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Life In An African Village

Here is a true life story of an African Child. Life in the city is not the same as life in the villages. There is electricity in the cities and big towns but just kerosene lamps in the villages. Li...




LIFE IN AN AFRICAN VILLAGE - A TRUE LIFE STORY OF AN AFRICAN CHILD - HOW AFRICANS SURVIVE IN RURAL AFRICA. Life is tough in Africa. Life is very difficult in Africa especially in the villages and small towns. Most village people in Africa are subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families. Most villages in Africa have no schools and the children in these villages end up subsistence farmers just like their poor parents. In Sub-Saharan Africa for example (especially in the eastern part of Ghana and Ivory Coast), most farmers have large acres of cocoa farms attached to the regular farms. Although cocoa is a cash crop, the poor farmers get very little to nothing at all from their cocoa farms why because most farmers don't have the money to spray their farms and once the farms become infested(which is a very common situation), all their hardwork just go in vain. Some farmers don't have the money to buy fertilizers while others don't even have money to buy viable seeds. Also, since most of these farmers are subsistence farmers who depend mostly on their farms for food and support, whenever there is a bad harvest (especially in times of drought and bad weather conditions), their entire families go hungry the entire season. Most villages in Africa have no access to good drinking water. Most children wake up very early in the morning and walk miles upon miles to nearby streams to fetch drinking water and water for domestic purposes. Most of the streams in Africa are full of water-borne diseases such as river blindness, sleeping sickness, diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and other water based diseases like guinea worm, and Bilharzias. Malaria (water-related disease) kills people in record numbers in SubSaharan African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leon, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo, etc. Guinea worm disease for example is a major health problem in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Due to water scarcity in certain parts of Northern and Eastern Africa, most village people in these areas suffer from water-scarce diseases like trachoma and scabies. Since most children in African villages do not get access to primary education, they become trapped in their various villages all their lives. Those who manage to escape from the trap into big cities and towns find themselves trapped again in slums (some worse than life in the villages). Here is a true life story of an African Child. Life in the city is not the same as life in the villages. There T here is electricity in the cities and big towns but just kerosene lamps in the villages. Life in the cities run 24/7 non-stop. Life in the villages run from sunrise to sunset. Darkness and insects take over once the sun goes down. This story shows the way of  life and how people survive in rural Africa. Poverty is not something new in Africa. In fact, poverty was there before man and it has become part of life, attaching itself to nature like the blood through our veins. We cannot see it clearly or feel its presence under normal circumstances but especially when the heart is beating so fast and the blood moves up and down harshly through our chests but the harm might have been done already. The Poor is poor and the rich is rich but life still goes on in Africa, displaying all levels of poverty. There are varieties in culture and natural resources but a specific culture common to all, The culture of Poverty. The Culture of poverty appears to be the same throughout the communities in Africa especially around the sub-Saharan Africa. From Senegal to Gambia, Guinea to Guinea Bissau, sierra-Leone to Liberia, Ivory coast to Gold Coast ( Ghana), Togo to Benin, Nigeria to Cameroon and above all, DR. Congo. Within these individual communities per se, there exist different groups of people forming tribes, clans, extended families, villages and towns who are categorize based on their individual distinctive characteristics such as different languages, staple foods, taboos and norms. However, all these groups partake or share almost equally in this unique culture (culture of poverty). Taking a small village like Fuman in Ghana for example, it should not be a surprise to see it display if not all, most m ost of the aspects of poverty in Africa. Life in poverty, some causes of poverty and may be its prevention. Life is the same in my village and it is staying out on the baobab tree all these seasons. Departing from the main road, notice the face of  poverty along the way. It appears to be wearing a veil but tends to be a catapult and eventually a hunter near the green. It hides itself beyond the mountains and hills but reveals its true colors beneath the green. The birds continue to sing its favorite song even though it refuses to dance to the tune. Departing from the main street is nothing but a wonder, a different world all together. The road is bumpy and the weather is sunny. Beside this road is the evergreen. The tall trees continue to flourish, canopying the shorter ones who depend on the mercies of the creator, for a little sunlight. Nowadays, beside the sound of the birds do not be surprise to hear the roaring voices of the chain saw along this road, pulling down the mighty odum and sapele trees of  ancient times just for timber. Descending down the road leading to the village appears these numerous foot paths, branching north and forth from the main road, like a network of channels in the termitarium (Ant hill), taking people into and out of their cocoa farms. Just a few steps appear these erected structures, thatched and roofed with dry grasses sometimes with some rusty sheets on them, housing human souls from the serpents and scorpions at night. Mosquitoes do their part at night, biting even the eyeballs, digging through the bodies in search of gold and raising the temperature to a thousand degrees Celsius within a few days. Because there is no pipe borne water in my village, you will mostly find little children with big buckets and pans heading towards the riverside to fetch water especially in the morning and in the evenings. THE LIVING CONDITIONS IN AFRICA. This river serves as the main source of drinking water and water for domestic purposes. Even when boiling was intended to kill the germ that causes cholera, what about the numerous black flies that cause night blindness. When the guinea worms approaches thee with heavy hearts, who are you to turn the temperature