Monday, June 25, 2012

day 13: sustainability

I'm dedicating day 13 to this little girl I witnessed sifting through the trash for whatever recyclables her mother has trained her to look for. I wonder how much money they'll get for whatever it is she's managed to put in her little plastic bag today? Definitely not enough to pay for one of my 30 cent meals.

In the same slum colony, I met these kids in front of one of their make-shift homes. These are the kinds of kids we're trying to raise money for, to enroll them in school for their first time, to care for their needs at our slum outreach center in Hyderabad, India, "The Children's Hope Center." At a cost of $500/year, we're able to put them through school, pay for their uniforms, shoes, school supplies, hygiene items, including training at our computer lab, hot meals, and access to our medical care for those children in need.

Forgoing my favorite foods and walking barefoot for 30 days is turned into a delight when I remember them. I would do another 30 days in a heartbeat for these kids. (I just have to pace myself--this takes a lot of effort). Their resilience and sweet spirits in the midst of their struggle are enough to melt any heart. And they need our help, they really do. This is not just something the Indian government or locals are going to take care of. The problem is way to widespread and overwhelming for that.

The problem of urbanization in the developing world--the problem of the slums and their staggering overcrowding and the ecological nightmares found therein--must be met with a global effort of concerned individuals ready to take action, to do something to chip in whatever little bit can be afforded, to make a difference in a sustainable way. While, yes, there are problems in our own countries that need serious attention, we cannot forget our fellow global citizens--our neighbors--who cannot help themselves.

Speaking of sustainability, everything we do at Peace Gospel is undergirded with the support of small business enterprise. We've empowered each of our native teams in Asia & Africa with some form of business--mostly farmland related--that they must rely on for a portion of their program funding and to stock their orphanage pantries (we have at least one orphanage in each of the countries where we're working). In this way, we're empowering our native teams with an ownership in their work, knowing that if they can make their small businesses succeed, they'll be able to to do far more than if they just waited on the ebb and flow of handouts from the West.

So your gift to our slum education scholarship fund is actually multiplied to reach more children over time. In other words, our programs are sustainable--they would not just disappear if the funds from the West were decreased or stopped. They would suffer, yes, but they would not be paralized.

Here's a shot from our slum education center where a little girl named Luci is getting sized for her very first pair of shoes! And you know why she's able to wear shoes and go to school, right? Because someone decided they were done with indifference, decided to be a part of the solution to the problem--they overcame indifference and chipped in to help Luci go from barefoot in the trash heaps, to happily in her uniform and shoes, going to school with her new friends! I invite you to be a part of the solution today--again I'm challenging you to give even as little as $1.

Great news today! We saw several smaller donations come in toward the $5,000 goal, and we're now up to $2,230 on day 13! We're right on pace to reach the goal! This is very encouraging!

For those of you interested in following along with what I'm cooking up for $1/day, here's the meal run-down from today... hungry here and there and craving the comparatively rich foods my family is enjoying, but another pretty good day overall, no complaints!

Breakfast. Just went with a straightforward breakfast taco combo--two corn tortillas, one scrambled egg, a bit of pinto beans and brown rice, and the ever-present oatmeal with raisins. Thank God I love oatmeal. I seriously never get bored of it. It's the perfect breakfast food. If I could come up with a marketing slogal for oatmeal, it would be... "Oatmeal. Give it another try. Come home to the meal you've been missing." Sorry, humor break. 

Lunch. This was another huge success thanks to a suggestion from a friend via Instagram (Annetta, @_lupin_ thank you again!). Five words: Egg fried rice cabbage rolls! Enough said. Look at these beauties! Satisfaction, for about 30 cents! 

Dinner. Again, by the end of the day, I'm always racking my brain as to what to do with the remainder of my daily rations. I typically use up the good stuff at the beginning of the day, which might work out better anyhow, as that's when I need more energy. So tonight it was pasta/ramen noodle potato soup with a touch of what little cabbage I had left for today. But with the side of re-fried beans and my now-famous (in my little world) homemade tortilla chips, I was all set for about 30 cents! 

Take Action!

1) Please consider giving toward my goal of 10 scholarships for children of the Indian slums. So far we've raised $2,230 of my $5,000 goal (10 scholarships). Every little bit helps!

2) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to Peace Gospel. If you're in the UK, use this link.

3) If you're compelled by my effort here, please share it with friends. The main goal is awareness. So if you can help with that, huge.

4) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I love hearing from you! It really helps!

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