The resounding success of this year’s BBC charity telethon for British children in need represents yet another record despite the UK supposedly still being gripped by recession. Since the vast majority of British children have long since been lifted out of abject poverty by the welfare state, the beneficiaries of domestic children’s charities like this nowadays tend to be children with severe health problems and other special needs.
By contrast, many of the largest charities which are helping children overseas are inclined to be more concerned with problems at a much more basic level. Underdeveloped countries still tend to have millions of children who suffer from a lack of life’s essentials – fresh drinking water, food, any kind of healthcare or formal education.
The problems of the Third World have historically been so overwhelming that people in the West often tended to feel that they were totally insurmountable and that no amount of charitable giving could ever make noticeable inroads into the situation. However, over the years, the combination of official government aid from developed nations and the efforts of numerous charities began to steadily chip away at the problem. In the meantime, of course, despite seemingly endless occurrences of corruption at official level and internal armed conflict, most of the countries involved were able to achieve steady economic progress, albeit from a very low level.
Countries like Kenya and Ghana now have quite advanced economies and infrastructure to match while India has now grown to the point at which official UK government aid is deemed unnecessary.
So the good news is that the insurmountable mountain is gradually shrinking in size and problems associated with child poverty are at least being contained.
One of the most popular ways of helping the situation and actually seeing end results is via sponsor a child Africa. In the UK, the number of people who have chosen to sponsor a child has grown to well over 6 figures. This movement has been assisted by a large number of celebrities involved in child sponsorship programmes.
The reason for this trend is not hard to identify. Anyone donating to a general fund cannot really connect with the ultimate beneficiaries and see the physical impact created by his or her donation. However, those sponsoring individual children in a poor country enjoy regular two-way communication with that child over the years and can see at first-hand how those children are benefiting from regular monthly payments. There are few things more joyous and fulfilling than seeing a terribly deprived young child develop over the years and blossom into a well-rounded, educated and qualified adult capable of helping the next generation.