The Softer Side of Big Dog
For the exact amount that Yao's family needed, we put together a project to get his website out of flash and onto an optimized text-based platform that search engines can read - a first step. Richard was excited to be a part of something so unique and patiently waited for his work to be completed and sent a check in US funds to my office. The next day the check was in Yao's hands and a day after that, it was wired to his family in Togo via Western Union.
Shown to the left is Mrs Bate Yao (right), his sister (left) and daughter (middle) who will all work at the store, have jobs and a family income. His sister has graduated with a business management degree from the university in Lome and will be an active manager of the retail business.
Yao has two brothers that graduated with CPA degrees from university and will manage the finances of the business and help run the store. The ability to earn an income living in a remote village in Togo is rare. Having graduated business and finance programs at the capital's university and have a retail business under construction is a miracle.
Yao's sister shown in this picture is a few days post op after having surgery. Life is everything but safe in that world, she withheld telling her family that she was ill only because she knew that there wasn't money to pay a doctor for treatment. Her condition worsened and finally she was in a compromising position.
It's a very difficult call to take, not to mention the fact that Yao's financial situation here in the US would only cover if something else dropped, rent, health insurance, fuel, food... something. She was taken care of and had a procedure and is just fine. Life and death is a reality every day and the matter of a few hundred bucks can mean walking away from a trip to the hospital, or not. She'll be working at the store and earning enough money that any future medical needs will be easily handled through the family's income.
Yao has a wife and daughter back home that he talks to twice a week and received pictures from periodically. She'll be part of the family business and will grow up in a blessed family and experience a different comfort than her peers. This includes Yao's mom and another sister, every day Yao's brain churns over the safety of his family and has lived a commitment to them with each passing day. With just a little assistance from me and my close community of off-road racers, the plan that Yao created was realized.