Happy Sponsored Kids Friday, everyone! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas celebrations and are feeling refreshed!
Today, I want to introduce you to one of the kids who wrote me recently. Her name is Tening and she is 17 years old. She and her brother and sister live in Niakhar, Senegal, with her grandmother. Like me, she loves literature and, unlike me, she likes jumping rope. 🙂 In her letter, she called me her “best friend”, which seriously touched my heart and reminded me why connecting with these kiddos is so important.
The physical impacts of poverty are so blatant that I think we can often look past the emotional toll it takes on the people affected by it. Consider the children in your local school systems who come from tough economic backgrounds. Even if both parents are a part of their life, the need to constantly work and the stress they experience will affect their kids in very real ways. While understandable, kids living in poverty are often left without the one-on-one attention and nurturing that is needed for their development. Kids pick up on the emotions of their caregivers and the resulting stress they feel has been proven to affect their anxiety levels, their work in school, and their overall behavior. Just in US, children who live in poverty experience the following:
- Achievement gaps in school due to cognitive development and/or lack of resources.
- Food insecurity.
- Toxic stress, which can lead to chronic illnesses and behavioral issues.
- Unsafe lifestyle choices made to either attempt to provide for their families or escape the tough reality of their lives.
Now imagine poverty being systemic, endemic, and feeling nearly inescapable. That’s what it is like in the rural communities we support. These things, awful as they are, can’t be avoided for every child. Long term, they can be solved by helping these families out of poverty, which Word Vision works tirelessly to do. However, we have an opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of the kids who are stuck in this cycle for the time being. We have the chance to be a friend, a confidant, a mentor – someone a kid can talk to and share with, and a giver of something to look forward to – letters from a friend.
If you want to form a relationship like that and are interested in sponsoring a child, just follow this link to learn more: https://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child