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Why Helping Children in Other Countries Is So Important
Refugees, Orphans, Children
Research has shown that the most effective interventions to improve human development and break the cycle of poverty occur in children’s earliest years. Prevention is more cost-effective than treating a problem later.— UNICEF
The Struggles These Children Deal With
It is a natural and healthy development for children to dream big. They all try to imagine themselves as something bigger and more powerful than what they really are. Power is an essential human need. I am not saying power over a country or the world, I am saying power over ones' own destiny and choices. Children need this power just like any other human being, and imagination is one of their biggest escapes from the much bigger world around them.
"The imagination is absolutely vital for contemplating reality, not just those things we take to be mere fantasy." says Paul Harris, a development psychologist and professor at the Harvard Graduate School. Harris, along with several other experts on this subject agree that imagination as a child helps them build important emotional skills such as empathy (the ability to put oneself in another's shoes) and is very important to critical thinking (thinking up a plan for the future, or problem-solving).
In other countries, children are at a major disadvantage to have a great imagination when there are so many troubles. In many areas throughout the world, food and water are hard to come by, toileting facilities are few or nonexistent, and diseases and infections are rampant. In many other countries, more and more children's dreams are shattered at the age of nine, six, or even younger. The younger these troubles are introduced to a child, the harsher their disadvantages.
More hardships means less likely to have healthy emotions and a constructive reality, both of which are key to being a productive and aspiring person.
And of course there are so many children in other countries that are suffering from violence at the hands of useless hatred and biases. The children who know violence in their lives are in most need for love and responsive care. If they do not have it, their chances of repeating the violence when they grow older is very high. Which is why it is so important to help children in other countries, so that when they grow up they will have a chance to create a future for their country; but still know that they were helped by another.
Enter Their World
Why Being A Sponsor Is Important
As they say, "Children are our future". If we are to help this world be a better place, we should start by making it a better place for children to grow and expand their knowledge of compassion.
It is so important for a child to know that somebody cares for them. Imagine a child who is starving, a child who has recently lost his or her family and is wishing upon the stars that someone will help them. Imagine the feeling that the child has when that dream comes true. It counteracts the feelings of being lost and forgotten. It reduces the feelings of hostility and of despair. And most importantly, it brings hope in a place where hope is mostly dead.
By being a sponsor for a child you help keep the child fed and clothed. You help them get medicine when they are sick, and you are able to share a little of your heart to a child who very lovingly accepts and welcomes the support they would otherwise not have.
Sponsoring a child is a sure way to build a relationship with a child from another country who may one day help save the future generation.
The benefits of being a sponsor are endless, and one of the greatest gifts is to give.
What is the hardest obstacle in your life?
Simple Facts Can Change All Knowledge
Sometimes facts are the most important thing for people to fully understand the depth of a situation. Sometimes people choose to overlook the facts and make an opinion based on what is the most appealing; which is why many news sources tell the most appealing story rather than the whole story.
Facts help people choose. So on the side of this page, I have placed several facts about children living in other countries from organizations like UNICEF that directly work with children throughout the world.
Please read these facts to help you understand how important it is to aid these beautiful and innocent children. Help them work their way up from the gutters of poverty and violence so that they can a safe and reliable atmosphere to grow up in.
A Few Simple Facts From the People Who Help Children Around the World
"According to the latest estimates of the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), released in early 2013 (collected in 2011), 36 per cent of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and 768 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more." - WHO/UNICEF
"Events in the first few years of life are formative and play a vital role in building human capital, breaking the cycle of poverty, promoting economic productivity, and eliminating social disparities and inequities." - UNICEF
"Worldwide, there are currently:
- 18.3 million orphans
- 20 million refugee and internally displaced children
- more than 2 million children in institutions
- 115 million children in hazardous labour
- 300,000 children associated with armed forces and armed groups
- 1.2 million children who have been trafficked
Child protection is an integral component of our response to meeting children’s fundamental needs and a key part of our contribution to fulfilling children’s rights. "
"In 2012, over 200 million children under five years of age worldwide did not receive the appropriate care and support to become physically healthy, mentally alert and emotionally secure. The effects reach far beyond the individual lives of children and affect families, communities and the development of entire nations." - UNICEF
Links to websites help you help children
- UNICEF | Children’s Rights & Emergency Relief Organization
The United Nations Children's Fund works for children’s rights, survival, development and protection. Be part of our mission.
- Feed the Children | Create A World Where No Child Goes To Bed Hungry
Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. It's the cause upon which we were founded and the one we continue to fight each and every day.
- Sponsor a Child In Need - Children International
Children International, a non-profit child sponsorship organization, fights poverty and helps children in need through our youth programs and community support.
- Save the Children UK | Global Children's Charity
The world’s leading independent children’s charity working in 120 countries to provide disaster relief, long-term education and health projects and protect children’s rights.
- ChildFund International
ChildFund International, formerly Christian Children's Fund (CCF), is dedicated to helping children in need. We believe all children deserve hope.
The Organizations That Change Children's Lives For the Better
Sponsoring a child is one great and fulfilling thing to do for a child, but sponsoring organizations that act directly in children's lives is also a great way of helping future generations.
Several of these organizations survive off of donations and contributions from others and are unable to help children without them. If it was not for the people who live in these countries, serving these children in any way they can, it would be nearly impossible to help these children gain their childhood back.
Different organizations do different things. While some allow you to sponsor a child or a family, others allow you to help improve children's rights.However, most of them respond quickly during catastrophes. Study up on which organization fits you best so you can help the children of our future.
Personally, I love UNICEF's work and really hope to join in on working with them to help children around the world, but I have looked deeply into each of the organizations I posted in the link sidebar to your right and I can say all of their programs are things I am interested in helping with. Which is why I am writing this article to hopefully bring more people to help these organizations help these beautiful children that need us.
Sending money Is Not the Only Way to Help Children in Need
There are many ways to help children without spending a dime. There are programs within the organizations that allow you to volunteer for a good cause, ways for you to get your church or community involved, and even things that you can do to get congress to spend your tax dollars on something other than war. Please look through the websites I gave you earlier and you will find ways you can help.
Even if you do not spend a dime, it is still important to raise awareness of the children's suffering and what people can do to help them.
Help Children With Your Time, Not Your Wallet
- EU & UNICEF - Voices of children
Add your voice!
More Info Links
Below are links to find out more information about the sufferings of children in other countries and how you can help.
- El Salvador: I am scared they are going to come into my house and hurt me - Save the Children UK
- News and Comment | Save the Children UK
- Country statistics | Statistics and Monitoring | UNICEF
- Syria: Childhood on the front line — SOS Children
Saleh is 10, but for him, childhood is a distant memory. He and his family live in the warzone that was once Syria's bustling capital. For children like Saleh, each day is a struggle for survival, bringing with it memories which no child should have