This is a message not about me, but for anyone and everyone who contributes to foreign aid. It gives people in extreme poverty the smallest opportunity to live without fear of tomorrow for themselves, their family, their community or their country.
This is an email I received recently:
I am feeling alright these days; all the pains have gone, I can breathe normally, I can walk, I can work … thanks to you brother! I am always able to wake up to the rising sun, I am always able to see my son smiling at me because of you … you reconstructed my life, added joy to it, and made it enjoyable for my family.
Once again thank you for going out of your way to reach for me when I am in need.
I am in a position of privilege where I can directly contribute to the quality of life of another. But this is only one example amongst of all the people and organisations who facilitate access and opportunities to the worlds bravest but most needy.
If you have ever given to Plan, WaterAid, Malaria No More, Opportunity International or other similarly effective organisations then Des’ message is to you.
Don’t worry about organisations’ admin costs or advertising because without it you would never reach anyone! Take pride when your government commits $2 million to education programs in Indonesia or $50 million to polio eradication, it is done in your name to give the same chance as I have been able to do for Des.
The background to this message is that I have not given a cent to Des to date. Des was a work colleague of mine in Ethiopia and a year ago he contracted a heart condition and was within days of dying. In what he thought were his final remaining days he managed to send a message to myself and a follow volunteer through facebook. I then organised a few people who knew Des to contribute information, examination and money to see a fast and affordable recovery for him. The results speak straight from the heart and email!
My role was no different to the many effective aid agencies except that it wasn’t the sole job that I dedicated myself to. While I was able to offer a few hours of my time do this not everyone can offer their professional skills and time and not get paid and survive – no matter how compassionate their heart is.
I think one of the main messages from Des’ email for me is YOU make a huge difference when you give to effective aid agencies which support people like Des in the thousands on a daily basis.
It is such a beautiful world for all of us to share with our brothers like Des and many others. Don’t be afraid to give. Give, and give hard and take Des’ message with you as that’s what the worlds most disadvantaged would be saying to you if they had access to international communication like Des is fortunate to have.