HELLO MI neighbour! I recently met a young man who believes that killing someone who 'spread rumour on yuh', is noble. He is upset with people who are obsessed with making false statements about others.
Left to him, they would all die! As a victim of this practice, he has suffered much embarrassment. To make matters worse, 'the people who are spreading rumour on other people don't even know them'. Caution, my friend, as long as you are alive, people will pass unkind remarks about you, true or false, true!
The inability of young minds to cope with criticisms does not augur well for the future, especially if they will be leaders. With our help, they can make that shift from self-centredness to 'other-centredness', The world needs more of these people to help release those who are trapped in poverty.
May I share with you this bit of information I read somewhere recently? After listening to a presentation on making a difference in the world, 16-year-old Stephanie Dotto of Montreal, Canada, was inspired to help find shoes for the barefoot children of the world. Undaunted by the magnitude of such a task, this teenager and her friend Jennifer Goehring started a shoe-collection drive for children in Malawi, Central Africa. Their first effort produced over 1,200 pairs of used shoes, collected from local elementary schools. Nice!
Determined to make that difference, Stephanie did extensive research on the plight of Malawians. The results were telling. Before long, this young 'Samaritan' was on a 10-day journey to Malawi with school supplies, medicine and other supplies mainly for Malawian children. Since that time, Stephanie and her family have made at least four humanitarian trips to that country.
With the help of businesses, churches, schools, and generous individuals, so far, Stephanie has spearheaded the building of two schools, upgrading of a small rural hospital, and the establishment of a support system for aids victims. Her vision has blossomed into an organisation called, 'It All Started With The Shoes', which sees her making presentations to schools and community groups to increase awareness on the plight of the Malawian people.
Rather than becoming overly concerned about negative remarks from people which may hurt our feelings, let's take a leaf from Stephanie's book and start something which will make a positive change in the lives of hurting people.
You may start right here in this column. Or if you prefer, you could start with the millions of children across the globe whose feet are cracked, calloused, and bleeding from walking long distances without shoes just to survive. Or, better yet, how about the 16 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic? Linger no longer. Ready! Set! Gooooooooooooooo!
Thanks for helping:
1. Michelle, for assisting Andrea, Clarendon, with children's clothing.
2. Lorraine, Kingston, for connecting with Christine, Kingston, children's clothing.
3. Christine, Portland, for connecting with Karen, Kingston, whose mother needs a walker.
4. Loyda, assisting a neighbour with a window, husband got a stroke.
5. Mrs U. Bent, for offering a mattress to a neighbour.
6. Ms Beharry, St Andrew, for offering stove to a neighbour.
7. Enos, Trinidad, for offering to assist Andrea, Clarendon, with children's clothing and lunch money for school.
Opportunities to help
Joyce, unemployed - children are not attending school due to financial problems - asking for financial assistance to rear chickens.
Young neighbour, suffers with scoliosis - asking for financial assistance for doctors visits and treatment.
Shana, Portland, mother of six-month old - asking for a $1,000 to assist with food for child.
Lorna, St Catherine, asking for a second hand TV and a table.
Kirk, St Thomas, needs a mattress.
Delores, started a little house - can go no further - needs six sheets of zinc, five sheets of plywood.
Cecil, St Thomas, asking for a second hand camera - for family income.
Neighbour, St James, mother of seven needs a king-size mattress.
To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.