Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why I sponsor a girl through REAL

I have always been pulled to make a difference in people's lives. There are so many ways to do that in this day and age, and I was looking for a way to make a real difference in a person's life in another country, who did not have some of the advantages that I had been born into (free education, clean water, food, clothing, etc.). When I learned about the opportunity to sponsor a young woman's education through REAL in Ethiopia, I knew this was the right place for me. I believe strongly in education (my father was a teacher) and the gifts that it can provide and also, in sharing what we have with each other.

When I read about what a difference educating an Ethiopian girl can make in her family and indeed, her whole community, I was completely on board. And when I received a letter from the young woman I was matched with, I was overwhelmed. Here was a voice - a real person - reaching out over the ocean - to thank me for sharing a dollar a day. It meant food and clothing for her family, and an education for her so she could fulfill her dream to become a teacher. A dollar a day for me is coffee, a pack of gum or maybe just pocket change. I have to admit that there is rarely a day that goes by when I don't think of her and her family and all the other girls and young women who are being sponsored with her. I know REAL's program is growing and is successful. I only wish that more girls could be sponsored sooner!

Cheryl Kyle, REAL Board President