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Those of us who live in North America and Western Europe are truly blessed. We have so many things to help us get through the day that they practically get unnoticed, such as plumbing, hot water, showers and for most, at least two decent size meals a day.

As women we have laws that protect us just like our male counterparts and the liberty to shape our own destiny.  We also have what most people in the world don’t have, hope.

This four letter word has been used so much in our day-to-day conversations that the essence of its meaning gets lost. According to The Free Dictionary online, hope is a wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment. So, if an underprivileged child growing up in North America has a dream to become a doctor, that child can attain his dream through dedication to his studies alone. Yes, he will have to take out a huge student loan that will take him years to pay off after he graduates; he will probably have to work part-time throughout his school years to supplement his income; he may even be fortunate enough to get a scholarship.  But one thing is for certain, this child can make his dreams a reality because he lives in a country that has a built-in infrastructure to assist him in achieving his goals.

But for the large majority of the world’s seven billion people the opposite is common place.  The word hope is just a by-word, a word people dream they could use. Because without the tools, support systems and finances to manifest ones dreams, hope becomes hopelessness. I’m not saying people in these situations don’t dream not to be hungry, travel the world or become a scientist, but they can’t act on achieving these desires because they don’t have the finances and social systems to aid them.   

When this reality began to crystalize into my psyche I decided to make a difference by sponsoring a child through the Christian Children’s Fund.  I adopted her when she was just a baby. She is now 10 years old and thriving in her studies. It may not be a huge contribution like saving a village, but I saved the life of a child. And every single one of us matters equally in this world. At first I made excuses and said I wasn’t financially stable. I had more important things to do with my money like pay bills, but my conscious wouldn’t let me get away with that hog-wash so I made my commitment to sponsor a child. And you want to know something, after almost 10 years since sponsoring a child I have not missed one penny of that money.  Not even during my period of financial hardship.  I treat this expense like every other monthly expense of mine.

Helping someone I don’t know has helped me to realize that life isn’t just about pleasing me and my loved ones.  It’s about helping my global citizens. I realized I didn’t have to empty my bank account or sacrifice my needs to help someone less fortunate, but make that little sacrifice I realized would not put a dent in my wallet. For just $30 a month, it has since gone up to $38 a month, I have provide clean water, food, education and books for a child. What that money has done for this child is given her hope. What a beautiful gift to give to a child.

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1. Katie Perera

United States

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Scarborough, Canada

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Fresno, CA, United States

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