How It All Began…
I decided to take a short medical humanitarian trip to Benin, West Africa. One night I found myself walking through the streets of the Northern City of Tanguieta at midnight, accompanied by a friend. He was introducing me to the street children who had been abandoned due to either poverty or child marriages. These children were babies taking care of babies.
A little boy, around 9 years old, started pulling on my sleeve. When I looked down into his sad eyes, he kept repeating the same thing to me (in his native Fon language). I assumed he was asking for money, clothing, shoes, food. I then asked my friend what he was saying. He replied, “he is telling you he wants to go to school”.
I had assumed he wanted money….he could have asked for clothing (he was only wearing a pair of underwear and a jacket), shoes (he had none), or food. But no. He wanted an education. The very next day we found him a home and enrolled him into school (the cost was $20 USD).This child was our first taken off the streets and cared for.
This is our story, this is our mission.
So in February 2012, I started Build a Better Benin. I was just a nurse with an unexplainable magnetic draw to Benin and a heart to see massive change. With no money in the bank, and no formal plan (at the time), BABB has grown to accomplish great things with the help of people from all over the globe.
On behalf of Build A Better Benin, thank you for being a part of our ongoing story!
-Sarah Chapman, RN