Walking with the Costa Family Foundation
A mountain walk. In silence, one behind the other. Now and again a word, a pause, a comment on the walk itself, an encouraging, disbelieving look. On we go. Walking relentlessly, we arrive at far-flung places we could never have imagined reaching before today. And yet here we are. In North India, beside Tibetan children fleeing from the oppression of the Chinese government. We have built an orphanage, House 13, in the Tibetan Children’s Village of Dharamsala (TCV), and an entire floor in the University College of TCV of Bangalore. We march on to Togo. Here we accompany the youngsters of Maristella and Sister Patrizia, paying their school fees and books. And on again to Uganda, a country in which the life expectancy is little over 40 – half our own. Here we have started our two ‘green’ projects in cooperation with the indigenous community in Karamoja and in Mukono. We head to Afghanistan to help women, the weakest and most torn people of a country that has been subject to decades of never-ending violence. And then to Ethiopia to help street children – this project’s aim is to restore faith in humanity and the hope for these girls’ future. And then we head to Nepal where our small project helps the 2015 earthquake survivors in Nakkhu, a suburb of Kathmandu. We are on the march to help, meet, exchange, build, love, and smile. To live. The march of the Costa Family Foundation and the people who from time from time provide the links to reach all over the world is all about meeting and sharing. We do not drop a rucksack full of our cultural norms, knowledge, and privileges in the villages we reach. We tread lightly, emulating the children who know how to do it so well. Children: our future. They often teach us what is useful, to the extent we know what to look for in terms of support when we return to the base camp – full of comfort and privileges. And, more importantly, what to ask for and how to ask for it. Our big and varied family pulls out all the stops and, as soon as they have found enough resources, off they go again. Our rucksack is always by the door, ready for a new walk. Even when we are not actively marching we convey our message – by phone, by email, with reports, with meetings. Our projects are always with us – new ones to launch, problems to solve, obstacles to overcome. Every day there is a river to cross, a mountain pass to reach, a rockface to climb. Not to worry for we are well trained, we thrive on trust and determination. Marching comes easy when you know what is at stake. And we need to thank those who help us support others. Without our donors we would go nowhere. They too are very much a part of our family – a small and big family at the same time. What small and great things we can do. And now let us move on, for it is time to march again. Let us march together.