Thursday, November 1, 2012

Food for Orphans and Fresh Milk

Today is the first day of NaBloPoMo - National Blog Writing Month. It was created as an alternative to NaNoWriMo. I'm disinterested in writing a novel; although I love to read fiction, I'm not interested in writing it. But I do enjoy blogging, and with few exceptions have I had problems coming up with something about which to blog - the point being simply to write. This is my third year participating in NaBloPoMo.

I recently signed up to sponsor a little girl on ChildFund; her name is Jasmine, she'll be 10 in December, and she lives in Oklahoma. She and her older brother currently live in a small rural area with their parents, who are unemployed; she likes riding her bike and running track. She likes to read (especially the Barbie books) and her favorite subject at school is computer lab. It's such a small amount to sponsor a kid.

Because I agreed to sponsor a child, I've begun getting the occasional gift catalog. It's both interesting and disheartening paging through it; one can do so much with nearly any amount of money, ranging from $25 for things like fruit trees or vegetable seeds or fruit seeds, to buying gardening tools, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, or camels, all the way up to $1,267 for a yoke of oxen and a plow. (Often, one can buy a share of the more expensive things; for example, for about 10% of the amount, in this case $127, one can buy a share of a yoke of oxen and a plow.)

One can send a bicycle for $100 (for girls who travel long distances to school in India or Sri Lanka), clean water (for $50, $100, or $200); a starter farm for $325 (each farm includes a pair of goats, a pair of chickens, seeds, and farm tools); restocking a health station or buying medicine for mothers and children in Liberia; a mattress for a family in Ethiopia or Uganda; a set of winter clothes for a kid in Vietnam; wash kits for preschoolers in Vietnam; a set of four tables and chairs for preschoolers in Sri Lanka; a mama kit, which contains supplies for a pregnant woman to use during and after delivery, and is combined with education for expectant mothers in Uganda - there are really a lot of options.

I think that each month I'm going to find something to donate, however small. This month I chose the following, but I found it hard to choose:
  • In India, 30 orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS live full-time at the Namma Makkala Dhama orphanage. Food is scarce, and when a child is malnourished furing the first two years of life, the child's physical and mental growth and development can be affected for the rest of the child's life. [$120 will feed 30 orphans in India for a week.]
  • In India, the gift of fresh milk will help the physical, cognitive, and intellectual growth and development of an undernourished child. By adding supplemental nutrition now, the milk you provide will help prevent long-term problems for the children, increasing their ability to develop into healthy, independent adults. [$64 will provide milk for one month for 30 children in India.]
It bothers me, for reasons I can't explain, to see little ones lacking basic necessities, especially for such small amounts of money. I will never be able to give as much as I would like, but we're lucky - we have a little money now - so I can share with people who really need it.

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