On Saturday, 14 June, I went to the Bangalore World Vision Partners’ Meet. The idea behind these meetings is, of course, for sponsors and World Vision to meet face to face, and all in all it was an evening well spent. We all finally got see Lily — the lady behind all the correspondence, urging us to send our sponsorships on time — and also some of the children from Gundlupet project area.
The high point of the meet was undoubtedly the cultural events put on by the children, but it was also interesting to know a little more about the sort of work World Vision does. There was a Q&A session where sponsors got to air their observations and grievances, but the answers were typically non-committal (“We’ll look into it”; “No, we’re not working in that area”; and so on) from the country director. The good thing was, when one approached Lily at the end of the event, she was far more helpful.
The figures, predictably, were depressing for a country of over 1 billion people, where over 800 million are tagged as “Below Poverty Line”. We like to beat the drums around the world proclaiming our 9 per cent growth rate, not highlighting the fact that the advantages accrued by that are only accessible to a negligible proportion of society, and certainly not to those 836 million who really need it, who struggle for basic needs such as food and shelter. With 40 per cent of schoolgoing age children out of school in that category, the future still looks bleak…
One is quite ashamed to note that while there are over 225,000 children being sponsored in India, only 23,780-odd among these are being supported by Indians. In all, there are only 32,582 active donors and sponsors who are Indian! (By the way, Bangalore accounts for 2,137 of the 32,000-odd.)
But as the poem goes, little drops of water… The children from Gundlupet showed that World Vision and their sponsors’ support may not have “ma[d]e our earth an Eden, like the heaven above”, but it has certainly made a difference in their lives. It has given them a future, and it has given them confidence.
When the sound system at the hall failed, the children just performed without the music, singing the song themselves! This from a group of children who had left their village for the first time, and were performing in a packed hall with at least 200 people. (Sorry about the picture and sound quality; and about the camerapeople obstructing the view.)
By December 2008, World Vision India needs 3,500 more sponsors. Do something meaningful and become one of those 3,500. It costs only Rs 600 (US$ 13) a month — an amount most of us don’t think twice about spending on a night out or on buying something useless.
3 Replies to “World Vision Partners Meet 2008”
Awe, that was brave of the kids to just start singing the music on their own, and to keep going on like that! They were good too. 😛
Pfftpfft! I see no boys on the stage! And on that site, most kids are boys! That means sponsors picks girls and boys are left to have it hard. Girls always gets special treatment. *puffs* q-:
Niklas thinks it is clever to make people attach themselves to a child because then they are likely to keep helping. However, while childrens’ rights needs special protecting, I think donations are better spent improving the community.
This is a kind of a good blog post though *nods* It made Niklas look up micro-loans/credits. He has intended forever but never gotten around to it. Proud poor people can feel they don’t receive charity and that they can provide for their own kids with that. And it actually makes jobs and opportunities as compared to education, which lots of efforts is spent on, that only potentially lets the kids get a job someone else would have gotten instead.
(Ha! Niklas is still using 3rd person, try to stop him if you can!)
Thanks for the post. I would be very glad to do something of this kind. I think I’ll begin with this as soon as I start with my job. My only concern is that the money should be actually spent on the kids, and not be pocketed by someone / be used for other purposes in the organization. If I’m sure of that, I’d be privileged to do my bit, howsoever insignificant (sometimes I’m sure if I want to help for the sake of really helping out the needy or for self-gratification that I’m a good / responsible person and should do / am doing something for the society).