This week’s Compassion blog month assignment is to write from the perspective of a child living in poverty. Thinking about and writing this has made me realize how little I know about the challenges of living in poverty in any specific country. And as I thought about the challenges of living in poverty and the challenges of living my life in not poverty, these are some of the perspective differences that I have noticed.
Monday I came home from work to sugar ants having a fiesta on the kitchen counter. I was pretty annoyed and grumpy about it, squished a bunch with my thumb, and sprayed the rest with Windex. Then Josh put out some ant killer that my dad had given us. We cleaned up all the little dead bodies, washed the counters down, and hoped they would stay away. I was kind of afraid to go into the kitchen the next day because I really didn’t want to see more ants.
If I was a child waiting for a sponsor, I wouldn’t care about sugar ants.
Last night the mosquitoes were really bad. My sister and I only got a few bites, but my little brother got bitten a lot. I’m afraid that he is going to get sick. A neighbor lady told me that there is medicine that will help malaria, but I know a lot of people who have had malaria and they didn’t get any medicine – they died. Please God, keep the mosquitoes away and keep my family from getting malaria.
Compassion provides mosquito nets and medical treatment for malaria.
A couple weeks ago, my lunch fell victim to the weekly fridge cleaning at work. It theoretically takes place Fridays after 5, but sometimes happens on Monday mornings. Since I’m on the early shift, my lunch is sometimes in the fridge when it is cleaned out and this time my lunch got trashed. I was bummed that I didn’t get to eat my leftover pizza. Then I walked across the street and bought a lunch. A little irritating, but no big deal – I can always buy a lunch.
If I was a child waiting for a sponsor, I wouldn’t have that confidence in the next meal.
We ate all the rice and beans last night for dinner. We ate the last of the fruit for breakfast. Mama said we won’t have lunch today, but she would get us something for dinner. But her eyes looked worried. Papa left earlier than usual today to look for work. Mama left me to watch my brother and sister while she goes to do laundry and cleaning for a rich family. I hope they will pay her today even though it’s not her payday yet. I wish I knew how to do something that I could get paid for.
Compassion’s Child Development Centers provide food supplements and teach students and their parents job skills and how to make money for their families.
I was recently asked if I was planning to go to grad school. I said I would like to because I’m a nerd and I like school, but I don’t plan to go back to school at this point. The only “practical” gain I could see coming from more schooling for me would be the ability to teach at a community college. While that does sound appealing, I would rather do other things with our money (like eventually be able to have kids and be a stay at home mom).
If I was a child waiting for a sponsor, I wouldn’t wonder whether or not I should go to college after high school. I would wonder if I would even get to high school.
I started the third grade last year, but I only went for two months because Papa got sick and we did not have enough money for school fees. Mama and Papa haven’t told me yet if I will be able to go to school this year or not. Papa says that going to school is important; he only went to school for two years but he wishes that he had been able to go to school longer. He said he is trying to save enough money for my school fees, but I know that we often don’t have money even for food.
Compassion helps pay for school fess, supplies, and uniforms. Compassion also has a Leadership Development Program that helps some sponsored children – like my parent’s sponsored child, Mulu – go to college.
On Compassion’s website, there are currently 2417 children waiting for a sponsor. One of them might share your name, birthday, or live in a country you would love to have a pen pal in. Could you spare $38 a month to sponsor one of those children?