I read constantly and each book in its own way leaves its mark on me, but there are certain books that have a profound effect on me, one particular the harrowing 'A Piece of Cake' by Cupcake Brown had me constantly reminding myself that this really happened and was not fiction; and every time I find myself thinking 'woe is me' I remember that book and think I shouldn't be complaining, if Cupcake can make it through some unspeakable horrors then I am sure I can make some effort. Another book full of positivity and thought-provoking inspiration is 'Angels in Africa', by Beth O'Donnell and Kimberly Sevick; an inspirational book documenting the lives of seven remarkable women from various parts of the continent as they go about affecting positive change within their communities. Published in 2006, Angels in Africa is a photographic journey examining the power in the human spirit prevailing against all odds; highlighting the strength and character of the women profiled who are selflessly helping others in need, even when some of them were in need themselves.
In Tanzania, Edina Yahana has helped to plant more than a million trees in an effort to save the rainforests from decimation, and has continuously worked to educate her communities on conservation at times in the face of disinterest, in a role Edina has actively carried out since she was sixteen.
At the age of twenty-five Celina Cossa, of Mozambique worked to confront the hunger crisis that had devastated the country. Today, Celina is one of Africa's most respected figures, as the President of the General Union of Agricultural Cooperatives an organisation she founded in 1980.
'Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you' is the rule Pascasie Mukamunigo lives by, Pascasie is a Rwandan Tutsi who brought a group of Tutsis and Hutus together in a pioneering weaving project as a way of fostering peace and understanding after the genocide.
In South Africa, Prudence Mwandla has dedicated her life to helping children orphaned through the AIDS epidemic, providing a safe home for those who have endured hunger, sickness and abuse.
Amminata Dieye of Senegal created a programme training young women in skills normally carried out by men such as carpentry and metalwork and is helping these young women find work.
Jacqueline Goïta is the Exexutive Director of CARITAS Mali and works with young girls many of whom have been raped or abused. Jacqueline represents them court, and in the wider community works to educate girls on their rights and provides training in subjects such as literacy and domestic skills.
This is just a glimpse into the lives of many other inspiring 'Angels'; men and women who are putting their own personal needs aside to help others.
...when despair and discouragement threaten to drag you down a book like this can be just what you need to help recharge and power through
On Amazon Angels in Africa is priced at: £20 / USD$23.10
For further information on Angels in Africa visit: http://angelsinafrica.com