As I write this post, I’m sitting in an office in Dublin, Ireland. The weather is miserable outside… but we’re warm and protected indoors. The bad weather means that it’s really dark, even early in the day… but we fix this by switching on the lights. Even looking out the window makes me shiver… so I pull my comfy sweater a little closer around me. If I feel thirsty… I can help myself to a drink from the fridge. When lunchtime comes, we will all make our way down to the canteen for some food to keep us going for the few hours until we head home for dinner.
In recent weeks I have found myself worrying about my bank account, my savings, my mortgage, my job… My mind has been filled with thoughts about unemployment, repossessions, stock markets plummeting, banks going bust… As more & more bad news hit the headlines I began to wonder… can this get any worse?
Then it hit me… Yes.
Despite the financial turmoil, despite the credit crisis, despite house prices falling, despite everything… I AM one of the lucky ones.
- I don’t have to worry about feeding my family tonight.
- I don’t wonder where my next meal will come from.
- I don’t worry about my baby drinking dirty water.
- I don’t have to sleep outdoors tonight or any night.
I have access to food, shelter and warm clothing. I have clean water on tap. I can visit a doctor if I need to. I have access to heat and electricity at the flick of a switch. I have access to education and training. I have job opportunities and leisure time. I even have the privilege of having some savings to worry about in these economic times…while many people don’t have even enough money to survive, never mind save.
At the moment many of us are cutting our spending… this is leading to a fall in charitable donations… there is a real fear that this may result in many of the world’s poorest people suffering even more than they already do.
So, despite the economic downturn, I have decided to make a small but determined effort in favor of those much less fortunate than me. Out goes the weekly treat of Hot Chocolate with extra marshmallows & whipped cream… in comes an extra weekly donation to charity. It may not be much, but it’s a start. If you think about it, by foregoing one tall latte, you could contribute $3 to someone in dire circumstances.
Plan is an international development agency which works to implement programs at a grassroots level in health, education, water and sanitation. Children are at the heart of all Plan activities and their projects directly support more than 1,500,000 children and their families.
By becoming a sponsor with Plan, StatCounter, together with thousands of other donors worldwide will help to improve the quality of life of children living in poverty.
Plan’s active support for child development over a long period of time aims to improve the healthy development of children from before birth, through to an adulthood in which they can be valuable and productive members of their community.
If you would like more information about Plan, please click here. To sign up as a sponsor follow this link, or click here to make a single donation to Plan. Remember – every cent counts and every donation is appreciated.
Togo is a small country in West Africa. Annual income per head is just $350 and the mortality rate for children under 5 is over 10%.
Plan is currently working on various projects in this area including:
- erecting clean water points
- training teachers
- building and modernising schools
- establishing voluntarily manned crèches to release younger girls from the responsibilities of child minding so as they can attend school
Plan are also working to tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with disability by establishing and equipping community based rehabilitation centers. It is hoped that, following this project, disabled children will no longer be locked away in homes, but instead be given the opportunity to be active participants in society with the opportunity to live their lives to their maximum potential.
Positive results are already emerging as communities are beginning to recognise that disabled children have an important role to play. As one community leader put it ‘this project has helped us re-find our children’.