Last week, we interviewed Pam Kitane-Millora of World Vision on our show, to talk about the relief efforts of the organization. We thought it was just the usual interview, then that’s that. But after, Pam stuck around and asked if she could tell us more about World Vision and what it does outside of the relief efforts; it’s day job, so to speak. I’ve actually heard a lot about it, and I’ve long wanted to check it out, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it. I guess the time was ripe.
Pam explained how people can sponsor individual children. For a monthly donation of P600 per child, that comes to P20 per day, you get to impact the specific child by giving him access to school supplies, uniforms, health care, children’s rights protection, and even help out the community that your sponsored child lives in. You can actually write to your sponsored children and if they’re up to it, they could write back. The whole process may take months, but they can make it happen. Some even set up visits to meet the kids in person. And twice a year, you get something from them: an annual progress report on how the child is doing (including his latest photo, his grades in school, and updates on the community he lives in) and a Christmas card.
It really made a lot of sense to me. You know how sometimes you’d like to give to charity but you don’t know exactly where the money goes? But when there is a name and a face that goes with it, suddenly you’re giving it to someone specific. Pam brought with her the pictures and bios of some of the kids who haven’t been sponsored yet, and my heart just melted. It’s one thing to know that many kids are suffering with not enough money for food and education, but it’s another to actually “meet” them, even if only through a bio-data. Suddenly there are pairs of eyes staring back at you, as if asking for much needed aid, help that would cost, for someone who has a stable job, a very easy 20 pesos a day. To know that for such a small amount you can change their lives forever, changes you forever.
Delle and I sponsored 2 kids each, one boy, one girl. I chose the youngest ones in the bunch. Meet Frank and Jaymaya:
This whole process touched me in very unexpected ways and degrees. I find myself looking at their pictures very often, hoping that they’re okay, praying that I can keep up my end of the bargain for as long as I can, and awaiting the day that I’ll hear word from them. The gift of giving truly is a gift as much for the giver as it is for the recipient. It’s a gift because it is a reminder of how blessed we are that we are in a position where we have a lot, enough to share what is surplus to those badly in need of assistance. It’s a gift because it gives us an opportunity to get in touch with our own humanity, however buried it might be in the wheelings and dealings of our quotidian rat race. It reminds us of the compassion residing in each and every one of us, muted by years of learned distrust in our fellow men. It’s the same call heeded by many during the calamity brought on by the twin storms. It’s in all of us; sometimes it takes extraordinary circumstances to awaken ordinary heroes long dormant. I’m not trying to preach here, I’m just sharing the thought process that I’m going through as I thresh all these awakened emotions inside of me. And if I could share the remarkable experience that it is, I would.
It’s not so much patting yourself on the back for the display of nobility, but more of always wanting to help, then finally being shown how. I’m pretty sure we’ve all had that moment when we said, “I’d love to help out, but what can I do?” So when the opportunities present themselves, it’s time to walk the walk. And like I said, it’s for a fraction of the price we willingly splurge on the finer luxuries in life. Nothing wrong with that, but the experience will be twice as rich if we could share the blessings that come our way, with those much less fortunate. For me, it’s not so much giving, but sharing.
If you want to know more details, or maybe you have questions about the organization, you can call their Donor Service Hotline at 02-3727777 or you can visit www.worldvision.org.ph.
This isn’t really a plug, but more of a testimony. It’s an enriching experience to know that so little of your money can impact a child’s life so significantly. I really look forward to getting updates on Frank and Jaymaya, to hopefully slowly seeing the quality of their lives improving. It’s an empowering joy to know that we can make a marked difference, however small, into improving lives of our fellow human beings. It’s as if collectively, we really do have the power to literally, make this world a much better place.