Punam Musahar didn’t choose to be born poor.
She didn’t choose to live on the floodplains of a large river on the farthest outskirts of India.
But Punam, her parents and her two siblings have no other choice. Their little piece of land, on the fringes of society and on the edge of disaster, is the only place the family can afford to live.
Life along the river is a constant gamble. While the soil is rich and fertile for growing food, the river is prone to sudden and catastrophic flooding — flooding that destroys their crops and sweeps away their livestock without warning. Punam still remembers the night the floodwaters came and pulled one of her playmates under the swiftly moving current, never to be seen again.
Today her family’s gardens are green with the promise of a plentiful harvest, but in her short life, Punam has learned not to count her chickens before they hatch. More than once, her family has gone to bed full of hope and awoken to the despair of total loss.
A single rush of water can mean a whole season of hunger for Punam, her parents and her younger sister and brother. During these times, what Punam wants most is food — even just a single meal to take the edge off.
But what she really needs is a better way of life.
What she really needs is for someone to teach her parents more flood-proof ways to grow their food, and a way for the villages upriver to warn her family that a flood is coming so they can move their livestock to safety.
What Punam really needs is for someone to love her family all the way through their difficult times — to feed them until they can learn and practice better ways to feed themselves.
As a Faithful Neighbor, your monthly gift will send love to families like Punam’s, walking alongside them until they’re back on their feet. Then, because of your sustained support, you’ll reach the next family with the help they need… until your love reaches every neighbor.