Sponsor Children - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-30-2001, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
cynthia mosher's Avatar
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Sponser children

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Author Topic: sponser children
Member posted 07-18-2001 06:56 PM
Well, I'm not a foster parent, which has been mentioned here before.
Four years ago, I succumbed to a commercial, you know the kind, where the sad, hungry eyes stare at you as you sit in your comfortable home.
I chose "whoever needs help the most" instead of choosing a gender or nation.
Our "sponsored child" is Lucas, of India. In exchange for a measley $12.00 per month, I believe our family has been more blessed than Lucas through this relationship. It is almost as if he is actually a member of our family. The children have often wondered, during dinner, what Lucas had to eat that day. We talk about the differences in his life from our children's lives. They really get it!
Anyone else?

Member posted 07-18-2001 06:58 PM
Oh my gosh, I can't believe I misspelled "sponsor!"
Anyone know how I can correct that?!

Member posted 07-18-2001 07:29 PM
We just got an update and a pic from our little boy today! Thaebo is in south africa and the same age as our oldest. We thought it would be a really tangible way for the kiddos to understand tithing. Its sad. we have 2 pics of this 3 yo, and he is so serious in both of them.

Member posted 07-19-2001 06:43 PM
Our Lucas's pics have certainly changed over the years.
He looks better, although I admit, the skeptic in me wonders if they are posed this way. I need to be more positive!
Do your kids speak of your sponsor often, too?

Member posted 07-19-2001 08:00 PM
How wonderful that you did that. I want to do that too. I think it's very cool that you and your son talk about his ' brother '. You are teaching valuable lessons. Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to look into it.

Member posted 07-19-2001 08:20 PM
FYI, while I was studying in Nepal, I visited the Save the Children headquarters there, and found out about their projects.
Save the Children does some incredibly worthwhile stuff -- not just for individual children, but for whole communities. While I was there, one of their big projects was the Safe Home Birth Kit. In Nepal, 99% of women give birth at home. There are no midwives as such; basically, if you've ever had a child yourself, you're assumed capable of assisting another woman while she gives birth. Most women are assisted by their mother-in-law or a friend.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Nepali women (and men, for that matter) are illiterate and ignorant of basic germ theory. They don't understand things like that they should wash their hands before catching a baby, and that they should cut the cord with something sterile. As a result, the infant and maternal mortality rates there are quite high, and most are from totally preventable causes. For example, 30% of newborn deaths in Nepal are caused by tetanus -- from cutting the cord with a dirty knife.

In some countries, they've dealt with these problems by pushing to have all women birth in hospitals. This is not practical in Nepal, where many people live days and days from the nearest hospital. So, the Safe Home Birth Kit project was an attempt to put the necessities for a safe birth into the hands of any pregnant woman who wanted it. The WHO has stated that the top three priorities in a birth are a clean surface, clean hands, and a clean cord. The kit contains a plastic sheet (clean surface); a bar of soap (clean hands); and a small razor blade, three pieces of string, and a plastic cutting surface (clean cord). It also contains instructions, which mostly consist of pictures. (I have this thing somewhere. I wonder if I could dig it up?)

The kit was being sold for Rs 8 (about fifteen cents), because the organization believed that people would be more likely to use it if they'd paid a little money for it. They did a study to find out how much most families spent on the birth of a child, and concluded that this nominal cost wouldn't be out of reach for the vast majority of families.

Of course, there are a few women and babies who would not be saved by anything but a modern hospital, such as women whose babies are transverse. The attitude in Nepal (legitimate, I think) is that they'll work on fixing the easy problems first. If this kit were properly used for all births in Nepal, they could cut the infant and maternal mortality rates to 10% of what they are now.

So anyway, I just wanted to say, Save the Children does some great work. I sent them money every year for a while, but they annoyed me by sending me requests for more money on practically a weekly basis. Now we give to Catholic Relief Services instead . I never did a sponsorship with Save the Children; I just sent them a check each year.

Edited to add:

About the posed-looking pictures -- Nepali children LOVE to have their pictures taken, but tend to hold themselves very straight and line up firing-squad style, and they'll often try NOT to smile. I have lots of pictures of my host-brothers doing just that.

[This message has been edited by Naomi (edited 07-19-2001).]

Member posted 07-20-2001 09:39 AM
I sponsored a a child through Compassion International for over five years. His name was Pablo and he lived in Guatamala. I got him when he was five and he stayed with the program until he was 11, when he moved from the countryside where he'd been living with his mother and three siblings to the city with his father, so he could go work. His family decided his income from work was more valuable than his education through the Compassion International Program. I've often thought about him, he'd be around 18 now, an adult. I also got pictures, and letters which were really funny! He had a great sense of humor, and spoke frequently of his sisters and brother and mother. I wonder how he is?

Member posted 07-23-2001 01:02 PM
I was just going to say the same thing as Naomi about photographs. When I lived in Africa, I was always trying to get people to smile in their photos. Apparently, this is a very American thing. In many parts of Africa, photography is a rare treat. People do their best to look serious and dignified when they are having their image "recorded", ie: putting on their best clothes, looking very closed lipped. Off camera I bet that Thaebo is a happy, laughing boy.

Member posted 07-23-2001 05:48 PM
Hey everyone,
Thanks for the input on the photos. I feel better knowing that.
It has been rewarding, watching Lucas grow through the past several years. He looks healthier and happier, even if he's not smiling. My four kids picked up on the difference right away!
They really feel good about being a positive influence in someone's life!
Children Int'l makes regular pleas for extra money, too. We usually ignore it, as we are not rich people, but dh sends extra money at his birthday, Christmas, and the like.
This line of talk reminds me of a doctor who buys from my company. I just happened to take his call one day, he's "nothing special," a few 5-gallon containers here and there. Told me he uses them for his missions to Haiti. Then mentioned that he's an ob, and if he was out delivering when I called back, to leave a message. Couldn't help myself and said, "For crying out loud, don't cut, be sure you give her plenty of perineal support and let her get into a good position..." to which he replied, "Oh, I don't do that (cut), I work with midwives." Can you believe it?!
Needless to say, the conversation got better, I coded him in at special pricing, and he shared that his mission is desperate for any help they can get!
Maybe in a few years I'll be in a position to spend a couple of weeks in Haiti, helping the women there birth...
Always dreaming,
P.S. Thanks for the kind words, Kats, it means a lot to me...

Member posted 07-23-2001 06:03 PM
Oh, yeah!
So glad you brought this subject up here.
I saw an article on the "safe home birth kit" in a mainstream mag from my mother.
Although it angered me to read the author's tone, which of course sang the tune of, "these poor women don't have ob's to cut them open 20% of the time..." I saw the need through that.
I had intended to donate to that project, but ended up throwing the mag away.
Do you have the address where we can send contributions?
Aren't we blessed to live in places where we have enough to share even a few dollars to those who are less fortunate? I am grateful.

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