It’s always sad when our World Vision sponsorship comes to an end. Our first child grew too old, and our second child whom we have sponsored for many years has moved out of the sponsorship area. This time we have decided to sponsor a three year old girl from Chad who goes by the hopeful name of Opportune. In her country, it is a feat simply to make it to 3yo. We have been reading about Chad, in addition to the information provided by World Vision, and we are once again made thankful that we live in this country, where we are not threatened by war, disease and famine. Where we have health care and education, and a life expectancy forty years longer than that of those living in Chad. I know there are those who are cynical about funds reaching those in need, but we are forever hopeful that our small monthly amount makes some difference, and in the meantime my children have learned to be thankful for the life they have. Not just that their parents can afford iPads and overseas holidays but that they have the simplest requirements such as water, food and clothing. Now my daughter is looking at saving up to one day do an overseas volunteer program. Both my children, as is the case with most kids, can appear to take things for granted and appear ungrateful, but they are both compassionate and caring and socially conscious. They are looking forward to watching little Opportune grow, be healthy, get an education which she can use to help her community. In a land where most girls are married by age 18, many by 15 and many in polygamous relationships, where emale genital mutilation is common and maternal health virtually nonexistent, this is a lofty ambition.
It has been one of my aims this year to give back and to this end I will be volunteering for Lifeline both in their Book Warehouse and also for their Book Fairs. Lifeline provides an invaluable resource to Australians in personal crisis through 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. The money raised through the Book Fairs is almost entirely used to fund this service. If you or anyone you know needs this service, please call 13 11 14. And if you like books, you will be in your element at the next Book Fair in February!
So whether it is helping an elderly person to take their shopping to the car, taking a meal to a new mother struggling at home, putting coins in that meter you see just about to expire, or simply taking the time to thank someone for a job well done, we should all make an effort to GIVE BACK.