When it came to choosing Yvia‘s name, we took almost nine months to make a decision. But choosing her Senegalese name was a 30-second discussion followed by a decision we never doubted. Sometimes, you just know. And we just knew that her name would be Ndeye, named after our dear friend and an amazing, amazing woman, ‘Maman’ Ndeye Diouf.
Writing about someone you admire has a way of making all the words escape from your brain. (As does sleep-deprivation after having a baby.) So whatever I say here won’t do Maman Ndeye justice, but know that she is a woman of grace, humility, love and joy. She’s a fighter with a peaceful spirit. She is the embodiment of Proverbs 31:8-9, defending those who cannot help themselves, speaking up for the poor and helpless and seeing that they get justice.
Maman Ndeye has volunteered as an advocate for women and minors in prison here in Dakar and also in Rufisque for nearly 15 years. Part of this is going speak to lawyers, court officials and judges on behalf of women and minors who have been abandoned by their families and have no one to push their case forward. She also tries to take supplies to the prisoners, such as much-needed toiletry items and small comforts such as coffee, tea, milk and sugar. (And clothes!)
Maman Ndeye has taken on her role as tuurando (namesake) wholeheartedly, as she does all things, and has come to visit us, brought gifts and prayed for Yvia during her dedication last Sunday. It’s a beautiful privilege to hear a woman you respect so much pray for your daughter.
We made such a good choice.