why are we stalling?

My daughter wrote this two years ago, when she was 14. It was an open letter to the editor, printed in our local paper.

Since then, she travelled to Malawi, Africa, where she participated in a mission trip to local schools, hospitals and orphanages. This summer, she is working in a mission in the Philippines, falling in love with the country, as she put it, “one child at a time.”

These words show a glimpse of where she gets her motivation.

Why are We Stalling?

By the time you read this sentence, another child has died of hunger. We could have saved that child, if it weren’t for our greed. We could have saved thousands by now, so why are we stalling?

In Canada alone, we spend more than 40 million on entertainment each year, yet 420$ could feed, clothe and shelter a child and their family for a year. And yet, because we’ve never felt the aching cramps of hunger, or seen dozens of children living on the streets in front of our homes, or had to abandon one of our own children because we could not care for them, we do nothing for those who have. We need to stop living in the luxury for a moment and realize how much this setting is unfair. While we complain about how little our boss paid us this week, another family earns a dollar to sustain their family for a day. While we argue about how much weight we’ve gained and look for special foods and pills to lose it, a child clutches their stomach, trying to ignore the pain of not eating for so long. While we wash our clothes, irritated how our lucky sweater got stained, a child receives one set of clothes to live with for months. Reality is harsh, and in our close-to-perfect lives, we tend to be unaware of that fact

Half of the people who read this will feel pity for those children and their families, then shrug it off and continue with their lives. These people will never have to see their six-or-seven year old child sell items on the streets so they can earn money for their families. They will never experience the feeling of living without fresh water and food. They will never have to abandon their child to fend for themselves. And because they will not experience these things, they will not understand the importance of defeating poverty once and for all.

I cannot fully explain to everyone reading this that there are people in desperate need of help.

By the time you read this article, over 40 children have died of hunger.

Adelle Payne

Published in St.Albert Gazette 25/06/08

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