Making a difference in a child’s life

Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador are only seven countries among the poorest in South America. I list these because they have the highest rates of poverty seen in the Latin continent according to Project Mercy, an American not-for-profit development agency. What is most heart wrenching about the lives of people living in developing countries is the amount of pain and danger each individual encounters every day. Children die at very young ages and they face hunger and starvation, disease, infection, rape and murder. The “slums” in such countries do not provide any source of comfort, safety, or sense of belonging. Many of us in the developed countries hear about the difficult lives children, teens, and parents wake up to every day, yet only a small amount of us decide to become involved. I was 17 when I chose to sponsor a child in a developing country. World Vision Canada presented me with opportunity to change someone’s life.

World Vision is a global organization, founded in 1977 in the United States, whose objective is “to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.” The organization is currently involved in providing aid for almost 100 countries around the world, especially in times of natural disaster. World Vision dedicates itself to keeping communities alive by giving them a greater chance to acquire clean water, education, food, and shelter.

They can achieve this only through the help of those in developed countries so that “together, we can walk alongside tens of thousands [of families] as they move from despair to wholeness.” There are many different ways offered to support a family, a child, or even just contribute to saving communities in need. The first and most obvious one is to sponsor a child, which costs exactly $35 per month. Throughout only one year, those $35 contributions total $420.

Though it may seem like a small amount to contribute to us, developing countries prosper greatly from the money each sponsor donates. It gives each member of the community a better chance to live the life they deserve. The second option for donation is offered for individuals who might not be able to donate $420 a year – the Disaster Response Fund. World Vision aids disaster-stricken communities with relief work, in which any person willing can donate as much money they believe is fit to help. Another option is that individuals can donate any amount they wish to provide either clothing for children, water and sanitation or assistance in ending the global food crisis.

Through my sponsorship, I am providing a child with her basic needs required to live. My sponsorship also contributes to the community as a whole, so that not only my sponsored child, but every person in that community has a chance to live longer. With the money each sponsor donates the community receives maternal, newborn and child healthcare, nutrition, prevention of HIV, AIDS and Malaria, water, sanitation and hygiene, agriculture and environmental assistance, child protection, education, economic development and disaster response. All of these are basic resources and necessities that everyone, globally, should have the right to – life is not something children should have to fight for.

World Vision addressed the issue that, “approximately 2.6 billion people—more than 40 per cent of the world’s population—live on less than $2 a day. Hardworking parents find it difficult to feed, educate, and provide health care for their children.” The amount of people privileged to stay alive each day in developing countries (the poorest 40 per cent) can only manage to acquire 10 per cent of the entire world’s income, whereas the richest 40 per cent of the world’s population acquire 75 per cent of the total income. Aiding the poorest populations is how World Vision lessens this global inequality. Developing countries receive true blessings from the work of the World Vision organization. It’s a great feeling to receive my first letter from my sponsored child and to know how happy she is that I have entered her life.

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