Making poverty a choice

Post Summary: 

Two mothers we met this week on our Cambodia bloggers trip illustrated the truth that poverty doesn't come from a series of choices, but rather a lack of choices.

Meet these two brave mothers who find themselves in difficult times … and make your own choice.

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In Cambodia, heat and humidity join forces in an unholy alliance causing air-conditioned reliant Westerners to leak sweat from pores long dormant. Sure, there are places in the southern United States that feature heat and humidity as compliments to their sweet tea, but there’s one major difference between Southern states and Cambodia: In the U.S.

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    Imagining a father who stays

    Post Summary: 

    This morning in Cambodia, we met four-year-old Reatrey!

    Last month, her father left for Thailand to work and send money home, but this plan is risky and could put her family in a difficult situation.

    Let's imagine a better story for her future … let's make it happen.

    ***

    Our staff photographer on our blogger trip here in Cambodia, Laura Reinhardt, featured the above photo in yesterday’s photoblog. I love this photo … but the story behind it worries me. Here’s why.

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      Slices of life in Cambodia

      Post Summary: 

      This week, World Vision bloggers Nate Pyle and Stephanie May Wilson join us in Cambodia! We'll be visiting two of our communities to witness the transformation that child sponsorship brings into the lives of children and their families, and sharing our experience with you.

      Today, our photographer Laura Reinhardt shares a few favorite photos of some of the children we're meeting. Join us on our journey!

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      Phnom Sruoch is a World Vision community here in Cambodia that we're hoping to expand in the near future. Currently, many families are living in poverty, which leads to children dropping out of school so they can help their families survive. Many families also struggle with food insecurity. Here are a few of the children we're meeting …

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        Returning to love in Vietnam

        Post Summary: 

        Having left Vietnam as an infant and war orphan 40 years ago, writer Nicole Wick returned for the first time last month to reconnect with her homeland.

        While there, her family also had the opportunity to visit their World Vision family and meet their sponsored children!

        Read about the family Nicole rediscovered in Vietnam.

        ***

        I hadn’t been to Vietnam for 40 years. That spring, Americans were pulling out of the war-torn country without looking back. While my generation grew up learning about Vietnam from PBS documentaries, musty textbooks, and the glossy pages of LIFE magazine, I saw it through my mind’s eye, an imagined jungle of humidity that I couldn’t possibly remember but at the same time could never forget.

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          Indigenous people fight their way to equality

          Post Summary: 

          The UN honors today as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

          After Peru's period of violence in the 80s and 90s, thousands of World Vision sponsors in the U.S. stepped in as advocates for Peru's indigenous Quechua.

          Today, more than 20 years later, the next generation are off to college and careers, shaping their own futures!

          ***

          The first people groups to live on the world’s continents are often the last to enjoy the same rights as their fellow citizens.

          Indigenous people, numbering 370 million in more than 70 countries, are among the poorest and most marginalized groups of all humanity. The UN observes today, August 9, as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to advocate for these folks dealt a bad hand by history.

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            You don’t have to care about everything

            Post Summary: 

            After almost not joining us in Armenia this winter, while visiting our community in Gyumri blogger Addie Zierman had a moment of epiphany …

            See how Addie was able to let go of feeling that she needed to give her whole heart to Armenia, witnessing how families, youth, and staff there are passionate and empowered to care for themselves!

            ***

            I almost didn’t come to Armenia.

            I spent a lot of years as that person who tries to Do Everything and Be Everything, and I know what it feels like to burn out. I know what it’s like to overcommit—to feel like you have to overcommit to the world in order to really love it like God does.

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              Love overcomes

              Post Summary: 

              9-year-old Badal is a World Vision sponsored child in India. He is also a special needs student.

              See how attending the World Vision center has helped him find a place where he is loved, accepted, and can be himself, and how he is thriving in that environment!

              ***

              When 9-year-old sponsored child Badal enters the World Vision center in India, he stirs up a commotion in the group as his free-spirited nature invokes him to dance, expressing his love for the art form.

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                Dear Rick and Becky: I hope you get to read this one day

                Post Summary: 

                Rick and Becky sponsor 12-year-old Menua in Armenia.

                When the World Vision bloggers traveled to Armenia this winter, we met Menua and his mother Anoush. 

                See the difference that Rick and Becky are making in Menua's life and how important their letters are to him … and a reply from Becky!

                ***

                Dear Rick and Becky,

                We don’t know each other, and the chances of us meeting or finding each other are pretty rare, but I just had to write this letter to you in hopes that enough people would share it that one day you’d read it.

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                  What does a letter mean to your sponsored child?

                  Post Summary: 

                  What does a letter mean to your sponsored child?

                  Everything.

                  Sound like an overstatement? It’s not.

                  ***

                  I’ve seen a child in Malawi hold her sponsor’s letter in her hands as though it was the most precious treasure in her life. And for some children it may be, because a letter from their sponsor gives a child encouragement to learn to read and write, to believe they are valued and important, to think about the world beyond their own community, and to give them hope that they’ll have a future full of possibilities they never had before.

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                    Getting Mother’s Day back

                    Post Summary: 

                    Armenia has a system where children whose parents can't support them because of poverty are sent to government institutions. Yerazik's four oldest children were institutionalized.

                    Five years ago, World Vision began working with parents to build more stable homes and bring the children back!

                    For many, Mother's Day can be complicated, but this year join us in celebrating with an Armenian mother who was able to bring all of her children home.

                    ***

                    My relationship with Mother’s Day has been complicated.

                    After I lost my mom when I was 18, I felt like I’d lost Mother’s Day. More than a decade later, my son Jack, and later my daughter Margaret, came along and redeemed the holiday for me, filling it with promise for the future.

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