Walk in her shoes

walk in her shoes

I’m walking for charity.

Me.

Yes. Me.

I know, I can’t believe it either. The last time I walked for anything was in gradeschool, when our teachers made us walk to say no to a casino. I know. It’s a long story.

But Walk in her Shoes is a great cause.

 

Walk In Her Shoes is a campaign run by CARE Australia to raise awareness and money to support women and girls living in poor communities. Women are often the most disadvantaged and impoverished members of poor communities.

The injustice that they face is evident by their burden of walking to collect food, water and firewood, which prevents girls from going to school and women from earning an income – keeping them trapped in a devastating cycle of poverty.

For women and girls in developing countries, poverty is not just about a lack of food, water and shelter. It is also caused by the denial of their right to go to school, earn an income, make household decisions and make decisions about their health and bodies.

And you can be part of it by donating even just $5. I’m doing it as part of the Digital Parents team. Click here to donate NOW!

Inconvenience is not a problem

This last year, I’ve made an effort to really know the difference between a problem and an inconvenience. I must admit, I found myself whining more since joining social media. It is easy to get caught up in the habit of whinging about everything and anything when you see it happening so much online. It seems like the “in” thing to do is to jump into someone’s whining and say “oh yes, that is indeed annoying I feel the same way”.

The line between what a problem is and what an inconvenience is becomes blurry, so much so that people start to think that a mere inconvenience is actually a problem.

No chocolate? That’s an inconvenience. No wine? That’s an inconvenience. No money to go on a holiday? That’s an inconvenience. No time to blog? That’s an inconvenience.

What’s a problem?

This is a problem.

I saw a documentary on SBS where they showed a day in the life of this woman. She goes dump diving in the morning in the bins of the fast food chains in the Philippines. She then takes them to the slums where she lives with her paralysed husband beside the sewers and sifts through the bones of the leftovers. The bits of bones with some edible meat still hanging off them are then “cleaned” and re-cooked. She sells these meals in her little eatery in the middle of the slums in Tondo and manages to take home P70 a day – just enough for her to buy rice for herself and her husband. Those who eat her meals know where it comes from, but then again most of them only have that one meal that they could afford to eat for that day.

For me, that’s a problem.

Got cancer? That’s a problem. No money to feed yourself or your family? That’s a problem. No place to live? That’s a problem. Your house got bombed by a missile? That’s a problem.

When I’m on the verge of a whine, I try to catch myself and think about what I’m whining about. I don’t want to be a bad example to my daughter. I don’t want her to be in the habit of whining. I want to be able to teach her the difference between a problem and an inconvenience. One day, I’ll show her the faces of the people with real problems.

It’s too early in the morning for world issues

I turned on the Filipino news story on TV to find a segment about how CNN featured poverty in the Philippines. You’re only catching up now, CNN?

I watched anyway, even if I already knew it. Because as it turns out, I didn’t know things have gotten even worse.

The segment showed families going through other people’s rubbish, looking for food. I know this isn’t new but these people were looking for meat rubbish – you know, the bits we chop off and throw in the bin? Like innards, meat bones and fish bits. The woman said she’s going to wash it. They showed her washing the meat bits and putting it in a wok, and feeding it to the kids.

I couldn’t help but let out an “Oh my god”, enough for my daughter to notice the distress in my voice.

So she asked why I was worried.

For a moment, I battled whether or not to introduce the ugly things in life to my little angel whose only issue is whether or not she can watch Octonauts all day.

I decided to tell her.

I told her that there are kids in the Philippines who don’t have homes, who don’t have much to eat, or anything to eat at all, who don’t have toys or parents who love them.

“The Philippines we went to where your mum and your dad lives, called Lolo and Lola?” was her little question.

“Yes.”

“Maybe we should give them clothes, and toys and food,” she said in her little worried voice.

I held in tears because those words were so familiar. I used to say that when I was around her age. I’d imagine growing up, having a great job, being so rich that I could adopt a couple of those kids and give them a better life.

I gave my little one a cuddle. Even though she’s battling a fever, she still wanted to help other kids she doesn’t even know.

My heart feels like it’s about to burst. I am so proud of my little one.

Speak out, Help out

It’s international women’s day. I think there is a need for international women’s day given the high number of sexual abuse women still go through in this day and age.

I’m hoping to spread the word on it especially after seeing the stats below.

For more information and to give you support, visit the Action Aid Australia website. It’s not a laughing matter folks. Do your part to spread the word.