The 25-year-old woman from the small village of Gandorhun in Sierra Leone had just lost her husband when she learned she was pregnant and was struggling to care for her two children.

“Life had become difficult for her as she also had to take care of her pregnancy,” reported Rev. Francis Mambu, executive director of our partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO).

Fifty-eight years ago, the African Union designated July 31 as Pan African Women’s Day to celebrate “ordinary” women like Lillian to dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment across the continent.

The Pan-African Women’s Organization notes the important role of African women, such as Lillian, “who continue to be the backbone of our economies as farmers, entrepreneurs, traders, scientists and leaders in many other sectors.”

Doing her best raising her children on her own, three months into her pregnancy she knew something was not right and came to a clinic operated by FHDO where she had received treatment during her first two pregnancies complaining of abdominal pain.

It was there her health issue was properly diagnosed and she was treated at no cost with medication provided by Bread and Water for Africa® and was “completely healed and subsequently discharged from the clinic,” reported Rev. Mambu.

“She happily returned home,” he added, where she is once again caring for her two young children, and her healthy newborn.

While access to medical care is, of course, always critically important, the need for clinics to treat indigent Africans such as Lillian can be a matter of life and death, particularly now with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the continent and millions of children like hers count on their mothers to keep them fed and cared for.

Without the FHDO clinic where she was treated during her pregnancy there’s no telling what could have happened to her and her unborn child.

And to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, Lillian says:

“I thank God that I am healed from this reproach. Thanks to the almighty God and providers of the medicines.”

Lillian just one of the untold millions of African women who spend their days caring for their children, putting them above themselves, and on this day recognizing them we honor them and proud of our supporters for helping to enable her to return home — and her most vital work of raising her children.