Another earthquake, flood, famine on TV. Another need, another request, often perceived as manipulative and emotionally charged. Someone knocks on the door or sits out the front of the supermarket, asking us to support their cause, usually all worthy and genuine. So how do we know what to do or how much to give or if to give at all? Why support a Girl & Her World?
I guess the thing I have loved about the people who have connected with us so far has been the sense that educating girls in an area so close to Australia resonates with them. Many have been to Fiji or other parts of the Pacific and have seen the need first hand. Others are stunned that it costs so little to provide a girl with uniform, books and fees for a whole year…$100 less than an iPad 2, or about the amount a large family would spend on groceries in a week.
For us on the team, we have seen the need, have close connections with people on the ground and have seen the difference our support makes in the lives of families. We love the sense of purpose that brings to our lives and the joy we see in the lives being changed.
Let me leave you with the story of Sunil, (pictured). One of the girls we support lost her mum a few years ago and her dad now lives with someone else. So she lives with her sister and brother in law, Sunil. I wandered through the sugar cane fields that Sunil inherited from his father and asked about the income he makes. Last season he worked 6 months for F$200, about AU$120. He also grows veggies and sells them at the market but his income is minimal at best and he receives no government support as he is able bodied. So he supports his wife, child and 15 year old sister in law on an average of about F$60 per month. This doesn’t get him very far.
We are in the process of setting him up with a box of bees so he can bring in a supplemental income selling honey and he is looking into goat farming as a possibility…meanwhile we are setting up his sister in law with enough encouragement and support to reach the stars!