A Malagasy statue similar to the one above (via Madagascar Art) was auctioned for $1200 in a fund raising to pay for the surgery and travel of a young girl who suffers from phocomelia, a congenital disorder that presents babies with very short limbs. Isn't it fitting that a statue celebrating life contributes to the betterment of the unfortunates ones ?
Here is an excerpt of the host's speech explaining the reason for the auction:
"One day, as I was peering through the window of my car, I saw a young woman seating at the corner of street. Looking closer, I realized that she had an intense look in her eyes, but no arms. She had strength but only one leg.
I learnt her mother left her abandoned right after delivery.
I learnt she had been exploited by a man who pretended to be her uncle, and who used her as an object of curiosity to reap off the fruits of charitable donations. I learnt she reads, prepares coffee drinks, and performs calls with her one finger.
I learnt she now lives in a well-maintained room, with the help of her friend. I learnt she is respected and loved by her community.
I learnt she wanted to become a doctor, to help fellow handicapped persons. [...]
It was first a lesson in responsibility: like her, we all faced somewhere, somehow, tremendous adversity. We have had so many reasons to abandon our dreams, and give up on our most noble goals. There were reasons which we could control and those which we could not control. [...]For her, every little thing is a reason to keep going, keep rising on that one leg, keep writing with that one finger, keep reading advertising boards and sharing her thoughts with her friends, keep fighting adversity by all means. NO excuse.
Her story is also a lesson in hope, which tells you that when all else fails, it is only faith in what life has best that takes you one step further. No one told her that babies stricken by phocomelia are generally talented. Actually, the world of music is endowed with a hugely gifted baryton, Thomas Quasthoff, who happens to have phocomelia.
She does not know this, yet below the roof of her little well kept room in her slum, she hopes the day will come when she will become a doctor and contribute.
Her story is finally a lesson in love. Born in pain, left abandoned, exposed and exploited, she has never stop loving: her friends, her community, and those, who like me, have seen that light in her eyes, and decided that they would learn the lesson. Yes, my friends, it is love that gave her the strength to carry on , and it is love that made me think of giving her more reasons to hope and carry on, through medical intervention and possibly an education."