Sunday 7 August 2016

Can You Transform a Child's Future? #GiveABackPack

I don't expect you realised that being the kind of person who reads this blog that you have the power to change a child's future.

Not just change it but transform it and make it better. In fact help it alter beyond recognition. And I'm not talking about a child that is your own. As parents we tend to realise that we can help shape the course of our children's futures. I'm talking about giving hope, dignity and the knowledge that someone believes in them to a child living in difficult conditions in Eastern Europe.

We tend to take education for granted here, it is standard for all kids in the UK to attend school five days a week and the implications are pretty high if we let our kids skip school. But life is very different elsewhere and it is universally acknowledged that education (especially for girls) can be the difference between a family staying in a cycle of poverty and no prospects and a young adult being able to break free from their chains and gain a valuable job with a bright future.

So how do you help?

Easy, can you offer £5 towards the cost of a school backpack that is fully equipped with notebooks, stationery and key text books. It costs about £15 for a fully equipped backpack and this years global campaign from Mission Without Borders (MWB) is aiming to fund 5000 backpacks for children attending school in the six poorest countries in Eastern Europe - Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine.

I love this campaign as Mission Without Borders want to be as efficient and sympathetic as possible and rather than asking people to send a backpack, they are asking for donations so that the equipment can be responsibly sourced in the destination country, boosting the local economy, alleviating shipping costs and reducing the environmental impact too.

I can't go to bed tonight and know that a child isn't going to school as they can't afford the basic stationery they need. It is just one thing too many, when the child is possibly already marked out at school as different as they are constantly tired as they have to work before school or can't afford the right clothes. My £5, £10 or £15 can be the catalyst that helps transform their life and that might sound a bit far fetched but MWB have plenty of testimonies from children that have been helped.

Children like Vladut , whose life has changed beyond recognition. Living in an isolated rural Roma village in Romania, chances in life have been very limited for him and his family. Here, no value is placed on education and a cycle of poverty and hopelessness has reigned for generations. MWB, through the local church, supports an After School project which aims to break this cycle. The Romanian team do this by placing education at the centre of everything.

Due to the support of donors (like you and me), Vladut has been given a new backpack and school supplies, and has a place to have a hot meal, do his homework, have fun and learn about Christian living. Compared to the sickly quiet boy who first arrived at the centre, Vladut can now express his feelings and opinions, he has more confidence, and he has even said when he is older that he wants to become a pastor! This change has only been possible through him feeling valued and supported. His parents now also attend church and while life is still a huge struggle, their dignity has been restored and they have hope for the future. That has to make you smile right?

Who are Mission Without Borders?
Mission Without Borders (MWB) is a Christian charity founded in 1960. Their values are rooted in Christianity but being Christian is not a condition of support. MWB has supported children living in poverty for many years and was one of the first organisations to respond to the Romanian orphanage crisis in 1989. They have a long and well established reputation for providing outstanding support to children. In recent years, accession to the EU has meant governments have begun closing their state institutions. In response, their programme has developed to include children living with parents or caregivers too. Their holistic approach to supporting children in institutions and the family home is unique and they have been supporting thousands of young people into a brighter future for many years.

I've not received anything in return for posting about this campaign, I just believe in what MWB are doing, I've made my donation and I'd love it if you would too.
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