There are a plethora of desperate realities that children around the world face – far beyond their control. And they’re often far enough from our realities that they’re just plain hard to relate to. How many of us have faced being sold into slavery because our parents couldn’t pay their debts? How many of us watched our parents die from AIDS only to find out that we too are infected with HIV? How many of us have been denied education? There are a million different scenarios marking an often far-too-short lifetime of pain and suffering.
But these aren’t just sad realties somewhere out there. These are real life scenarios for children that we know and work with at LSM.
Children like Ben* who lost his parents in the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and was suddenly left without any protectors. At five-years-old he found himself scared to death, utterly alone in the world, and forced to figure out how to survive on the impoverished streets of Les Cayes.
Children like Genet* whose parents both died of AIDS and whose seven-year-old brother took it upon himself to make sure his little sister survived. They nearly starved to death on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
How are we supposed to respond to this? How, when we sit in our fancy coffee shops and drink coffee that cost us more than millions of people will make in three days wages… how do we even begin to respond well? Our worlds have vastly different realities. But I think Daniel Goleman said it well: “True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but also being moved to help relieve it.”
These horrifying realties are something we should let soak into our hearts. Because if we are moved to action, these stories can change!
Ben is a part of a loving Home of Hope family today with a mom and dad who love him and the opportunity of a future far bigger than he ever could have dreamed of. Ben’s going to go places… and those are things a scared little boy on the street could not have dreamed of on his own. It took people just like you, sitting on the other end of a screen who were touched with true compassion and decided lives like Ben’s shouldn’t end there.
Today, Genet is a part of a family in Ethiopia with parents who love her and are caring for her and her brother. She’s going to school and getting the extra attention she needs to overcome life’s obstacles and find hope for her future. Without intervention on the behalf of people who could make a difference, Genet probably wouldn’t be alive today.
You can make a difference. You don’t have to travel to Haiti or Ethiopia to do it. You can directly impact vulnerable children right where you are in tangible, life-changing ways.
Donate here today and stand with us to create and sustain permanent families were children just like Ben and Genet will find permanency and love and the great hope of a future.
*names changed for privacy