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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- H.O.W. To Sponsor A Child
This hub is about how you can help a child in poverty. I started year 2013 by paying $25 to Children International and a my new sponsor child Albert. H.O.W. are you going to help someone?
- H.O.W. Humanity One World on Facebook
Share your H.O.W. hubs with people in this group on Facebook, We need more members, who care about people.
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