As I've written before, I sponsor a woman in the Congo through Women for Women International. I have written letters to Sifa, but I haven't received any. Today I found out why: Sifa is completely illiterate. She only has "some primary" education. So she is completely unable to write, or to read.
But that's not why I'm angry.
I found this out through a questionnaire that Sifa filled out on attending her first class with Women for Women. The questionnaire gives a picture of a life that is probably all too common across the world, and one that appears destined to be repeated by Sifa's children. That should make everyone angry.
Here are the answers to Sifa's questionnaire:
She has three children, two boys and a girl.
Are they school-aged? Yes
Are they in school? No
If not in school, why not? No money
What education level have you attained? Some primary
Can you read more than your name? No
Can you write more than your name? No
Does your dwelling have electricity? No
What is the main source of lighting? Kerosene
Source of water? Public standpipe
Are you working? Yes (She didn't answer the question about type of work.)
General health of your family? Poor
Have you lost any family members from war, violence, poverty, illness, or political oppression? Yes
What would you like to achieve by participating in this program? (She didn't answer.)
I am so angry.
WHY am I complaining this morning about the internet not working in our house?
Why am I looking around at all the things I need to get rid of to clean our house for my parents' visit next week?
Why do I have so much--so much stuff, so many choices, so many dreams, so much health, so much education--and she has nothing?
Why aren't more people more angry?
Bob and I have been talking about my passion for sponsorship, and how to convince more people to get on board. Why don't we feel an urgent need to take care of Sifa and her children? There are means available. Why aren't more of us doing more?
I dream about a world in which we feel as responsible for Sifa's children as we do our own. It doesn't just take a village; it takes a globe. Imagine a world in which we all "adopted" each other, fed each other, clothed each other, educated each other. Surely that's what God intends.
Meanwhile, NPR did another story about Somalia, and the famine, poverty, and violence going on there, which the world appears to be ignoring. The reporter interviewed a young mother there and asked her how they survive.
"We don't survive," she answered, "We exist."
Shouldn't we all be angry?
If you're angry, please PLEASE go to Women for Women and sponsor a woman like Sifa. Or come volunteer at the Run for Congo Women July 31 in Denver. Please?