By Dan Pearson, director of international programs
I visited 10-year-old Deepiga at her home in southern India. Her grandmother greeted me as we approached the small house. She took my hand and guided me through the door into their home.
Deepiga’s house is about 10 feet by 13 feet (130 square feet) with only one small window. Six people share this home, sleeping side by side on the floor each night. The only furniture is a stool that holds a TV, so we sat on the floor to talk.
Deepiga’s parents used to be farmers, but four years of drought forced them to search for other work. Her parents travel by bus for two-and-a-half hours each way to earn money as laundry workers. You can imagine how little they are able to bring home from this work after paying for transportation. They are surviving thanks to their hard work, but they are struggling to improve their situation.
You need to know three things about Deepiga. The first thing is that she is very smart. Deepiga is first in her class. The second thing is she has a goal. Deepiga wants to become a doctor. The third thing is that Deepiga has people who believe in her and will do everything they can to help her succeed.
One person who believes in her is her grandmother, who takes care of Deepiga during the long hours her parents are away. Others who believe in Deepiga are her sponsors. She was just sponsored last month by a couple named Roy and Carol.
Sponsorship can do great things for Deepiga and her family. But I want you to consider for a moment what Deepiga’s sponsorship can do for all of us.
Consider for a moment all the human talent that is wasted each year by poverty.
Imagine the cures to diseases we have NOT discovered because the minds that would have discovered those cures were not educated. Imagine the solutions to social problems that have gone unsolved because the people who could have solved them weren’t able to go to school.
Never has humanity faced challenges as big as the challenges we face today. Climate change, pandemic diseases , the extinction of so many life forms, rampant crime and violence, unsustainable economies, pollution, the list goes on and on. The scope of these challenges is unprecedented in human history. And we do not have an endless amount of time to solve them.
Many of the challenges we face must be solved within the next generation if humanity is going to avoid disaster. For our survival, we need to apply all our minds to the challenges we face. We cannot afford to face the future without everyone’s help, including that of Deepiga.
The Jewish Talmud and Muslim Quran both say that saving one life is like saving the world. The truth of those words has never been as clear as it is today.
The quality of life for your children, my children, your grandchildren and my grandchildren may depend on whether Deepiga gets an education and whether she has a supportive group of people who encourage her potential. It is no exaggeration to say that you might be the difference in the quality of life for millions of people for generations to come.
Each of you knows children like Deepiga.
Close your eyes and picture one sponsored child who you feel has extraordinary potential.
You can’t choose the wrong child because every child has extraordinary potential.
Picture the face of that child clearly in your mind.
Picture her home.
Picture his mother, father, siblings.
I’d like for you to bring that child into this global circle we are in right now by saying that child’s name out loud.
Realizing that child’s potential is your goal. And it’s not an easy goal.
The world is set up to waste her potential. You know it, her mom knows it and she knows it. To help this one child reach his potential, you must focus on it every day and maintain a laser-like focus on your goal. We can’t become distracted by failures, disappointments, doubts, conflicts and frustrations. We have to encourage each other so that we don’t lose sight of our goals.
But here’s the good news.
You can accomplish your goal with that one child. I am certain of it, because for 10 years I have had the privilege of watching Unbound staffers in the field change the world in small and large ways over and over again.
God bless each of you, and God bless your goals.
Nurture the potential of one child. Become a sponsor today.