I’mmmm baaaaccckkk! Not that anyone missed me.
I returned from my trips to Uganda and Ethiopia with eyes that were further opened by all of the deep, extreme poverty and needs I saw. Since arriving back to the U.S. on Saturday, 2/16/13, a day doesn’t pass that I don’t think about what I saw in the faces of children, young people and adults. I dream about it as well as having thoughts enter my head as I go through my day. There are times I just have to stop and pray for the people that I met who are dedicating their lives to serving those in need in both countries.
We have so much here in the U.S. that should be shared with those who can really, truly use it over there. Anyone who has been to any country in South America or Africa is a witness to this. It’s not news to you…you know exactly what I’m talking about.
While there, I thought constantly about how I can help. When you are a white person in a country where everyone has brown skin, you quickly are singled out as a person who has money…who can help them out…who can give them something of value. You are approached by a wide variety of people: the crippled who have deformed arms, legs, torsos and don’t move from a spot on the side of the road from dawn until dusk; the aged who have no means of finding work even though they may want to work; those who beg for just a little money whether they are children who haven’t eaten, or a mother with an infant tied to her back who haven’t eaten; those who want you to by something from them, so that they can then turn around and buy something to eat; and others…it goes on and on.
It was dizzying, disheartening, disturbing and overwhelming. I didn’t know what to do. Should I be selective to whom I give money to? Should I just give it to children? To the crippled? To the mom and her infant? I’ve been in the field of human services for 40 years and I didn’t know what to do? I could have stood on a corner and handed out money to people until it was all gone and there still would have been more people.
So…what can I do? What can OFY do? Well, we are going to start with just one…just one child. Someone out there will want to provide a child with a good home where that child will be cared for, hugged every day, given opportunities to grow physically, taught socially, healed emotionally and develop spiritually. Most of all loved…by someone.
OFY will help that family and strive to do this with just one child…and then just one more…and then another…