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| Counting our Blessings

Counting Our Blessings

From Board Member Sharon Green:

When I first learned about the Bagishu people in eastern Uganda, I was stunned to discover that the average annual income is only $40 per year.  How can people be so impoverished in the 21st century?

I reflected on my own blessings – excellent health; a good job I enjoy; access to health care; two wonderful, healthy children; caring friends; a pleasant home with heat all winter; all the nutritious food I want; lights and appliances that I take for granted; running water that I can turn on without a thought; and the means to travel.  The list seems endless.

Then I thought about how little $40 is.  It barely buys a week's groceries for one person.  My weekly commute to work costs nearly that much in gas and tolls.  $40 wouldn't even cover my electric bill for one month.

I struggle to imagine life on just $40 a year.  I would have to grow much of my own food, and the variety would be very limited.  I wouldn’t have running water, electricity, or access to basic health care.  I would be susceptible to debilitating illnesses like malaria or AIDS.  And my life span would likely be shorter.

So I co-founded Global African Village to share some of my blessings with those who have so few.

From Board Member Maura Fioroni:

" Amany    -    Upendo    -  Umoja "
" Peace     -      Love      -   Unity  "
"  Pace     -     Amore   -   Unitá "

Psalms 117 (116)                                
Praise the LORD, all nations!               
Praise him, all peoples!                       
His love for us is strong,                       
and his faithfulness is eternal.              
Praise the LORD!                           

Salmo 117 (116)
Lodate il Signore, popoli tutti,
voi tutte, nazioni, dategli gloria;
perché  forte è il suo amore per noi
e la fedeltá del Signore dura in eterno.

From member Nancy Moxon, Cheektowaga, NY:

Our hearts are filled with hope, hope for that new tomorrow when people will say why not instead of just why.  A time and place where children of all races and creeds will gather together and say once and for all, enough is enough!   We need to go forth in a unified way to make changes, real changes, so no mother will ever again have to stand by while her child slowly dies of malnutrition.   Where no mother has to bury her infant because there was no one to give her child the needed vaccine to prevent disease. Where no grieving child will stand beside the grave of his parents who have died of AIDS.

We live in a world of opposing factions, the haves and the have nots.  We must now do all we can to balance this dichotomy of interests.  Now is the time to stand up and proclaim, for all to hear, that tomorrow is not an illusion.  Tomorrow is a moment filled with hard and cruel statistics.  Tomorrow will be an endless morass of shame and despair unless we do something now to change the underlying conditions that prevail today.

We are gathered to proclaim for once and for all that indeed we as individuals can do something to change this burgeoning situation.  We can gather strength in numbers and sponsor the impoverished villages in Africa and bring to them the basic necessities of life that are so crucial to their survival.  For we have at our disposal the wherewithal to do something positive, something that is so dramatic that we will stand back some day and say that we have truly moved mountains in the name of humanity.

This is the time to forge new alliances, new ways of looking at old problems.  This is the time to take positive action so that there will truly be a bright new tomorrow where everyone will gather around the pot of prosperity and take from it the nourishment they need for world survival.   We all can do our part. Whether we actually travel to the remote outpost of a nation that cries out for basic necessities of life to make a difference, one person at a time or whether we sit down and write a check that will be used to support the welfare of those we want to help.