As Aichata Barry weaves strands of palm fronds on the dirt floor of her home, it's easy to see the uncertainty and heartache written on her face.
Will selling these weavings be enough to buy my children some food?
I wonder if my husband will be able to send money soon.
What happens if the pain comes again, and I cannot care for the children?
Aichata's headaches are so severe she has kept her oldest daughter out of school to help care for her younger sisters. Caring for the family was easier when Aichata's son was still alive. He died in a motorcycle accident, and the grief from it is sometimes still too much to bear.
Aichata's husband works as a livestock breeder and must travel far from their home in western Mali to search for work. Violence and the changing climate mean those who depend on cattle and other livestock often go long periods without a stable herd in one place. It’s been some time since her husband has sent money home.
She needs food and medical care, but she can’t afford both
"This is the eighth month of real hunger," she says, casting a gaze onto her three children playing outside in the hot sun. "My husband is working, but it is because of my sickness … whatever he gets goes into my treatment."
Aichata's headaches come and go. When they arrive, she must rest immediately to stave off days of misery, reclining amidst palm fronds and the misery of knowing her children will go hungry once more.
Burdened with illness and her children's suffering, Aichata is a neighbor in need. At a time when global hunger is on the rise, we can only reach those like Aichata when caring people like you take action to love your neighbor.