Humanitarian

A Child’s Wish List

’Tis the season of children’s wish lists, and one in particular has caught my attention this year.  Save the Children Canada has a section on their website called “Wishlist 2009”.  It’s a list of ten gifts that make a difference.  Seven of the ten gifts cost between $20 and $100, with the other three stretching upwards in the budget to reach $1,000.

School 3Starting on the lowest rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, for just $20 you can help feed two children lunch at school for a whole month in Burkina Faso (once known as Upper Volta) in western Africa.  You can help buy lunch every day for a year for $200.  If you’ve ever been hungry after missing a meal, you’ll know how distracting hunger can be.  As well, children need food so they develop properly and stay healthy.

school 5We’re so lucky to be able to turn on our taps and get clean water.  Access to clean water is vitally important, and for $50 you can contribute towards providing a water filter for a school to help children avoid illness.  You can also buy six ceramic water filters for rural schools for $300, and help keep Nicaraguan children healthy.

For $500, you can support the purchase of ten doses of Pentaxine, a vaccine that fights hepatitis, which can be fatal for children.

school 4Consider sponsoring basic school supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, and a geometry set for children in Latin America for $35.  Or for $80, help Save the Children purchase a locally-made desk for two students, in Burkina Faso or Kenya.

You can also assist a teacher with transportation so they can get to school, visit parents, and even transport a sick child to a medical clinic, all for $100.

Accessing health services, education, and other state services in Nicaragua requires having a birth registration.  For $25, you can help ensure that two Nicaraguan children have their births registered and can access the services that they need.

school6Remote communities in places such as Nicaragua often lack health facilities.  For $120, you can assist in equipping a health services birthing team, including a midwife, and even emergency obstetric care if needed.

Feeling truly philanthropic? $1,000 provides 90 tables and benches for 180 students in Burkina Faso.

school 2So as you rush around completing your shopping and trying to fulfill wish lists, please remember that the children of our world also have wish lists.  Let’s help them smile and feel the joy of this season and of having basic life needs met for the coming months.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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