DD1 wants a pony. She spends hours on the internet pouring over details of horses for sale, and watching Youtube videos of girls who have been given horses as presents.
She’s been taking riding lessons for a couple of years now and she is in lurve with horses. Well, at least she’s in lurve with the *idea* of horses. It’s par for the course when you are 10 years old, I think.
The news that one of her friends is getting a horse has done nothing to blunt DD1′s equine desire. I can see her mind working; ‘If S is getting a a pony, then why can’t it happen for me too?’.
But I’m afraid she’s doomed to be disappointed. She will not be getting a pony while living under my roof. In a previous job in a mixed veterinary practice, one of the old horse vets used to say, ‘Don’t buy her a pony, get her heroin instead. It’s cheaper and less addictive’. I’m pretty sure he was exaggerating, but the sentiment has stayed with me.
Unless we end up with some land that can graze a horse, my children will continue to have to pay for their riding habits by the hour. Besides, if we bought a horse, it would have to be stabled about 20 minutes away and I’m buggered if I’m doing that journey twice a day.
On the other hand, DD2 has grown so much in the last 6 months that she is now bursting out of her school uniform. She needs a new one but I’m loathe to spend more money than I have to as there are only 5 more weeks of the school year to go. So my plan is to see what’s available in the way of second hand uniform from friends for now, and buy her new stuff for September.
But really, these are first world wants and needs, aren’t they? My eldest wants a pony, but in some countries children her age are wanting an education. Or some medical care. Or even simply a chance at life.
DD2 needs new school clothes. But for the essentials of food, water and clothing; in the world’s poorest countries, these resources are also often in short supply.
There may be a recession going on in the UK but most people living in Britain have a roof over their head, and access to healthcare and education. Most of us get enough to eat and almost all of us have clean drinking water freely available.
Not so, in countries like Niger. Located in the Sahara region of West Africa, Niger has the fourth worst child mortality rate in the world. It has very little fertile land but one of it’s major industries is agriculture. 90% of the workforce is employed in this industry, but after a series of droughts, harvest after harvest has failed.
No rain means no water, no crops, no food and no money. The men have left their villages, looking for work and food for their families. The women are left trying to keep their children alive with a gruel of water and sorghum and the odd root dug from the ground.
World Vision is an humanitarian organisation working in countries like Niger. It is dedicated to helping children, families, and their communities access water and food, healthcare and education and other essentials, but can’t help these poor people without your help.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day in the UK. If you, or your children, have a father who ‘has everything’, how about sponsoring a child in Niger on his behalf? 64p a day is all it costs to provide a child with access to water, food, education and health care.
And if you can’t afford an on going donation, please consider a one off gift. Even a couple of pounds will do.
Merry, over at Patch of Puddles, has written an amazing post explaining the situation in Niger much better than I have, and has set up some very clever buttons enabling you donate a one off amount to go towards the sponsorship of a child in Niger. If you feel like you could stretch to a regular monthly donation (as little as £6 a month), there is a button for that too.
And if you can’t afford anything, then please share or tweet (#shareniger) this or Merry’s post.
Do Something Wonderful. Change Someone’s World.
Donate. Share. Tweet.