Beware of people pausing as goodwill ambassadors,not all are genuine as they claim.
Are you a sponsor,funder or resource mobiliser for charity?Does your heart reach out so fast to help whenever you read a story about a poverty stricken family or individual?Are you moved so much that you want to help immediately?Then please,pause abit before you enter into parnerships of sorts to fund or sponsor.I am resounding this bell because people are taking advantage of others misery to make a kill or fortune for themselves.It's very true that these disadvantaged people do really exist and that the stories are real.But are you sure this aid you are genuinely chanelling for this cause is reaching out to the people affected?or is it being squandered and diverted to individuals crying out for help on behalf of these people?
Recently i wrote about the plight of one Cecilia.And today am back with more of her.Cecilia a mother of 7 boys,abandoned 12 years ago by her husband has suffered so much as a woman,faced ridicule from society,family and friends yet she has weathered the storm for her children.Coupled with domestic violence even after the husband left and child neglect,she has braved it all for the sake of her children and i admire her for her strength because she never ever abandoned them but has protected and stood by them.
She has no source of income to support her family.She sells fried fish by the road side and sometimes business collapses due to lack of capital or when city council authorities rough her up,she ends up losing all her stock then it takes her another good months before she gets back to business which doesn't even earn her profit of $10 but she still hangs in because her children must eat and also go to school.Her dream is to educate her children,because she believes it's only education that will ever give her children a bright future,yes,she is a visionary too and she has refused to let her situation kill the dreams she has for her children.
One day through the eyes of a good samaritan abroad,lady luck struck her and her youngest son got himself a sponsor.She was happy that finally God had answered her prayers,yes indeed he had.Through a church organisation,her son was able to get this particular sponsor.All incoming funds are chanelled throught the church but lately she cries more than she rejoices because of this same luck,same answered prayer because apparently apart from the school fees that's paid,she has never ever benefitted in anyother way.Her child's sponsor sometimes does send her money for help and upkeep but she never sees it,she only has backdated letters delivered to her and if at all she manages to get the money,usually it is less by a very good amount because some times she is given as less as $20 and this is usually after she has begged and cried out so much that she is heard.Yet while all this is going on,the kind hearted samaritan is not aware at all and she is convinced that all is well.
The most recent blow came when she was called by someone in the office to go get a letter she had recieved from abroad,she went with her son.Inside the gigantic car sat an enormous man,tapping away at his steering wheel who handed over to her the letter and then told her,it had been accompanied with some money but that it was going to be used to secure sportswear for the child.Her plea that the money should be given to her to sort out rent issues fell on deaf ears as the man sped off and left her standing in shock.She then collected herself together,armed with the letter,deep in the night,she came home.She told me,that she had been told there's a machine through which people abroad can be contacted and she pleaded with me to help her understand how this machine works and if can really find this good samaritan(obviously she is illiterate and technology is still an issue).I then told her that i was actually right on the machine and that we could find this lady.All she wanted was to have a direct conversation with her and to tell her that her good image and heart are being selfishly used.
So together we embarked on this long trek with my machine(laptop)to try and find this lovely and kind hearted woman.I googled and found someone i thought was her because the other occupants in the house were similar to the names she includes in her letters,too bad there wasn't a particular house address or any other direct contact for this matter.We searched on facebook,LinkedIn and lots of other social site but we couldn't get a direct hold of her.I then promised her that i would continue that search.Meanwhile,she was scared to return home to face the wrath of the landlord who had threatened earlier in the day to thow her out of her one roomed house if she failed to clear rent arrears.She pays about $10 as monthly rent but it had accumulated and she could no longer afford it.The house has no electricity and is in a very sorry state yet she still crams in with her sons.That night she told me she had become very exhausted in this life that she felt it better to die and have some rest in the other life.I told her to keep the hope up because things will change for the better someday.
Well just yesterday,the landlord threw her out the house while there was a heavy storm outside,she went and sought shelter in a leaking house with her children.This is what is called jumping from the frying pan to the fire itself.
Surely,there so many women and children facing similar tragedies,but it hurts when someone takes advantage of their plight like in Cecilia's case with the church organisation only to make a fortune out of someone's pain and tears.I felt heartbroken and very disappointed in most mushrooming childcare and women charities that are failing to deliver due to greed and selfishness.If she had been given the little money for her upkeep,probably her business would have expanded,she would afford rent and also may be school fees for the other children
I am still hopeful that her story can change.And a caution to all who are capable and willing to help.Please make follow up on where your kindness is going,if it's creating impact to the affected,otherwise your good gestures and will go to nothing and in vain.
Am sounding a trumpet for Cecilia though,that all who would wish to help can still do so because she needs you and me to lift her up.
Joy for Children Uganda