You are reading this because you are a dear friend, family member, or supporter of our organization. We want to let you know how sincerely thankful we are for your many contributions of time, encouragement, prayer, and money. Because you are a friend and have been so generous we want to let you know about whats currently going on within the walls of Give Us Names HQ.
Last month, we sent two of our team members to Colombia to check on the Joya family and to interview the next five families that we would be raising money to help resettle this fall. Upon meeting with the Joyas, we learned that they have faced many unexpected challenges since returning to the countryside. From the teacher in their area quitting, to their house falling victim to unforeseen damages, the move wound up being a more difficult transition than anyone could have anticipated. As a result, we learned that after they harvest the rice we helped them plant, they may return to the city to find stable work and schooling for their children. We can't blame them for choosing to do what is best for their family, and we support whatever decision they make.
After hearing this news, and learning that many families in the city fear returning to the countryside because of the continued threat of violence and future displacement, we had to take a hard look at our Colombia programs. Is restoring home by resettling from the city to the countryside the best way we can help the displaced right now? Can we return families to the countryside despite inadequate infrastructure, sense of security, or guarantee of access to adequate healthcare and education? What is the outlook for families 1 year, 5 years, 10 years out? Is there a better way we can dedicate our time and resources to restore and protect home for the displaced? These are the questions that we are actively trying to answer. While we search for solutions, we feel it is necessary to pause our plans and proceed carefully.
For the past three years, we have all undertaken this work without pay, and with all of our hearts. Though incredibly fulfilling, this endeavor has started to take a toll on all of us, and we know that a team with no energy cannot accomplish a mission as great as ours. We believe that in the long term we will all benefit from stabilizing our present health and well being. The decision to take a step back has been a difficult one, and has not come without much deliberation, prayer, and wisdom sought from our board of directors and other trusted individuals.
With all of that said, the attached video explains where we are currently and our mindset moving forward. We will continue to search for the best ways that we can restore home for those who have had it taken away, to fight to protect home for those who still have it, and to give dignity to those who have no voice. Don't think for a minute that we are closing up shop. Despite the chalenges we currently face, this work is far from over.
Thank you for your support. We appreciate your prayers and thoughts now just as much now as we ever have. We all have much to be proud of, and what we have done has only come from the support of many like you. Though we cannot lay out our future plans in detail, we fully believe that this mission is not yet over.
Martin Luther King once chanted out this benediction of peace: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." We hope more deeply in that truth now than we ever have before.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact any of us.
With deep appreciation,
The Give Us Names Team