There are so many more things I want to do for the kids and so many more kids I want to help. Hopefully one day I am in a position to be able to do this. Until then, I am just grateful to be a part of something I know has made a child’s life a bit easier and shown them there is a little bit of hope in a life that would otherwise show none whatsoever. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be able to show these kids a small ray of sunshine in what may seem to them as a lifetime of darkness and gloom.
Because of my personal involvement with the kids at Maravilla, I know for a fact it has changed their lives getting one small meal every day at school. It not only has affected the kids getting fed, but it has also impacted the whole community. The kids are very competitive now when it comes to challenging other schools in local competitions whereas before, Maravilla was almost certain to be close to the bottom.
The humidity and heat stop 99% of kids from taking lunches and snacks to school because most of what they have to eat needs to be refrigerated, which is impossible. This means if the child lives too far away from the school to be able to go home at lunch, he or she will miss out if the parents can not give the child some money to buy lunch. Seeing how most of these kid’s parents work on the rice farms in the local area they would only earn about 130 pesos a day (about $3 to $4 in Australia). This program saves the parents money that they would have spent on meager meals, and can now spend on other needs for their children.
For breakfast most of these kids have a bowl of rice. If they are lucky, they might even have some salt and grass vegetable (found everywhere growing on the side of the road). It is what I would call a weed. Some kids never have any meat or fish to eat with their rice for the 2 to 3 month period in between harvest time, when there is no work for their family. That time in between is called locally, “Poverty Month”. Even then, they only taste meat and fish a couple of times because their parents owe most of their money to other people for rice they have gotten on credit during the “Poverty Months”. Living in a rural setting, they have the opportunity to grow vegetables and have chickens, ducks, and pigs if they are very lucky. Unfortunately, most of these animals they cannot eat because they need them to be able to sell to buy rice or exchange for things they need during the “Poverty Months”.
So as you can see, for the kids to go to school and get a meal other than just rice, salt, and water is a great thing for them. Thank you to Give Children Hope, because that is exactly what it does, it gives children hope that someday they will be able to help their family out of poverty. You ask any child in this area what they want in life, and they say that it is to help their family. Some of them go to great lengths to achieve this and even sacrifice their own happiness.
Thanks to you Don, your family, Give Children Hope and everyone who cares enough to donate their hard earned cash to support this cause. It is such a fantastic thing to see the smile on a child’s face when they are given Hope.
(Australian advocate and sponsor of GIVE CHILDREN HOPE)