My previous entries
The Big Collaboration and everything!
Wed 3rd Dec, 2008
So, we finally seem to be ready to produce this BIG picture!
By working together we are hoping to create a larger image more visible within the ever expanding circle of the OMM. A collaboration of OMM members. A project that is fun to participate in as we try to attach to each others images.
I love being a part of this collaboration but also of the OMM itself, not because of my fantastic art skills (I cannot deny my talent!) but because of what the OMM is really all about...MONEY! Money for charities that desperately need it.
I support Actionaid and have done so for many years. In fact 18 years this year. I used to take my now 18 year old son to a toddler group every Wednesday and met many new mums. After a few months one of these mums approached me and asked if I would be interested in sponsoring a child. I took the literature she gave me and read all about what this meant and what I would be helping to achieve. I decided it was something I wanted to do.
I had a healthy, well fed, child born in a rich country who wanted for nothing (apart from the latest toy advertised on the tele!) How could I justify his lack of nothing with another childs lack of everything so I sponsored a girl from Uganda roughly the same age as my son. I say roughly because nobody actually knew her real age. They guessed and then picked a date...That was her birthday.
I continued to sponsor this girl for the first sixteen years of her life. In that time a new schoolroom was built in her village. For the first time at the age of 10 she could go to school. A well was built, she no longer had to trek through the heat with a heavy container to fetch water several miles away.
Various other things were done to make life more bearable for the people of her village but these two things stuck in my head as they are so basic and something we in "The West" take so much for granted.
In the years of sponsoring her I also sent her postcards (with interesting pictures on them as advised) and little gifts. I was told not to send anything that could cause jealousy so I would send enough crayons/pencils/balloons etc. to go around all the children from her village. She in turn sent me letters with beautiful drawings on them and all written in English. In her younger years these were written for her but after the school room was built she wrote them herself. I was also sent two photographs, one of her at the age of six and the other at sixteen both of which I still have.
After she reached sixteen I moved on to what was called the "Next Phase or "Step" or something like that where my donations were used for larger projects but I no longer had a face to put to my donations to. My job raising my sponsored child was considered done.
I did miss my regular communication with her but understood that she was now considered an adult and had her own life to get on with.
I have bored you with all this in the hope that someday (when a lot of you are a lot older!) you may consider this as a worthwhile thing to do. Perhaps when you have finished your education and you are starting a family of your own. I found it so rewarding to have a face and a real person to look at when handing over my money. And such a small amount of money that achieved so much.
To me she is my other child and I hope one day that I will be able to visit her and finally give her a hug and say "Hello".