Acts of kindness, Big issuse, Poverty, strangers

…sponsored a child

Day 41Day Forty-one

I have a tendency to, rather embarrassingly, overwhelming cry during particular scenes in certain films.  One such scene that’s guaranteed to turn me into a blubbering halfwit is the final five minutes of the 2002 movie About Schmidt.

The film tells the story of Schmidt (Jack Nicholson), a retired man who’s led a safe and predictable existence working in insurance, but after the death of his wife he embarks on a road trip and discovers more about himself and life than he ever expected (I pretty much pasted all this synopsis from IMDB).  The scene that turns me into a wailing fool is when he receives a letter from a child he’s sponsored in Tanzania.  After Schmidt’s road trip of discovery he comes to the conclusion that his life has been a failure, however when he reads the letter of gratitude from the child he realises his small action of sponsorship has made his life worthy.  With that film in mind I decided to sponsor a child, which I’d never done before.

The first child sponsorship website I Googled presented a gallery of children from which you could select whom you wanted to help, I found this a slightly unsavoury task.  Each child seemed like they’d be told to look more dishevelled than the other, like it was a strange poverty auction.  I decided to try another website.  The next charity wanted £25 a month donation, so I looked for another site (I want to help, but I’m not made of money).

I settled on the charity ActionAid as their sponsorship starts at only £15 a month.  I really don’t have much money at the moment so I had to cancel my monthly Spotify subscription in order to keep up my donation, this seemed a better use of my funds than paying for uninterrupted music.  The ActionAid website gave me the choice of which country I wanted to sponsor a child from, again I found this hard to choose so I selected the option ‘country where help is most needed’ and let fate decide.

I’m now sponsoring eight year old Marzia who lives in Bamyan, Afghanistan.  I’ve been invited to write a letter and also told I’m welcome to visit, but I think a weekend trip in Afghanistan maybe a little risky.  I hope my donation helps and isn’t just spent on guns or sweets.


P.S. the scene from the film Billy Elliot, where his dad crosses the picket line to work in mines so his son can fulfil his dream to be a dancer, also rather embarrassingly makes me blub.  I’m not sure why I’m confessing to all this, I really don’t have to.


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