Be A Traveler Who Saves A Life
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Dear Expeditioner Readers,
As travelers I think all of us have stared into the face of unfortunate souls living desperate lives in faraway lands. We’ve seen beggars reach a withered hand towards us longingly with dishes filled with coins. We have had poor boys and girls plead with us for pocket change. It’s never easy to experience this. Each time it seems to tear a new hole in our heart.
By being a tourist in another country, we automatically assume a position of privilege. I think all of us feel the twists of compassion as we desire to help those poor unfortunate souls we come in contact with. Some of us learned from college professors that by giving to beggars we solve nothing. Giving to a beggar does not get to the underlying causes, it merely treats the symptoms, they told us.
Today, June 15th, is your opportunity to make a real lasting change in someone’s life. Three years ago I started working for the international development organization Nuestros Ahijados. Founded by human rights activist Patrick Atkinson, this organization leads the charge in social development by offering sustainable solutions to people struggle to survive.
ITEMP (The Institute for Trafficked Exploited and Missing Persons) is one of its 13 programs in Guatemala that works against modern day slavery, or Human Trafficking. ITEMP works to rescue and rehabilitate victims of modern day slavery. The work is not always easy.
Over the last three years I have met too many children living in garbage dumps. I have seen the dead look in the eyes of little girls forced to work in conditions no human being, much less a child should be allowed to work in, and I have had my heart broken again and again from being witness to such suffering.
What prevents me from drowning in all this is that I have also seen this program pick up these children from lives of suffering and seen their lives saved. I’ve seen dark empty stares burst into tears of joy and laughter. That’s what this program is about, giving people their lives back.
Today, June 15th, Global Giving is matching all online donations up to $1,000 per donor at 30 percent! This means that if you donate $10, Global Giving will donate an additional $3 to ITEMP. In addition to the 30% match, Global Giving is offering $1,000 bonuses to the project that raises the most funds and to the project that receives the most individual donations! So donations of any size can and will make a huge impact.
Please consider donating what you can today. The stakes are so high here. The stakes have names like Maria and Jose, Jenny and David, Fatima and Fernando. Your donation really will help save their lives. You can also help us in other ways by reposting this article on Facebook and Twitter, you can email your family and friends and make the same plea to them that I am making to you: Help them. Help the poor boys and girls who have had their lives taken away from them. Help them today!
About the Author
Luke Maguire Armstrong lives in Guatemala directing the humanitarian aid organization, Nuestros Ahijados. His book of poetry, iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About (available for sale on Amazon.com) is especially enjoyed by people who “don’t read poetry.” (@lukespartacus)