Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Discuss just about anything else
Post Reply
User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Post by DOSGuy » September 17th, 2009, 11:38 pm

This is going to get a little bit preachy, but I hope you'll forgive me under the circumstances.

Last week I went to a local seafood restaurant and got a mild case of food poisoning. As I was hurling my guts out all night, I thought about the millions of people who get poisoned on a regular basis by not having clean water to drink and bathe with. Parasites in drinking water can cause vomiting (leading to starvation), diarrhea (leading to dehydration), blindness, and death.

When Classic DOS Games had a surplus recently, I tried to give back to the community by sending money through PayPal to people who posted in the forums. That wasn't a great idea, and I promised to do something better with any surplus in the future. Well, for $35 a month, I've sponsored a little girl from Ghana named Samira through World Vision.

Some people think that these sponsorship programs make problems worse by helping more children to survive infancy, thus sustaining the population explosion and further increasing the need for aid. Modern charities like World Vision work to end the cycle of poverty by helping communities become sustainable by providing education and empowering people to take care of themselves. As people's standard of living improves, birth rates naturally decline and communities gradually move beyond the need for aid.

I chose to sponsor a girl because women are the pillars of any community. Girls who don't go to school usually marry young and have large families, so their children are born into poverty, continuing the cycle of poverty for another generation. Girls who go to school become employed and earn money. They tend to marry at an older age, have smaller families that they can afford to provide for, so their children aren't born into poverty, breaking the cycle of poverty!

To be clear, this isn't an appeal for donations to Classic DOS Games to pay for Samira's sponsorship. Samira is my responsibility, and I'll continue to sponsor her for the next 10 years, when she turns 18. I encourage all of you to consider sponsoring a child of your own and help to make a difference for generations. Still, I'd like everyone who visits Classic DOS Games to be able to think of Samira as our sponsored child. If anyone would like to write a short note to her, I'd be happy to pass it along in one of my letters. Bearing in mind that I won't flood Samira with mail, and your notes must be short and follow certain guidelines, I'll pass along your messages and post her responses in the forum.

World Vision's rules for letters to Samira:
  • Tell her about you, your family and your friends
    What you like to do (sports, hobbies)
    Where you live (scenery, climate, customs)
    Ask about what she likes to do
    Ask about where she lives
Please:
  • Be sensitive not to mention your material possessions or money
Even while we struggle through a recession, please remember that there are millions of people who face challenges that we can't imagine. $35 per month is a small price to pay to make a difference that will last for generations. While I encourage sponsorship of girls, boys deserve to go to school too, so either choice is a wonderful gift to a child and his or her community.
Attachments
Samira.jpg
Samira.jpg (24.7 KiB) Viewed 10020 times
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Post by DOSGuy » September 18th, 2009, 12:35 am

This is the first letter that I'm sending to Samira. Getting mail to and from our sponsored child may take up to 6 months, so it will be interesting to see how long this takes.

Samira is 8 (turning 9 in October), so I've chosen to keep the reading level at a grade school level until I hear back from her. English is the official language of Ghana, but 8 million Ghanaians speak a language called Twi, so our messages may need to be translated.

I mention games in my letter because games of skill help mental development. I also think it's important for girls to play games like chess so that they'll see that boys aren't smarter than girls, and I hope that such games will give her the confidence to pursue intellectual activities and higher education. Board games also allow boys and girls of all ages to make friends and enjoy friendly competition, even if they aren't big enough or strong enough to play physical games like soccer.

If anyone would like to add a short message of their own, I'll send it along with mine.


Dear Samira:

Happy birthday!

I live in Canada, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean from you! I don't have any brothers and sisters, so my family is quite small. I'd love to hear about your family!

Even though I'm a grown up, I still enjoy playing games with my friends. I like to play chess, checkers, and Oware, which you might know as Adji or Awalé. What kind of games do you and your friends like to play?

You're growing up in a very exciting time for Africa! You and your community are changing the world, and I'm very proud of you. Even though Ghana is very far away, I hope that you will think of Canada as your neighbour in the global community.

My friends and I wish for happiness for you and your family.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

User avatar
ThreeHeadedMonkey
7-bit super nerd
Posts: 208
Joined: January 16th, 2008, 1:23 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Post by ThreeHeadedMonkey » September 18th, 2009, 1:01 am

That's wonderful! Be sure to let us know if she responds to your letter.
Chinese checkers. Mashed potatoes! And a tyrannosaurus rex!

User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Post by DOSGuy » December 21st, 2009, 5:40 pm

I got a letter from Samira!

She obviously didn't write it by herself -- she was helped by "Alaru" who appears to be a relative -- but she drew a nice picture of a ball.
Samira wrote:Dear friend,

I am so happy to have learnt for myself that you have chosen me as your sponsored child.

I live in Woribogu -- a community located about 2 km east of Tolon -- the district capital.

We live in round houses built of mud bricks and roofed with thatch.

There are two seasons in Ghana. They are the Dry Season and the Wet Season. The Dry Season occurs between October and March whilst the Wet Season also occurring in between April and September.

The inhabitants here are predominantly peasant farmers who produce crops such as maize, yam, rice etc for family consumption and for sale.

May I end here and wish you God's blessings.

Your child,
Samira
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

User avatar
ThreeHeadedMonkey
7-bit super nerd
Posts: 208
Joined: January 16th, 2008, 1:23 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Post by ThreeHeadedMonkey » December 22nd, 2009, 6:22 pm

That is awesome.
Chinese checkers. Mashed potatoes! And a tyrannosaurus rex!

User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Samira, Classic DOS Games' sponsored child

Post by DOSGuy » July 20th, 2010, 11:34 pm

I've received two more letters from Samira.

The first one was mailed from Ghana on 24 May 2010 and arrived in June. It reads:
Samira wrote:Dear friend,

I am so much happy to have learnt that you have accepted me as your sponsored child.

I live and attend school in Woribogu -- a community located about 2 km east of Tolon -- the district capital.

We live in round houses which are built of mud bricks and roofed with thatch.

There are two seasons in Ghana. The include the Wet season and the Dry season. The Wet season occurs between April and September.

Majority of the people here are peasant farmers who cultivate crops for family consumption and for sale.

May God richly bless you for your love and care.

Your child,
Samira
Pretty much identical to the first letter. The letter is, once again, written by Alaru, and Samira drew a picture of a round house which is labelled "a room".

The second letter was mailed from Ghana on 14 June 2010 and arrived in July. It reads:
Samira wrote:Dear friend,

I am so much happy to have learnt that you have accepted me as your sponsored child.

I live in Woribogu, a community located about 2 km east of Tolon -- the district capital.

We live in round houses which are built of mud bricks and roofed with thatch.

We have two main seasons here in Ghana. They are the Dry Season and the Wet Season. The Dry Season occurs between October and March.

Majority of our people cultivate food crops such as maize, yam, rice, etc and rear livestock for family consumption and the excess usually sold for family income.

Let me stop my pen and wish you God's endless blessing.

Your child,
Samira
It was written by Alaru, and Samira drew the same picture of a round house with a thatched roof, but this time she drew it in green pen instead of pencil.

I suspect that Alaru writes hundreds of nearly identical letters for every sponsor, which I have no problem with. I was pleased to have a picture of "a ball" and "a room" from Samira, but I'm not sure if she would choose to draw "a room" twice. It could well be that the same child also draws pictures for all of the letters that Alaru writes.

I'm not really sure what to make of this.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

Post Reply