Today I saw a grown woman cry. I watched her fight the tears and I watched her lose the fight. I watched her battle to contain her emotions and I watched her fail.
I watched as a tide of feelings overwhelmed her and all she could do was cry. And all I could do was watch.
She leaned against a 40-foot container; ignoring the snow, the cold and the people who had spent the greater part of the day loading boxes into the container – her volunteers.
Somewhere, someday…soon, within the next three months – the contents of that container will find their way into the eager hands of children in Zimbabwe’s obscure town of Chivhu sent by one woman from the State of New York, in the city of Albany in the United States of America.
The crying woman is known as Teresa Dangwa; I do not know her age and until 72 hours ago; I had never heard of her.
I know she grew up in Tshabalala and which explains her flawless Ndebele; I know she comes from Chivhu and that although she has traveled thousands of miles from her home town – her heart never left.
I know that she is a rare breed of Zimbabwe’s emerging philanthropic women – with the desire and commitment to sow back into the land where her roots are imbedded and today she sent a 40-foot container of books, hospital beds, toys, clothes, cutlery, bedding and furniture to Africa, to Zimbabwe and to a community of children in Chivhu.
Over a thousand boxes, over a dozen pair of hands that worked over a period of 6 hours in the ice, cold and snow to pack boxes to Africa; but they packed something more than boxes – Teresa shipped hope to Africa.
Through her organization, Dangwa Initiative – Teresa is one more life sacrificed in the crusading search to alleviate the suffering of Zimbabwe’s most vulnerable and marginalized social groups and amplifying the silent screams of girls who want their abusers to know that: “Virgins do not cure AIDS”.
Today I saw a grown woman cry.
I watched the tears of relief fall down her face, watched her eyes sparkle in gratitude and watched her smile in triumph – the most desperate longing of her heart finally realized and neatly allotted to boxes in a 40-foot container.
I don’t know Teresa Dangwa very well but one thing I know is that it is her life’s greatest desire to always be the hand that God uses to ship hope to Africa – one box at a time, one container at a time and one shipment at a time.
I took a detour that landed me in Albany, New York and I am glad that I did because I got the chance to meet one of the warmest and most passionate women I am proud call a fellow country women.
And somewhere in Chivhu, someone’s child will be touched, blessed and changed by the gift from the hand of a crying stranger.
Today I watched a grown woman cry over container of boxes and all I could do was watch. Because her weeping was about more than the boxes; it was about a dream realized and a dream that she will repeatedly work towards fulfilling – a dream to ship something to Africa – something called hope.
(For more details visit Shipping hope to Africa)
*This trip to America was funded in part by the US Embassy’s department of Public Affairs in Zimbabwe.