|Ally, Tricia, and me with the Desorme family.|
The Village of Joy is located in the town of Phaeton. It sits on a lagoon. As a result, many of the men who live in the village fish for a living. That was the case for the Desorme family. Every day, Mr. Desorme went out on the lagoon to fish. One day, three years ago, he didn’t return. He drown while fishing. Now, Mrs. Desorme is a single mom with two children, an eighteen year old son and a nine year old daughter. To support the family, Mrs. Desorme sells goods such as soap and dry spaghetti in the market when she can.
Mrs. Desorme's income was insufficient to cover the expense of a good home. Before receiving their Food for the Poor (FFP) home, they lived in a house built with sticks and mud. Over time, the rain caused the mud to wash away, often leaving the sticks exposed and making it possible for rain and critters to get inside. The roof also leaked. As a result, the Desorme’s used to pray that it would not rain. Now, they pray for rain because the rain coming off the roof is captured in a cistern, which gives them fresh water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and flushing the toilet.
|The Desorme's living room. A few families have wood dining room tables and chairs. A few families do not have any furniture in their living rooms. Most families furnish their living rooms with plastic chairs, like the ones shown here.|
The Desorme’s home was furnished very simply. In the living room, the seating area consisted of four plastic chairs and a small plastic table. Shelves and a table displayed the family’s meager possessions. Their one unusual possession was a pink castle-shaped play tent. Most children in the village do not own much in the way of toys. A few lucky ones own a bicycle—more for transportation than for play. Occasionally, a child possesses a doll or a stuffed animal. In general, toys are luxury items that most families cannot afford. Even seeing it firsthand, it is difficult to grasp the magnitude of their poverty. It just seems so surreal.
When you support the Village of Joy, you give families like the Desorme's hope for a better future. On their behalf, thank you from the bottom of my heart!