Happy #sponsoredkids Friday! I have NO idea how it’s Friday, but I’m glad it is, because that means we get to meet another one of our WV kids!
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Aliou. He is 14 years old (born on July 4th) and lives in Niakhar, Senegal. His father is a farmer laborer, his mother a housewife, and he has 1 sister. Besides him having a smile that could light up a room, we know that Aliou loves football (soccer) and his favorite subject in school is math! I was pretty excited to tell Sandra, our accounting guru, that there’s a little numbers-lover in Senegal, just like her!
A couple of weeks ago, I said we’d start unpacking the causes of extreme poverty and how World Vision is helping tackling those issues. So, I thought we could jump back on that today! For Aliou’s sake, I thought we’d discuss something numbers-related: money. One of the integral parts of cyclical, extreme poverty is a lack of jobs or way to make money. No matter how different these fairly undeveloped countries seem from ours, people still need money to survive. In many rural areas in countries in Africa, not only are there far less jobs than there are people, the jobs that do exist often don’t provide enough income to support a family with children.
Why are there less jobs? Well, in rural areas where farming is the primary source of employment, you often see unproductive land (made so by conflict, over-farming, lack of education on how to rotate crops, or overpopulation). In coastal or mining communities, there is often an overexploitation of resources (fish, minerals, etc.), caused by centuries of misuse (and not by the locals – hey, colonialism!). The result is that some fathers and mothers are trying to live and provide off of mere dollars a day. In Senegal last year, the average rural worker made the equivalent of $127 a month, or an average of $4 a day. Now imagine having multiple children to care for with that.
Do you see now why donating $39 USD a month could have a HUGE impact on a community? The cool part is, in several communities in Senegal (Niakhar, Diakhao, Sinthiang Koundara, Tattaguine), we are supporting dozens of children. So, it’s not just $39 a month helping a single child in a single community. It’s $39 multiplied by 7, 43, 89, etc.! $127 a month may not provide enough food for a single family, or money for their schooling or healthcare – but a 30% “raise” sure would help, right? Our support means $3,471 is being poured into Aliou’s community, Niakhar, every month (that’s 27x the average monthly income!!). Food, education, loans, healthcare – that’s what we’re helping provide for these precious people. People not so different than you and I, just born in a different place. And WV isn’t just helping the current families. They’re educating the kids, which will lead to a brighter future for all. Is it really so crazy to dream of a Senegal without extreme poverty? I don’t think so. I think every little bit we do is leading them towards a better future. So let’s keep it up!
Challenge: As an exercise, ask yourself the following questions. What’s the lowest amount of money you’ve lived on per month? Per week? Per day? What you could buy with only $4 a day ($1,460 a year)? Could you survive at the economic poverty line in your country? That’s $12,760 for a single person in the USA, or $26,200 for a family of 4, like Aliou’s. How would a 30% raise affect you positively if you were at the poverty threshold?