mardi 24 mai 2011


Sadly today, bad news and gossip sells newspapers!

It's almost unbelievable that this week the British tabloids are full of the story of an overpaid, oversexed footballer who has cheated on his wife. I bet he regrets his dalliant actions now! But, does the average man in the street, who works hard to provide for his family, really care about a celebrity's infidelity? It is sad if he does!

World poverty and disease certainly put everything into perspective. Last year, 881,000 people died of malaria. Just imagine, almost a million people dying from a preventable, treatable disease. Alarmingly, far more die from hunger each year.

At least 24-hour fasting gives one a sense of what it 's like to go to bed on an empty stomach. But tragically, children in Africa often go to bed without having eaten anything for days.

Perhaps we in the West could curb our oppulent lifestyles to correct this woeful imbalance.

'It's not my problem!' I hear you protest.

I know these are difficult times in which there are bankruptcies and redundancy, but if you have spare change in your pocket then you're richer than the world's 3 billion people who eake out an existense on the meagre $2.50 they earn each day. Imagine trying to prepare two daily meals for four with £1.80!

But it doesn't have to be this way. You can do something about it!

We only get one crack at this life. Wouldn't it be great to know, at the end of your life, that you'd made a difference to the world's poorest people. After all, we're only really fulfilled when we're helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

The money you saved by not buying a daily newspaper (yes, just 80p.!) could support a child in the Third World and transform his/her life with the provision of a coveted education, the ticket out of the poverty trap.

Somebody once said that when you transform a child's life you transform a community. If enough people in the affluent West sponsored children overseas with charities like Compassion, Toybox, Unicef and World Vision, then lives, communities and nations could be lifted from poverty once and for all and allowed to flourish.

On my travels to south Asia in the year 2000 as Editor of The Leprosy Mission (TLM), I saw the amazing difference that micro-credit finance schemes made to leprosy victims' lives.

When one lady in Bangladesh told her husband she had lepsrosy, he kicked her out of the family home warning that he never wanted to see her gain as she'd disgraced the family name. With nowhere to go, she then went to a TLM hospital where she was cured of her leprosy and then given a loan, after some training in a marketable skill, to set up a small business.

When her business started to thrive and she became a respected member of her community, even more so than before she had leprosy, her husband begged her to take him back!

I would even buy a paper if it featured true stories of people who have overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles and appalling disabilitiess to transform their communities in the Third World !

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