The scenes of heartbreak, chaos and ruin from conflict are gut-wrenching. It’s hard not to feel hopeless and helpless in the face of it. But, child sponsors around the world bring hope into some of humanity’s darkest hours – even when they don’t realise it. Here’s how.
Bewildered kids clutching teddy bears and their mother’s hand. Tear on faces turned away. Bundles and backpacks clenched as a lifeline to a dislocated life.
Conflict showcases the worst of human nature – greed, power, ego, brutality. It also means the light that can shine into that darkness stands in shocking, brilliant, stark relief. It can save or rebuild lives. It can change them forever and ensure that the conflict itself does not define them.
In over 70 years of working in the world’s hardest places, we’ve seen the power of staying in places of conflict or nearby and the impact of being in a community for the long haul. We know the life-changing impact of standing alongside children and their communities when they need it the most; of joining forces with people all over the world to protect kids and their future when worlds are turned upside down.
When most of us think about sponsoring a child, we think of helping kids get to school, get clean water to drink, get health care. We think about helping a child to get the essentials they need to experience a healthy, happy childhood and break the cycle of poverty for good.
Sponsoring a child does do that. But it does even more in areas of conflict or those neighbouring it. When conflict strikes in communities where we work, these three things happen: