Holidays 2016

December 26, 2016 8:00 am

See the change: how donations can transform communities

Amanuel.

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When you read stories about the world’s most disadvantaged people, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the discouraging statistics, but behind every one is a person who can be helped by Canadians through aid organizations like World Vision.

One person who recently benefited from a donor’s generosity was Amanuel, a young boy in Ethiopia who is one of 663 million people that lacks access to clean drinking water, according to the World Health Organization and World Vision.

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That access changed when his village received a new well thanks to the work of World Vision. When a field worker asked Amanuel about the new addition to the community, he was excited about the potential of the well to change his life.

“My dad will not waste his time and money medicating us,” he said. “I will never quit school as before due to waterborne diseases. My school performance will definitely improve very soon.”

So excited by the well Amanuel decided to make sourcing clean water part of his future.

“Starting from the day World Vision began drilling clean water, I have changed my dream from becoming a medical doctor to a water engineer,” he said. “This is because drilling one water source will save thousands of people from waterborne diseases.”

Thanks to World Vision’s donors, 213,101 people like Amanual gained access to safe water for drinking and cooking from new and repaired water sources installed from October 2014 to September 2015.

“We help with creating sustainable solutions for communities to help lift them out of poverty,”

said Sarah Bartley, Communications Officer at World Vision which has been operating in Canada since 1947. “That can take many different forms from addressing things like clean water, challenges around accessing education or health care or sometimes it’s about creating sustainable livelihoods for families. It can also include programs to help educate communities around issues of violence or gender issues.”

So how can you help? Get shopping!

In the period leading up to Christmas, World Vision, like so many charities, produces a holiday Gift Catalogue from which Canadians can shop for life-changing gifts to help the world’s poorest people.

“Our gift catalogue is the very first put out by a charity and it’s something that we know Canadians love doing every single year with their families.” said Bartley. “Last year we had 50,000 Canadians give gifts from the catalogue. There are so many things that you can pick up…things like goats and chickens to medical supplies to textbooks.”

In fact, animals are among the most popular items in the catalogue, adds Bartley.

“Year over year, goats are always our most popular gift,” she said. “They have such a huge impact on families. They give tons of milk; they can breed them and sell extra goats in the market; they create very valuable fertilizer as well so a goat can go a really long way in helping provide for their family.”

Tassy (left) walks on a road by her home with her best friend, Rosemary.

Nine-year-old Tassy is one of the beneficiaries of such a gift purchase; she’s currently being cared for by her HIV-positive grandparents, Nelson and Jerecy, in Zambia. They are the only parents she has ever really known.

The family’s situation was dire until they received their gift of five goats. They were able to grow their herd and began generating income that bought them food and medication and the ability for Tassy to go to school to follow her dreams to become a nurse.

“We are what we are today because of those goats,” said Jerecy.

 

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