The instinct to protect our children is so natural and inherent to being a loving parent that it almost defies description. It’s just there.
What if, though, every day was a struggle where a parent had to defy the odds, strategize and battle to protect their children? For some parents, this isn’t a “What if?” Tragically, there are parents who, because of their dire situation or their lack of education about children’s rights, feel forced to compromise their children’s safety and well-being.
I recently visited Syria
, where I met a mother who contemplated paying her debts by selling her 14-year-old daughter into marriage. Against the backdrop of a worsening refugee situation, this mother had six children, including a newborn. The mother’s family lived in a tent in a refugee camp. She was cold, miserable and clearly over- whelmed.
As we listened to her, her daughter stood out- side. We unpeeled the layers of her situation and helped her imagine a different conclusion. We were able to help her and change her mind.
That’s just a single one-on-one situation where we made an immediate difference. At World Vision Canada, there are two campaigns happening now that are making those kinds of differences.
First, Beyond 5 addresses the issues that cause the preventable deaths of 18,000 children every day around the world. This is protection at the physical level of child health. Beyond 5 builds on the success the world has seen in countries such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia, where great strides have been made to decrease the rate of child mortality. Beyond 5 is also about ensuring that children thrive, not only survive. Second, No Child for Sale
tackles the problem of child slavery around the world. If ever children needed to be protected, it is as they are being sold.
That’s what almost happened that day in a tent in Syria. It’s why we partner with children and their families. We’re devoted to stopping preventable causes of death and the exploitation of child labour.
As a child sponsor, I know you care. Your monthly support protects children at many levels and I invite you to join these two movements. They are both ways of further extending your
care into action.
________This article originally appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Childview.