Always Picked Last (Extreme Poverty Style)

Imagine a world where you grow up with a mommy and a daddy and live in a nice warm house with your family.

You have your own bed, and sleep each night with a full belly. You go to school, and in the afternoon you go to sports practice on a green grassy lawn that is safely guarded from speeding cars and other dangers.

Imagine a world where your toys are bought from Wal-Mart, and you get a new Christmas, Easter and birthday outfit every year.

That’s not very hard to imagine … is it? Most of us grew up in that setting — or one very similar.

The situation that is hard to truly grasp is living in the circumstances the children in our sponsorship program live in.

We’ve seen the pictures; some of us have had the chance to see poverty firsthand. The reality the children in our sponsorship program live in is mostly the opposite of ours.

While some children are blessed with both parents still living, many live with other family members or older siblings. They eat one meal a day *maybe*, and play with toys that they find in the trash dumps outside their wood-walled, tin-roofed, one-room shanty.

So imagine how it brightens a child’s day when he or she goes to the child development center and receives a letter from you — the sponsor.

Now imagine a child who doesn’t have a sponsor. When all the children receive letters at the center, one never comes for this child.

This child, Carlos from Colombia, was registered into the sponsorship program in April, 2008, and has never — I repeat NEVER — had a sponsor.

What questions do you think run through his head when he attends the center during letter-writing and receiving time? What would run through your mind?

“Wait!” You say. “Doesn’t the sponsorship program still provide Carlos everything he needs? He is registered, after all.”

Let me see if I can explain.

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