H.O.W. Albert vs. Vendela - Two 5 Year Old Children Living In Different Worlds

*************Albert ***************************Vendela *****************



Vendela is a five year old girl and she lives with her parents and her older brother on the countryside in western Finland. Their house is made of wood. They have a dining room, a bath room and two bedrooms. They cook their food on an electric cooker. Their income every month is about $4000.00. Vendela goes to school and she likes jumping on her trampoline, riding her bike, watching TV, playing Wii games, playing with lego and many other toys. She's also interested in art. The water that she's flushing the toilet with is probably cleaner than the water Albert is drinking.


Albert is a five year old boy and he lives with his parents and his three older siblings in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Their house is made of concrete. They have a dining room, a bath room and two bed rooms. They cook their food on a gas stove. Their income every month is about US $100.00. Albert goes to school and he likes playing baseboll. He's also interested in art. Where he lives, the water is contaminated by dirt and waste. People get parasites when they're drinking it, but they have no other option.


The Situation In Finland

Vendela's family is now building a bigger house, because they can afford it. Vendela will have her own bedroom painted in the colors she likes and next year her bike will be too small for her and her parents are going to buy a new bike for her. Before she starts school this fall, she will get new clothes. When the winter arrives to the cold Finland, it's time to buy new winter clothes and shoes for about $200. That's only for her. The income in Albert's family per monts is half of that money.

This is just a simple fact, I live in a good country and both my husband and me are lucky to have a work to go to every morning. I'm very thankful to be born in this country. However, the situation in Finland has not been this good for a very long time, especially not during and after WWII. At that time people didn't have food, because there was not even food to by in the stores. Food like grain prducts, milk, butter, meat and eggs were rationed, and Finns had to use substitutes for coffee and sugar. Older people, who I know today, still talk about these things when I meet them. They know what it feels like to be poor and hungry.

Vendela's Home

Vendela will be moving into this house.
Vendela will be moving into this house. | Source

Taking Things For Granted

Somehow people tend to forget how it used to be in Finland. Now we take all things we have for granted. If we are freezing in the winter, we just book a trip to Spain, Turkey or Thailand. We can afford it and we are worth it after all hard work. Right? Everyone else are going. Why should me and my family stay in Finland during a long, dark and cold winter when we have other possibilities?

I can't judge anyone for travelling to see the world and having a great time. It makes us feel happier when we get to escape the grey reality for a while. Doesn't it? Maybe it does, for a while. I would travel more if I could, but it makes me feel bad to think about all the people around the world, who are stuck in the same place and have no ability to escape their reality. They simply have to stay at the same place to survive. The only other possibilty to survive would be to escape from their country to find a better life in another country and start all over again, but it is not always worth the risks. You don't even know if you'll survive the escape in a truck with 50 other people without food or water for days. You probably don't want to be one of the refugees found drowned in the water crossing the ocean in a small boat. You rather stay in your concrete house in the Dominican Republic to find a good life, where you feel safer and have your family around you.

Albert's Home

One of these houses could be Albert's home.
One of these houses could be Albert's home. | Source

Dominican Republic

A markerDominican Republic -
Dominikanska republiken
[get directions]

This is where Albert lives.

Sponsoring A Child

Since 1st January 2013 I have been sponsoring Albert. I then joined the organization Children International, because I wanted to change this little boy's life. I wanted him to have a school bag, food and clean drinking water. If I can help only one person to have a better life, I'm doing something good. Then I feel I don't just waste my life on things I need and I want to have in life. I feel less selfish and I don't have a big pressure on my heart when I know I'm doing something important. Helping someone gives a meaning to my life.

I have now received two letter from Albert's mother and I have written two letters to Albert and his family. It's such a good feeling to open a letter from Children International and see the words Albert's mother has written. One letter was also written by one of Albert's aunts. Albert seems to have a big family, and its memebers also get to know me when I'm writing to him.


A markerFinland -
[get directions]

This is where Vendela lives.

Teach Your Children About the Value of Money

My sponsored child Albert lives an a part of the world today, where many people still are poor. It's 2013 and it's time for us ”rich people” to do something about the situation in the poor countries around the world. Instead of buying a new toy for your children next time they ask for it, try to give your money to an organization that help children instead, and teach your children about the value of money. I'm trying that every day, but it's very hard when the children have all they need and so much more today – in some parts of the world.

Every time my children want a new game for their Wii, I try to explain to them how much money a game actually costs. I tell them that I have to work a whole day to afford to by just one game. It's so much money. I pay half of a Wii game every month for my sponsored child Albert. He lives in the Dominican Republic. He's five years old and in the same age as my children. I wonder if Albert has ever seen a Wii console? Has he ever played a Wii game? Does his family even own a TV? I don't think so, but I do know that I would love to see him have the same possibilities in life that my children have.

