I am called D’Tamsir Oussmane Deme. I am the Ambassador in Senegal of Jyba on behalf of my mother, Ilonka Harezi and her project, Jyba Children Worldwide.
I would like to tell you the story of our meeting and the beautiful works that we did together. I met my adopted mother Ilonka Harezi on Facebook. I just like to say she is my biological mother because she makes me feel this way and I am proud to be part of her spirit family even though I realize I am not even physically there. She is always there for me, and my people, so even though I lost my biological mother, she has filled that deep space with her love. So for me, she is all.
In the village of my Grandmother and Grandfather, it has many large difficulties. There was no water and no medical care and the villagers suffer greatly. Because of this scourge that ravaged our society, women died in childbirth, children had dysentery and were infested with flies, and many other issues like malaria because we had no fresh drinking water. During this very difficult time, Ilonka, my mother, reached out to us with Jyba, and she and her lifelong friend, Helen, drilled a well for the village, centrally located to be available to all. After we had water, the people were so happy and this helped with many diseases and problems right away. Mother said she had empowered us to work together for great things that we would do if we would just follow her instructions and I would be her Ambassador to lead the people. I immediately agreed to take this responsibility.
Next, my Mother empowered and organized us, the Jyba kids, from her home in the USA to mobilize the villagers, dig trenches, bury our garbage that covered the village grounds, and suddenly our village became a clean model for the surrounding places. Many then came to see what the Jyba Children were able to do and encourage their parents to do. We were all very proud and are happy for other village chiefs to come and see what we did to change the quality of life by simply cleaning our streets and alleyways. Again, the disease rate went down even more, and our neighbor death moved away. Our people and chiefs were so happy that our people continued to meet and pulled together to maintain the healthy environment we had created!
Next, our Mother sent us antibiotics and pain medicine, along with medicine for malaria and other issues we face every day like dysentery. Again, our people are blessed and their lives became so much better for this medicine and what the Jyba children did for them when we established a free pharmacy where not one person misused this wonderful gift.
Our recent project that I proposed to Mother is to take a census of the many babies born who are not registered and counted as part of our great country. All the Jyba children who have joined our ranks, are helping to find these families who are the ghost people, the people who are not counted. We now need a computer to enter these names and addresses so that all our people are accounted for, and their names and age registered.
The other dream of our people is to have a school. This is our next feat, and Mother and I have a small plan to feed and educate the children very soon in the village, with even a small bus to bring them to the central school. This will be the greatest dream of my people, and we are praying for this day. Mother is working to make this plan happen soon.
All of these things create a miraculous history for our tribe’s chiefs and religious chiefs. They, along with the villagers, are in prayer for these projects to be fulfilled just as the well changed our lives, because the Senegalese government has done nothing for us up to this day.
After a long time of suffering, we are happy to be able to help other villages to have some of the things we now have by sharing as much as we can through the Jyba Children. We are proud to be Jyba children, and to not have disease, but rather live a quiet comfortable life and environment. It is a wonderful thing to be able to share what we have, water, medicine and a model of a clean place surrounding us that helps others in our community and area to be empowered and want this for their village too!
Our traditional herbal medicine is enhanced with the new antibiotics Mother provided for us, and we have been able to relieve so many people of their problems. For this we are thankful. We are thankful now too because we see a future for the world. Even if we are across the ocean from each other as we are with Mother, we have been able to change the lives of not only my village but those around us, and it was only her spirit to guide us. This makes me feel we have a way to help her change the world to a beautiful one for the greater good. And imagine, these were very small things she asked us to do, and everything was done with her personal money, but it had a very high impact on our people, not counting the lives saved. The self-esteem and respect became different as our environment changed around us, like Mother said, we changed the energy. It also encouraged the children and their parents to do nice things for each other, and to see what they can do if they work together as a team. We did it!
This is a difficult story to write because I cannot explain with my English how desperate we were and suffering, and how changed we are thanks to the efforts of the Jyba Project for Children and my Mom thousands of miles away who cared enough to make a difference in our lives. She was never here, but many now pray for her well being and good health so we can continue to work to develop our region and create a school for our children; the Jyba children who have worked with a dream to change all of our lives for the better. Mother gave us the dream and the energy to do it, she empowered us to do it from across the sea on Facebook. We know Jyba can make a difference, Jyba can be what we rally around to change lives.
All of our leaders in Kaolack, Senegal, the religious leaders and our chiefs are behind us in every way and are anxious for our next step forward. We can only depend on ourselves and a caring Mother, but that is all we found out that is needed. I am proud of my Mother Ilonka for everything she has done for us, but most of all, for not just words, but helping us create a reality. We all pray for her health and strength so that we can continue this great story to let the world know more about her spirit and the Jyba plan for children. Knowing about us and the others she has touched in the same way, people will find hope and know that if we can do it in this remote place over Facebook, what can we do holding hands into the future across the world? This is the beginning of world peace, one village at a time.
The village is not raising our Jyba children, our Jyba children are raising our village.
Tamir Ousmane Deme, Ambassador Jyba Senegal
Friday May 20, 2016