A week or two ago, I posted about human trafficking, sharing a few sites for your perusal. Here is another:
However, today I want to share a different organization that is just as worthy. We all have a story, experiences and hopes and friends who make us who we are. Some people feel drawn to support political candidates, changing the world that way. Some people feel comfortable serving in organizations such as The Restavek Freedom Foundation or any of the other organizations that fight human trafficking. Some people feel led to serve and support education initiatives around the world.
For those people, here is one option to get you started!
The idea behind the 410 Bridge is that most of the world's population lives within these lines of latitude. Most of these people are destitute. You've heard the statistics. The U.N. has developed a means of categorizing nations. The Least Developed Nations (LCDs) are those which meet the following criteria, according to http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world.htm#Poverty:
1. a low-income estimate of the gross national income per capita
2. weak human assets
3. high degree of economic vulnerability
(I had to look up "weak human assets": this is based on nutrition, health, education, and adult literacy.)
The U.N. puts 50 countries in this category, and all of them are in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean. This is where 410 Bridge chooses to make its impact.
By teaching and providing the means for the people of a few communities in Uganda, Kenya, and Haiti to take care of themselves, they are hopeful -- and successful -- in showing neighboring communities it can be done. Before 410 Bridge came to Karagota, Kenya, a community which my church supports, few students passed the 8th grade exams, which determine a child's future: school, career, and economic status. Of course, wrapped up in those three, then, are access to health care and clean water, without which the cycle of poverty continues. Since 410 Bridge has come to Karagoto, the residents have access to clean water, women earn money by knitting and selling sweaters, and more students are passing their 8th grade exams.
There are many ways we can help 410 Bridge help these communities. Prayer and supporting a student financially are perhaps the easiest. However, there are also opportunities to go on missions trips, hold fund raising events, or host one of the Partners, specifically the Daraja Children's Choir of Africa. (These children are amazing! Your church or organization will be so blessed to watch these students sing and dance, and the money raised from the tickets of the performance helps 410 Bridge. I don't know the details so go to the website and check it out!)
But why only Kenya, Uganda, and Haiti? These are only 3 of fifty LCDs!
I've heard it described this way: 410 Bridge chooses to go deeper instead of wider. They take the resources they have and invest deeply in all aspects of a community, instead of sending little bits here and there and there and here, until lots of communities are barely helped at all. A farmer's crops need their roots to go deep in order for the plant to survive and make it to a time of harvest. Perhaps helping the Kingdom of God grow is like that, too. In fact, didn't Jesus teach that?
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13: 1-9
Let's invest deeply.