Life Is Unfair

The monthly income in Albert's family with two parents and four children is $100. I get next to nothing in Finland if I go shopping food for $100. Our family of four – two adults and two children – spend at least $800 on food every month. I guess you can't really compare the food prices in Finland and in the Dominican Republic, but our standard of living is so much higher than Albert's. Life is unfair. I feel guilty all the time when I think of how much money we spend here and that there are so many people around the world, who don't even have enough food and water.

Help People!

It's not too late to start acting. Do good things to people, help them with things and be kind to them. It doesn't mean you have to pay money for helping someone. Sometimes a kind word or an act of kindness is enough to make a person feel good.

This story is about how I'm helping a child on the other side of the world. I hope my sponsoring can help Albert's whole family.

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Comments 24 comments

old albion profile image

old albion 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Made. A heartfelt hub indeed. Life is so unfair but all the world cannot be the same I'm afraid. I commend you for your view and stand. All to often people turn away from reality. Well done.

voted up and all.


Mr Archer profile image

Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

You not only talk the talk, you walk the walk. Well done hub, and well done in life. YOU are what H.O.W. is supposed to be like: people helping people.

Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Thank you for sharing! This is a great awareness hub for children in need around the world.

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

Made, what you are doing for Albert and his family is so beautiful. You have a very huge heart. Your children and all those around you are learning a valuable lesson that will carry them through life. What a legacy you are building!

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Graham, it's always going to be an unfair world. Thank you so much!

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Mr Archer, I'm helping people in my daily job, too. I guess I'm meant for helping people even if I didn't know that some years ago. Thank you!

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Abby Campbell and thank you for stopping by. I hope this hub can make some people more aware of the problems we have in this world.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi bravewarrior, I really hope I can teach my own children that they are lucky to be born in this country. I hope I can teach them to be kind to people and help those who need it. I really hope I can change someone's life for the better and that my children are going to do the samt when they are adults. Thank you so much for your kind comment.

James-wolve profile image

James-wolve 3 years ago from Morocco


You are doing a great job on the personal level.I think patch aids to the third world is not a solution.Of course when a storm hits or war creates refugees, the victims can do with some help to get back on their feet wherever they are. Humanitarian relief aid will always be needed when disaster strikes.But the evidence that aid can transform whole societies and lift millions out of poverty is unconvincing.Instead of wasting gouverments money on helping the poor in the third world ,why the West countries don't create work opportunities by supporting foreign direct investment ? they should help them to begin the economic construction of their countries by guiding them to success especially that these countries have many mining resources of high value in international stock markets like gold , silver And diamonds .


Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi James-wolve, it seems like an unreachable goal to help people just by aid. You are right about what you are saying. More could be done. Personally I feel that this is what I can do to help one child and his family, and I really hope I do help them. Thank you for your wise words.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Such a powerful message, Made! The contrast between the two children brings home the fact of poverty beautifully. Well done and you have a lovely home my dear.


Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Thank you Bill. I hope these children can meat some day and learn things from each other. I'm happy in my little "garage home" right now and I hope I will be happy living in the new home, too. The new home is still just an unfinished house. :)

starbright profile image

starbright 3 years ago from Scandinavia

Life is unfair in many ways and your wonderfully written hub has given food for thought and brings home the enormous contrast in living standards. Thanks for sharing.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi starbright, it sure is a big contrast. Thank you!

James-wolve profile image

James-wolve 3 years ago from Morocco

May God reward you what your heart desires.Amen

I notice how Brazil, whose economy can be loosely connected with Third World regions; are managing to grow in this global economy. This has been partly aided by the wiping, and favorable debt repayments to IMF. Maybe many poor countries can use this template.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

James-wolve, I hope countries can learn from each other and cooperate more to help Third World regions. These are things I'm not much involved with. I thank you so much for your interest in this issue.

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Not what I was expecting. Shared, so more people can read your message.

Docmo profile image

Docmo 3 years ago from UK

A beautiful message from a beautiful heart, MAde. Actions do speak louder than words- your act and your narrative does more for this cause than many empty journalistic endeavours. Bless you. I have seen life at both sides of the world and what you say about taking things for granted is so true. up/awesome.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Thank you for reading and sharing, Mhatter99.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Hi Docmo, nice to see you here. You really know what this is about, beacuse you have lived in both worlds.

My parents have seen both sides, too. When they were children, Finland was a poor country. The two generations before me worked very hard to take Finland to where it is today.

profile image

Joanne M Olivieri 3 years ago

Made, thank you so much for this hub and bringing attention to this cause. The world is really unfair and you are right in that if each one of us does our own part to help the world would be a much better place. I actually do my part on Kiva.org and the rewards are immense. Thank you for the link to Children International. I will take a look and research the site. Voted up and shared.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Joanne M Olivieri, I appreciate that you stopped by to read, comment on and share this hub. I have to check out Kiva.org. I haven't heard of that before. Thank you!

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thank you for sharing this very touching and compassionate and inspirational hub. A real great message everyone must do what they can and be aware of what is happening to children in this world. Passing this on.

Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland Author

Thank you Gypsy Rose Lee. Often we take things like having food and fresh water for granted. Children shouldn't be hungry in today's world.

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