We often convince ourselves that we have real concerns that are, in the grand scheme of things, minor irritations at worst. In my case, these include the persistent mould that has taken up residence on the bathroom ceiling, how Tottenham are going to fare when Harry Redknapp inevitably takes the England job and even what I’m going to write about on here.
First world problems, I call them. I was lucky enough to be invited along to an ActionAid blogger event last month. It was a great opportunity to meet some other bloggers. And, more importantly, it gave me some much-needed perspective that booted my daft preoccupations well and truly into touch.
I have to confess that, although I’ve been aware of ActionAid for years, I didn’t really know what they do. And what they do is a very worthy cause indeed. In short, their ultimate goal is a world without poverty. They seek to achieve this by working with the communities affected by it to fight hunger, seek justice for women and promote education for children. They also aim to help with emergencies.
ActionAid was founded in 1972 as a child sponsorship charity and that side of their work is still prominent today. By supporting them in this way, of course, donors are not just sponsoring an individual child, but their community as a whole.
At the event, I met a wonderful couple who had sponsored a child in Lesotho and visited him to see how they had contributed to making a difference. The comedian Mark Watson was also in attendance and gave a talk about his experience of sponsoring and visiting a community in Senegal.
It was clear from both talks that seeing poverty – and, more positively, what is being done to combat it – first hand has a profound effect on all concerned. By the same token, given our fortunate position of knowing that we are never likely to be directly affected by it means that we will probably never truly understand it. But that is no excuse to do nothing.
If child sponsorship is not possible for you at the moment, there’s still plenty that you can do to help ActionAid. Whether it’s a one-off donation, getting involved in a fundraising event or even spreading the word of the essential work that ActionAid carries out via a blog of all things, you’ll be contributing to making a difference and I’m sure it would be welcomed with open arms by the charity and the communities it serves.