If you’re a mom, it’s unlikely that you’ve never yelled at one of your children, “Don’t eat that, it’s dirty!” I’m a bit of a germaphobe. M would probably count this as an understatment, but I like to think the darling little petri dishes that run around my house have loosened me up a bit. However loosened up I am, we do not eat food that has fallen on the ground though. At my house, there is no five second rule, no three second rule, no one second rule. If it’s been on the ground, don’t put it in your mouth. That’s the rule. But, I’m not Benjamin’s mom and I don’t have to send my two year old out for 6-8 hours a day in search of water from a pond that we share with animals, a pond teaming with bacteria that could give my child diarrhea – something that can be very deadly in underdeveloped parts of the world. I feel like I barely get my kitchen cleaned up before two little garbage disposals come in whining that they are hungry. Again. But, I’m not Benjamin’s mom who can only feed my child maize, peanuts, cassava, beans sweet potatoes and fruit. Once a day. I don’t watch my child burn all their calories carting heavy buckets of water all day, every day. I put large, nutritious dinners on the table every night and when my child doesn’t want to eat, I tell them about childen like Benjamin who would like to eat the roasted chicken. I sigh as I sweep up the quinoa that has somehow managed to coat my entire kitchen. But, I’m not Benjamin’s mom and don’t have to listen to my baby cry because he has worked hard all day long in the hot sun and is now hungry and knows there is no hope that tomorrow will be better. I don’t have to mix a little oil with a little sugar and some mud to feed to my child so that he won’t feel so hungry. I don’t have to worry that once asleep, mosquitoes won’t infect my sleeping baby with malaria. Each year in the Congo, malaria steals 82,000 children under the age of 5. Think of city of Bellingham, WA or Bloomington, IN or Concord, NC being full of only babies and preschoolers – stolen from their mother’s arms by a disease that could be prevented for no more than a couple dollars.
Martain Luther King, Jr. once said:
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
I don’t know about you, but I hope Benjamin’s mom see us as better than “good” people.
What if tomorrow, Benjamin’s mom was told that someone she’d never met, someone on the other side of the world, thought that this kind of childhood just wasn’t fair? What if she heard that this person had $8 per week that they could spare without taking food off their own table? What if she heard that they believed Benjamin should have a chance at not only survival, but a future? What if that person thought that all kids, regardless of latitude, ought to have their basic needs met. What if they were just a normal person who partnered with an extraordinary organization who had the knowledge and experience to make a difference for Benjamin. What if today that person was you? Contact me directly to sponsor Benjamin or click on Benjamin’s picture to find another child who needs YOU to make the difference in their life between barely hanging on and actually thriving.
For the record, I don’t know that Benjamin’s mom actually feeds him mud pies, but this is a common practice in many areas of the world where food is especially scarce.