What would you do if you looked out your front window and saw the child next door – the child who was once a healthy, energetic 11-year-old – search the bushes for insects to feed his youngest sister?
What would you do if you knew that once a fortnight the boy walked his sister almost 10km to a health centre for help? Or if you knew, as the children became thinner and thinner, that their desperate father was about to leave them to search for work in the city?
What if the father was considering selling a seven-year-old into marriage because he could no longer afford to feed her, and needed the payment to feed the rest of his family?
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Here’s a question – why are people rioting in Britain but not in Africa?
Why are we seeing violence and vandalism on the streets of London, where an entire government bureaucracy has been built up around giving money to the poor, but not on the streets of Mogadishu, where there is no government assistance at all, barely a government, and whatever aid is provided by other countries is often pilfered by unscrupulous local officials?
Here’s another question. Why are we seeing more panic and hysteria on the floors of the western world’s stock exchanges and among investors than we are in the Somalian camps, where according to the latest figures one in every 10 children under the age of five will be dead by November?
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Here’s a great story in the spirit of the festive season.
Melbourne-based academic and human rights advocate Sekai Shand has spent the majority of the last 25 years working in various international disaster zones.
But she recently returned home to the African village where she was raised to perform her most important mission yet - helping the women of her village overcome poverty and violence through self-sufficiency.
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Disease looms as the second wave of death behind virtually every natural disaster. It is why the first stages of relief efforts are best measured by what doesn’t happen rather than what does.
The response to the Asian tsunami was stunningly successful in halting thousands more deaths through disease.
The threat of disease is the reason why in Pakistan today, even though flood waters have peaked and are beginning to recede, the situation facing millions of survivors is catastrophic.
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World Vision is a signed-up member of the ever-growing ‘I Love Frankston’ fan club, applauding the generosity and compassion of local residents whose good deeds often go unnoticed by the media.
Results from a recent World Vision survey into child sponsorship found that the so-called ‘bogans’ of Australia often beat out the bourgeoisie and blue-bloods when it comes to making a difference in the fight against global poverty.
According to the survey findings, Frankston residents are among Australia’s biggest givers to children living in poverty, regardless of a weekly median income of $880, which is significantly lower than the national median household income of $1,139. Despite child sponsors accounting for less than two per cent of the total population of Victoria, more than 1,000 Frankston residents currently sponsor a child through World Vision.
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