low and so goes the tradition of death. When Cholera designs the throats of men, forget about the deadly diphtheria that tears children into pieces and above all, when mighty polio captures the legs, how good is soccer to the soul. Dry season on this river is nothing but joy but the small canoes children make for their expedition in the dry season, paddle themselves in the next season. DISEASES IN AFRICA Cutlass and Hoe for the boy, Kitchen for the girl. Education depends on the father's pocket and when more hands are needed on the farm, children born in the farm remain there all the days of their lives. On Mondays, few children are seen treading downhill or riding on their fathers' second hand bicycles, sometimes whistling their Sunday school halleluiah tunes , waving friends and neighbors, or reciting the difficult ABC alphabets all the way downhill. Even if cutlasses and hoes should turn into pencils and chalks, kitchen remains the formal office of the girl child. HOW GOOD IS GIRL CHILD EDUCATIO E DUCATION N TO THE "EMPTY-POCKETED"? "EMPTY-POCKETED"? WOULDN'T THE GIRL DROP OUT OF SCHOOL WHEN SHE GETS PREGNANT OR GET MARRIED AND MESS THINGS UP ALONG THE WAY? ISN'T IT THE DUTY OF A RESPONSIBLE WOMAN TO DO THE HOUSEHOLD CHORES AND TAKE CARE OF CHILDREN? IF EVERYBODY IS LEAVING THE HOUSE FOR SCHOOL, THEN HOW GOOD OR WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE AND IN THIS SOCIETY OF EXTENDED FAMILY SYSTEM, WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF THE HALFDEPARTED SOULS (OLD MEN AND WOMEN)? Such are some of the questions that keep most girls out from writing their names. If you educate a man you educate only one person but if  you educate a woman, you educate the whole nation. (A wise saying). However, this is just the philosophy of the rich and the educated themselves in the cities but in a rural community like Fuman where traditional institutions and norms are the parliament of the day, tradition remains the same especially among the traditional believers. GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN AFRICA Subsistence farming rather than commercial farming. Farmers grow crops and rear animals but just to feed themselves and their families. Hoes and cutlasses instead of tractors and combined harvesters and hence just a handful of farm products from the fields. In this age of  irrigation, only two farming seasons remain in Fuman. The Dry season and the Wet season. The dry season is accompanied by droughts and bush fires leading to about six months of hunger and hardship. There are rampant bush fires in and around neighboring villages that destroy almost all the maize on the fields and sometimes the few yams in the mounds and hence helping design the legs of kids and pulling off the few hairs off their heads during this season. Bush fires don't only destroy the farms but cause disaster to the virgin forests, killing even the millipede and the centipedes that fertilize the soil. Sheep, goats and the cattle suffer the consequences the most. No fresh grasses but just dusty air that blows across the Sahara desert. Most farm animals die from eating poisonous leaves due to extreme starvation. They are sometimes led to unknown grazing fields to graze down their tiny souls. Some of these actions are due to illiteracy. Poor farming practices especially burning the field after clearing the land. Most farmers are illiterates and unable or are not ready to accept new ideas. LIFE IN AFRICA POOR FARMING PRACTICES Bush fires really destroy the virgin forest but it is not fair to blame bushfire for all the dangers poverty poses to the environment. Man must eat Yam in order to survive but yam must be cooked before eating. The three-footed red clay stoves really perform their duties but only when supplied with enough Firewood. The few coal-pots really cook faster than the three-footed red clay stoves but they need plenty charcoal to fuel the process. Some trees are pulled down just for firewood and others are burned for charcoal and hence the increase in population becomes directly proportional to the number of trees pulled down per unit square area since more mouths to be fed. living conditions in Africa The Wet season to most people is better than the dry season because there is plenty to eat during this time. Up and down the fields, are greener pastures for the farm animals. Beside the cocoa farms are setaside fields for subsistence farming during this period. Maize tassels across these fields and the slender leaves of yams coil around the base of trees in their attempt to reach the sunlight. The old leaves fall and are replaced by new ones creating once again, peaceful shade beneath the cocoa plants. Not only this, Mango trees, Pear trees, Pineapples, Guava, Oranges, all display their natural values and hence plenty to eat. Tomatoes are found lying here and there. Mangoes in the gutters and oranges left to rot on the trees. Cassava really looses its value during this period while yams just remain in the mounds waiting for deliverance. During this period, since there are no storage facilities or better preservation methods, these perishable goods just go rotten while food turns into blood in the dry season. Moreover, despite the fact that this season brings more food to eat, it is also accompanied by most of the deadly diseases within these regions of the world. Malaria, the most deadly disease is very common during this period. The enough rain during this time are collected in the potholes and broken pots lying here and there beside the houses and within the bushes around, creating comfortable breeding places for mosquitoes. Temperatures are mostly high, accompanied by severe headaches, and shivering and if not lucky, death. The percentage of cholera and diarrhea also rise during this period causing more deaths than usual. Meanwhile a mosquito net is just a dollar. (One Poor African) By: Chiara. CAN I HELP AFRICA? HOW CAN I HELP AFRICA? WELL, THERE ARE MANY MORE THINGS YOU CAN SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY. YOU CAN DONATE TO CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS "UNICEF" AND "FEED THE CHLDREN" ..ETC.. YOU CAN GO TO AFRICA AND SEE THINGS FOR YOURSELF AND SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP. YOU CAN HELP SAVE A CHILD'S LIFE TODAY AND YOU CAN HELP CHANGE THE HARSH LIVING CONDITIONS IN AFRICA FOR THE BETTER. YOU CAN SPREAD THE WORD TO OTHERS AND HELP GIVE VOICE TO THE POOR IN AFRICA . YOU CAN GIVE SOMEONE A DECENT LIFE AND HELP BUILD A HAPPY HOME FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE. FORTUNATE. DON'T BE AFRAID TO TRAVEL TO AFRICA BECAUSE AFRICANS ARE VERY FRIENDLY AND HOSPITABLE. AFRICANS DO NOT FAKE THEIR SMILES AND THERE ARE NO STRANGERS IN AFRICA SO GO AND HELP!