When a kid wears a smile on their face from some act I have done, an incomparable explosion erupts in my world. The sense of joy and fulfillment tingles through every bone in my body. I have an illusion in my head that I can use this passion to make a difference in the world.
I went to Ethiopia when I was in sixth grade. The Ethiopian people taught me lessons that I will take with me to the grave. I decided then that I had to give back to them. My eyes were opened to poverty that make the commercials that air on television look like cartoon shows. I stayed at a school ran by HOPE International in a town in the hills of Ethiopia called Desi. The children in attendance at the school were given one meal a day courtesy of HOPE and for many of them, that is all they ate. Mothers would march with their small children miles to stand outside of the gates of the school with hopes of obtaining the extra food. Children would invite me and the team from my church I went with to their homes. Their homes were all made from mud and straw and other low cost materials. They had dirt floors and no running water. They were the size of most of our family rooms and a family of six would reside there. Despite owning practically nothing besides the clothes on their backs, the children’s family would have a traditional Ethiopian feast prepared for us. The sacrifice that these families would make to serve us these wonderful meals cannot be compared to anything you or I could imagine. Each member in that family would eat less than their normal share (which is maybe a slice of bread and some tea) for as many as two weeks, just to serve some people like you and I who have never missed a meal in our lives.
Seeing all of these things saddened me but inspired me to make a difference. I want to set up a charity organization that can eliminate some of the starvation and malnutrition in Africa. In my mind, I have a dream of thousands of free care centers littered in every country in Africa. These care centers will have food and basic medical care available to mothers and their children. About 20% of children in Africa die before they are 5 years old. I crave nothing more than to see those numbers decline drastically.
I am going to Togo Africa this summer. While there, I am going to discover what immediate impact I can make while I am there, and what I can do for the future to make Africa a better place.
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