesome communities. We trust that we have an alliance that will be strengthened through Covid-19.
“Obrigada por deixar essa raiz com essas meninas mais forte para superar o inesperados. Você não tem noção o quanto sua estadia com elas as transformaram encorajarem. Gratidão eterna gratidão.”
“Thank you for leaving this root with the girls stronger to overcome the unexpected. You don’t have the notion of how much your time with them transformed and encouraged them. Gratitude, eternal gratitude.”
We feel this way too Yolanda. Gratitude, eternal gratitude!
All prayers on deck dear friends.
More stories of resilience and creative liberation to come in the weeks ahead!
We welcome your additional donations to support our leaders in supporting their communities around the world: