One Step, Then Another, Then Another….
- August 23rd, 2010
- Posted in Education . Female Infanticide . Partnership . Water
- By dblacketor
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India bound on Thursday. We are working with Aroma Ministries in southern India near Madurai. The families in this village practice female infanticide. Each year 35 to 45 girl babies are not given the chance to live. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident and occurs village after village to approximately 1.5 million each year!
When I think of the magnitude of this issue I think back to when President Kennedy challenged not only the nation but each of us when he shared his vision to have an American be the first to step on the moon. To a young boy this was exciting to dream about but could it even be possible? Then, several years later I remember watching a fuzzy, black and white image of Neil Armstrong taking a step on the moon and uttering these words “One Small Step for Man… One Giant Step for Mankind!”
Two years ago when I first was confronted with the magnitude of this problem I had no clue how to even begin. Then it happened.
1. We visited this village, named a newborn baby girl (Rhema) and celebrated her birth with a small financial gift (about $8).
2. We emersed ourselves into learning more.
3. We partnered with people who knew more and had a closer connection (Aroma Ministries).
4. We determined the best next step was to drill a well and fix a school.
5. We told others. They gave.
6. The day the well was being drilled two baby girls were born. The parents did not know why but felt compelled not to kill their daughters even though they believed they did not have the means to care for them.
7. They brought the girls to the workers who called the pastor that was overseeing the work. Foster homes were found.
8. We know this village must “own” and partner if we have any hope in changing its culture. Micro business is a key but we have little money (micro credit) and no land or building.
9. Village President gave us a field for micro business and building for community center/medical clinic.
10. Next week I have a chance to spend 5 days in this village to celebrate the few steps we have taken and to dream about the future.
Most days I still need to squint to see if what I am seeing is real. Our dream to end female infanticide seems so far away from reality.
But just like President Kennedy believed it was possible that man could walk on the moon, I believe that someday soon no little girl’s life will end just because she was born female. She will be given the chance to live – to grow – to thrive… to one day possibly even lead her nation as India’s Ambassador to America, or maybe, the Prime Minister or President of India. Is it even possible?
Time to wake up. Time to stop dreaming and start doing. Time to take our next step.
I encourage you to follow along.