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
- Be sensitive not to mention your material possessions or money