If you read my first blog post you know that my You and the World (YATW) project is about global hunger and poverty. I talked about two organizations who have been trying to reduce the number of families in hunger and poverty. They also encourage people from all around the world to join them in their journey. Although both organizations are using different strategies to accomplish their goal, they won’t give up until the amount of global poverty is decreased. If you’d like to learn more about these organizations, please click on the links below.
After writing my first blog post, I took a short trip to Ecuador. Every Christmas, my family in Ecuador go up to the mountains where there are lots of poor towns. They bring food, toys, and clothes to give to the families. My family believes that it is better to give people in need something they can use efficiently, something they know that will help them, instead of money. The reason for this is because we don’t know what they will do with the money, they could use the money for something they don’t need.
I went with my family for the first time this year, and the experience was like no other. We drove to five different towns. Toys were given out to the children, clothes were given out to adults and children, and this year we gave out candy and crackers to everyone. Some of the towns were big, and some of the towns were small. There were at least a hundred people in two towns, and there were 20-40 people in other towns. The houses were all hand made with stone or mud, and the schools were all just one room. Each town had a church, and the church in each town, was the largest building.
While researching this topic, I thought I knew everything there was to know about this issue, but nobody will ever know everything about anything. I learned so much from my trip and experience. I got to meet people who are struggling with poverty. People who try really hard to keep their families healthy. Mothers who would do anything to see a smile on their child's face. There were lots of kids who weren’t attending school when I was there, instead, they were working or taking care of their siblings.
When we arrived, every child in the town would run up to the car and peek inside. They saw the toys and jumped up and down in excitement. Each and every child waited patiently for their toy, and when they got one, they opened it; their patience getting weaker and weaker. And finally, they were able to open that toy, their expressions after that, are indescribable. I’ve never seen somebody so happy, it was amazing! Some parents cried, and others laughed, others just smiled, because their children were smiling. Candy and clothes were given out as well. We made goodie bags that had crackers and candy. The first thing that was eaten (by almost everyone) when the bag was opened, were the crackers, and the candy was saved for later. We made sure everyone got clothes and shoes. Some people didn’t have warm clothes for those unexpected cold days, or an extra pair of dry clothes for the days that rained. We also gave out shoes that could be worn in any weather, most people wore sandals, or worn out shoes.
I will never completely understand this issue, no matter how much I try to. I don’t know how it feels to be in their situation. As much as want to understand, I can’t, but that doesn’t stop me from helping. Poverty and hunger are global issues, which means people from all around the world should be helping to decrease it. Join an organization, or start your own organization, or even help out at a soup kitchen. Every little thing matters, every little step is one step closer to help decrease poverty. What really leaves me wondering though is, does there have to be a goal? For example the UN has a goal to decrease poverty by half from 1990 to 2015. Will they stop there though, or will they keep on going. Poverty and hunger can’t go away just like that. Awareness of this issue has to be brought to the attention, people have to keep on helping because there will always be something to do.
Not only will I keep on helping, but I will be sure to bring awareness to this issue. I am going to create a presentation for my classmates and explain to them what I’ve been doing these past couple weeks. I’m going to show them what I got to see during my trip, and I’m going to explain what I did, and what they can do to help.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for my next post!