NORFOLK, Virginia – Ray, a retired military veteran and double amputee, and his wife Esther had seen the weather reports and knew that a winter storm was coming that would most likely trap them inside their home for several days.
In my travels I meet hard working mothers all over the world who get up every morning and make herculean efforts to make life better for their children. But in spite of all their work, they still cannot escape the pull of generational poverty. These women usually can’t afford school uniforms or tuition and are also hard pressed to afford medicine for their children when they get sick. Beleaguered moms have the energy and the will — but lack the way — to earn enough to bring their children into a life free of poverty.
PAKISTAN – With their parents unable to care for them, Maria and her siblings live with their aunt, and at just 16 years old, Maria has taken on the burden of providing for her four younger siblings.
She had just completed the ninth grade when Maria had to leave school and take a job at a factory—hoping to earn enough to keep her brothers and sisters in school. But she earned a mere $35 a month and works long, hard hours.
GEORGIA – Tracey never dreamed her family would ever have to choose between paying the bills and buying food, but when she was let go from her job, money quickly became tight and that tough decision soon became reality.
CAMBODIA – In a slum in the middle of Siem Reap Operation Blessing is helping sponsor a special “kids club” where severely impoverished children can attend each day for the chance to learn and grow.
VIRGINIA – Robert, a retired Navy veteran, has struggled with health issues for some time and must attend frequent dialysis appointments as a result. When a winter storm hit their area the night before one of his appointments, Robert and his wife Ruth found themselves trapped the next morning–unable to leave their home due to the inches of snow that now blocked their driveway.
EL SALVADOR – When Brian heard the gunshots just outside his home, he immediately rushed to his little sisters.
“My sister Andrea woke up, and I did not know what to do, so I just told her to be quiet because at that moment I thought that if they could hear us they might try to get into the house and hurt us,” Brian said. “I started telling her, ‘Please, baby, be quiet. Go back to sleep.’”
KENYA – At just three years old, little Raayio’s feet were calloused, bruised and sore.
Raayio and his siblings, eight-year-olds Kalisho and Emily, 10-year-old Soilah and 11-year-old Koisah, were too poor to have ever owned a pair of shoes. They live in abject poverty with their grandmother, as their mother is unable to care for them and their father abandoned the family.
MONROVIA, Liberia – In the past year, many of Liberia’s children have felt the pain of devastating loss—losing one or even both of their parents to sickness, violence or disaster.
NONE SAWAN, Thailand – For 56-year-old Nong, a farmer from the rural village of None Sawan in Thailand, having access to water—and having enough of it—is rare.
The only water available to the families in Nong’s village comes from an outdated tap water system and shallow wells several miles away, and during the dry season water is limited and there is not enough to go around.