7 Dec 2009

My reasons for sponsoring Sponsorship:

My reasons for sponsoring Sponsorship: why now, what are our motives?
Long ago, someone asked me why Mediterranea did not take on sponsorship of children - something very common in other NGOs. There were many reasons: Firstly, Mediterranea is an organization of volunteers and do not have the numbers of staff necessary to deal with taking pictures, managing correspondence etc. in situations that require individual monitoring many children. For another, we always believed it was not fair to "discriminate" against some children by choosing others. How could we select some and not others? But now we are proposing the sponsorship of African children: 22 in Abugida school and 10 in school Birhan, and in the future, probably more. Why? Because of the life these children suffer, the most vulnerable children in our schools:

Children whose parents are sick, or in the care of a grandmother, or of another family relative, often with income of less than 5 Euros per month.
Children who take over the care of their siblings, although often 17 years of age and younger, and have become involuntarily the head of households where parents have died or have left. Children who are welcomed by a loving, caring woman who loves them with all her heart and soul, but who has already four children of her own and whose own husband does not understand why he has to feed another mouth, when his resources are already stretched to breaking point. Dependent children of a parent with AIDS that has not stopped going to work for a single day and raises his children in an exemplary manner, but knows his days are numbered.
Children raised by mothers with HIV, infected by a husband who passed it and has already died. Children who find themselves in especially difficult circumstances in a situation which is already difficult enough - the children in our schools are already among the most disadvantaged of their country.

These are children who need more help, and yes they are different, they are special and they deserve it, deserve the opportunity to partake of a better life. No child deserves to live in extreme poverty, to be forced to beg in the streets for their very existence. Loving, caring parents who are sick and dying deserve to know that even if something happens to them, their children will be cared for. I am not impartial. I know many of these children. I know many of these parents. And I promised the very sick mother of one of them that I would help. I'm proud of Mediterranea, proud that we really are going to make a difference - not with some magic wand that can cure all ills, but together, people like you and me. I have sponsored for these reasons, please, think about joining me. I am lucky enough that if something happened to me, my daughter would not be left helpless, and I want this for those African parents too.
Stefanie Milla

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