Alecto tagged me for this.
If you store photos on your computer, go to the fourth folder, select the fourth photo, post it and describe.
I took this picture on the playground of Mission Emanuel in Cielo on January 18, 2009, which was my birthday, btw.
There were several children playing on the playground that afternoon. They love cameras and will usually strike an elaborate pose whenever anyone pulls out a camera. However, this little girl was on the merry-go-round, which was moving at the time, and wanted her picture taken. She did NOT want to get off the merry-go-round or pose. She just wanted me to take her picture so she could see it.
Isn’t she beautiful? These children live in some of the worst conditions in Santo Domingo. While public education is free in the Dominican Republic, the families must provide a uniform for each child. They must also buy the required school books. This isn’t a great deal of money, probably somewhere around $20.00. But when the family has no income, or very little income, it might as well be $2000.00. Mission Emanuel provides the opportunity for anyone who desires to do so, to sponsor a child. Sponsorship is $35.00 a month. The funds go to provide the necessary supplies for the child to attend Mission Emanuel school, a private, Christian school. In addition, sponsorship helps to pay teachers’ salaries, and also helps the family with living expenses. Sponsoring one child in a household of 4 or 5 children really helps all of them.
Of course, there are all sorts of sponsorship programs for children all over the world. The thing that sets Mission Emanuel apart, for me anyway, is that I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand how the money is spent. So I know my sponsorship is being used as it was intended.
It’s an amazing thing to see how a little bit of money and a lot of love can change a community. Yes, we have people here at home who need help, and our family participates in those efforts. The difference is that we are fortunate here in America to have resources available to people who need help.
The people in Cielo don’t.