Letter to a girl like me.
I was born to this world to one mother, one father. I was born to this word to celebration and love. I was born to this world a healthy baby girl. So too, my dear were you.
I was born without clothes, without money or assets. I was born to this world without knowledge, Without experiences or pride. So also my dear were you.
I grew without opportunities, without healthcare or education. I grew without wealth, without future aspirations. I grew despite hunger, thirst and danger. I doubt my dear, this happened to you.
You are worth the world, more than diamonds and rubies. Your life is priceless, more than wealth or riches. You are worth much more than you could ever imagine. Why my dear, am I not worth that much too?
The poem above is written from the perspective of a girl growing up in poverty writing to a girl growing up in the developed world. In every way these girls were born equal, however the situation into which they were born makes them very different indeed. In the 21st Century we like to think that everyone is 'Equal' however this not the case. Some are 'more equal than others.' If you do not grow up in the developed world, in a wealthy country than your opportunities are extremely limited. Our world is unequal and we need to do something to change this.
I have been thinking recently about what true poverty really is. Is it simply a lack of money and services? Is it living out with the 'developed world' or growing up in an 'uncivilised' society? When I think about the world and all the cultures worldwide it is clear that we are all very different and diverse, our desires as humans depend on what have experienced. In the western world we are told that things make you happy, therefore we cannot understand that others around the world could be happy living a simple life. When it comes down to it though humans all need the same basic things, food, water, shelter, love and a purpose in life. We often forget that true poverty is not only a lack of food, water and shelter but of love and a purpose in life. Everyone wants to know that their life has counted for something, that they have contributed to this world and everyone needs a focus. There are many who live in what we would call 'developing countries' who may live with very little but they possess a huge focus in life and they have a purpose and role in their community.
The proverb 'Without a vision, the people perish' rings true here. Working in the slums of Kampala makes me see the inequality in today's world. These communities lack basic things like food, water, clothes and shoes, however what is truly heartbreaking is to see those who lack a vision. Three things come to mind here; a loving family, an education and opportunities. If a child has a loving family that supports them and cares for them they have a good chance of success in life. Education is so important and provides a child with hope for a good future, it gives them a focus in life and helps them to open up opportunities to choose the path in life that they wish.
Opportunities are opened up through education and are supported by a loving family. At KCK we are working to end child marriage in Uganda, something that comes about when people loose their 'vision.' In the slums many girls are denied their right to have an education because of the lack of school fees, they also cannot afford basic sanitary items and toiletries that they need as girls. They loose hope of being able to provide for themselves or get a job in the future and are often persuaded by older men to get married at the age of 12 or 13. These men often promise to pay for their school fees, to buy them the sanitary items and cosmetics that they need and promise them a good life. However the reality is that they become teenage mothers and never receive an education and the cycle of poverty continues. We at KCK want every child to have a hope for the future and we strive to provide education for children in the slums so that they will have the opportunities they need in life.
Unfortunately this world is very unequal. Each child's life around the world doesn't seem to be treated with the same value. Every child does not receive their basic human necessities and they do not have the same opportunities. There is however something we can do about this, we can continue to share the wealth and opportunities we have with those who do not have them. The world is now a global community and it is easier now then ever before to connect with others no matter how far away. By partnering with KCK you can help us to make a difference in the lives of children and communities in Uganda.
If you would like to help even one child to have the opportunities they deserve why not consider donating regularly to Kids Club Kampala or Sponsoring a Child to go to school. Please contact us for more information.