Empowering the underprivileged
Today an estimated 40,000 children will die of hunger or hunger-related disease. Within a year, malaria will claim the lives of one million children. In view of this, helping the poor to survive is a commendable aim – but Siloam Christian Ministries together with Childcare Worldwide (CCW) also strives to help the poor succeed.
Beginning with essentials, they counter the worst effects of poverty by providing food and safe drinking water. Then they seek to empower the underprivileged by helping them acquire life skills. If children can obtain an education they have a future.
‘Survival Packs’ of staple foods are provided in developing countries. Critical care programmes fight diseases such as malaria with basic provisions like mosquito nets. Then children are sponsored to learn trades or obtain further education leading to employment.
CCW Chairman Dr David Nelson explains that in places such as Kenya and Uganda many children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. If they want to go to high school or vocational school they must leave their villages. Now they have the opportunity to do so through funding from Siloam and CCW.
Last year Dr Nelson and his wife Lynne were in Kenya for the graduation of students benefiting from this programme. Among them was a woman who now works as a tailor for a non-profit organisation providing children with clothes. Another had achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a nurse and had opened a clinic back in his home village.
‘Within a month of the clinic opening, a man was brought in who had been mauled by a lion’, says David Nelson. ‘The nurse was able to save this man’s life. Without the clinic he would have died’.
Dr Nelson pleads, ‘Just because a problem is huge, don’t shy away from trying to make a difference. You can make a huge difference in the life of one person or even a few people’.