“You can give without loving, but cannot love without giving.”
RecycloCraftz is fortunate to work in the capital city of Lusaka, not too far from the local hospitals. The problem is most people in the compound of Kamanga do not have extra money to afford healthcare nor the funds to hire transport to take a sick family member to the local clinic. In focusing on a multi-faceted encouragement of our people group, we foster improvement of living conditions for healthier living – clean beds, mosquito nets, feminine hygiene materials, and financial gifts when crisis situations arise.
Zambia has the 7th highest AIDS infection rate in the world. More than 1 in 7 adults is infected with HIV. Talking about the disease and one’s status is taboo but we seek to openly communicate with our people and those outside the ministry about seeking medical help to determine the presence and treatment of the HIV virus. Also discussing the importance of purity before marriage to decrease the incidence of pre-marital pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.
Zambian hospitals and clinics operate differently than what we are used to in the US. Family members are required to bring food to feed their loved one, whom they also must bathe and tend to as they lay on wire frames with minimal bedding. In the past our contribution of yogurt, $10 and a trip down the street to the pharmacy to purchase medicine, which had run out in the clinic, saved the life of a member’s husband who had made it through 47 days of a 60 day regimen to treat TB. TB frequently occurs when one is struggling with HIV.
19% of the people, including children, in Zambia die from malaria. This is just one of the common diseases that can be controlled with a simple mosquito net and treated with proper hygiene and medical care. The average life expectancy in Zambia is 52 years of age, compared to 78 in the United States. One statistic says that 10% of the children die before reaching the 6th grade. Sadly, the young daughter of one of artisans died in January 2019 simply because mom delayed in taking her to the clinic. The child’s widowed grandmother, also a RecycloCraftz member has not been to a weekly meeting nor out of her house in over a year due to pain in her knees limiting mobility. $5/ week would provide transport, physical therapy and medication that would restore this woman to her normal activities.
Another widow and member, Mary Daka, has been blessed by the RecycloCraftz ministry. Long ago she lost her leg in bus accident. Hobbling on crude wooden crutches, Mary was fitted for a prosthesis, but it was such an anomaly and required many trips to a distant specialty clinic, she never used it on a regular basis. However, Mary has received lightweight durable aluminum crutches that have been adapted as she ages.
As a pediatric occupational therapist, founder Tracy Murray looks forward to living in Zambia again to share the knowledge she has with those in need. It is said that there are only 2 OTs in a country the size of Texas. Currently Tracy is privileged to work with friends running a compound based therapy ministry when she is in country. Organizing therapeutic mission trips is one of the visions Tracy has once she returns to full time Zambian living in 2021.