Today, children, both boys and girls, are still an unwanted burden in many poverty-stricken parts of our unequal world; they receive few, if any, basic rights including, food, education and medical care.
Daily Prayer donors continue to answer their call in many small but great ways. We fund the delivery of multiple projects through dedicated local volunteers who get to know the poor families personally and form lasting friendships.
In June 2019, our World Population was estimated to be around 7.7 billion; 5.91 billion of them living in Asia and Africa compared to only 1.1 billion in America and Europe, the wealthier world nations (Worldometers).
In March 2019, there were 2,153 billionaires in the world, worth a combined wealth of $8,700,000,000,000 (Forbes).
This year, an estimated 1.2 billion people will suffer from hunger (calorie and nutrient deficiency) and 9 million will die as a direct result.
A Street StoryThe endless number of stories that could be shared is equal only to the millions of poor in our world. This is one such example, one poor child.
A Child Sleeps
I stopped outside a modern-day shopping mall on my way from a nearby Soup Kitchen. The two photographs below are real life.
It was around twelve on the morning of 7th July 2015. The boy, probably older than he looked, perhaps 13-14 years of age, was sound asleep close to the entrance of a busy high street restaurant and oblivious to everything going on around him.
The area he had chosen as his bed was dry and relatively clean. The ground had a slight upward slope to the restaurant door, perhaps with his arm, it acted as a kind of pillow! Maybe it was exhaustion that led the boy to select this spot as his bed, or maybe he knew the canopy above would shelter him from the scorching midday sun. Either way, it didn’t seem to matter to him, nor sadly, the many pedestrians who passed by during his, by now, two-hour rest.
Then something unexpected happened. An old man stopped and bent down beside the boy. He shook him by the shoulder and waited.
The boy slowly emerged from his deep sleep and as he did, the man, choosing his moment, forced something into the partially opened palm of his hand. The boy, alert to the man’s actions, continued stretching his arms and legs as he struggled to compose himself.
Slowly he stood up and, in his daze, he watched the old man walk towards the restaurant door and enter. At the same time, he kept looking back into the palm of his hand… his thoughts were his, alone!
Uneasily, the boy followed in the direction of the man but, after only a few paces, his path was blocked. He knew the rules, only customers were allowed inside the restaurant. As a street boy, he was barred and the armed Security Officer strictly applied the policy. Indeed, he didn’t have to do a lot to deter the boy, just show his uniformed presence.
The young boy waited for the time when he would catch the eye of the old man through the glass door. It seemed long in coming, but when their eyes met, it was overwhelming for the boy. No longer dazed, he smiled, laughed, waved, jumped… and shouted, “Thank you, Sir,” “Thank you, Sir…,” while keeping his hand firmly shut.
The boy’s presence at the restaurant door was soon considered unwelcome. With a hand gesture and slow return walk towards the door, the Security Guard instructed the boy to leave. Before the guard could open the door, the still joyous boy had walked back to his “old bed” and picked up a small unnoticed plastic bag! The bag contained his sole belongings. He had placed it in the corner behind him while he slept. It was a small bag of cooked rice, shared with him earlier in the morning by another street child.
Our projects are primarily in Vietnam and the Philippines; two countries with very high levels of poverty. Here is a sample mix of past and continuing events: