I love blogging, I really do. This blog started almost two years ago as a way to keep my brain active whilst I was on maternity leave with the geekson. Since my return to work almost a year ago it has become my relaxation, my way to wind down in the evenings. This blog is my release for the little stories that buzz around my head, my scrapbook for all of the memories I want to keep of my kids growing up, and (only very rarely) somewhere I can have the odd rant.
Blogging has given me new opportunities; things I never expected. Through blogging I have met some amazing people, had the chance to work with great brands, enjoyed the odd day out, attended conferences and even had the opportunity to make my public speaking debut.
And every now and again it gives me the chance to be part of something amazing…
A few weeks ago I attended the CybHer blogging conference. The charity sponsor of the conference was World Vision UK, who I was particularly interested to hear from as the geekdaddy and I have been thinking about sponsoring a child for a while. It was very interesting to talk to them about what they do and how the sponsorship works. I discovered, for example, that whilst you sponsor a single child, that child’s whole village benefit from the sponsorship, and the child is more like an ambassador for the whole village, and certainly isn’t singled out for any special treatment .
World Vision told the conference attendees all about the food crisis in Niger, a country in Africa where the crops have failed. They told us of mothers struggling to feed their children, of people barely surviving in amazingly harsh conditions. They told us of girls sold into marriage at amazingly young ages (as young as 7!). I felt shocked, saddened, and utterly helpless..
Directly after CybHer, World Vision took Sian, the fabulous lady behind the conference, out to Niger, so that she could see the situation first hand. She saw women who have to dig deep holes in a dried-up river bed every day to uncover water to keep their families alive. She met a girl who was sold into marriage at the age of 12 for the princely sum of 20 goats. She saw amazing hardship and poverty. Each story Sian told had a profound effect on her readers, and it wasn’t long before many were asking what they could do to help.
And then, suddenly, and probably in a sleep-deprived haze as she’s just had a baby, the lovely Merry from the Patch of Puddles blog had a brilliant idea. So many of us wanted to help, but couldn’t afford the £22.80 per month needed to sponsor a child on our own. So why not all club together, either with one-off donations or a small regular monthly payment, and get a group together, each sponsoring a part of a child?
Well, the idea has caught on, and at the time of writing Merry has enough in sponsorship and donations to sponsor 8 children in Niger, and she’s well on the way to a 9th. Her original target was 5, so she is doing amazingly well. I’ve signed up and I’m going to be joining Cass from Frugal Family, Lesley from Scottish Mum and Danielle from Blog by Baby in sponsoring the as yet unnamed “child number 6″.
It’s great to see how bloggers can really achieve something and make a difference when we all work together. Merry is still accepting donations, so please, if you can give anything, no matter how small, head on over to her blog and donate what you can. Every pound makes a difference, as it moves us closer towards sponsoring another child.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net