What do Zambia, Ecuador, India, Mexico and North Carolina have in common?
What we have in common is such a high level of poverty among children that Children International operates centers in all these countries to help alleviate the nutritional, educational and health care problems stemming from extreme poverty. (Actually, there are a few more places where Children International operates: Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala and the Philippines.)
I was motivated to write this after hearing NC GOP legislator George Cleveland's recent remark that there is no such thing as "extreme poverty" in North Carolina" as the GOP pushed to further reduce funding for early childhood programs in NC.
My wife and I support several children in the countries listed above. What these children all had in common before our sponsorship was: They slept on the floor, they had inadequate clothing to attend school, they had little or no medical care, and their chance of living a happy and productive life was close to nothing, and they all had nutrition problems. For what is, to us, a few dollars a month and some extra "special gifts" to ease known problems (like getting a bed, or buying some shoes, etc.) over the years we've watch "our children" grow and become healthy and have hope for a future. One is Manila is graduating from high school this year and we hope to help her become a medical professional. Another child is recovering from appendicitis...treated swiftly and without devastating the family financially, because there was money to provide for her immediate care. The basic cost per child? $22 a month.
To my knowledge, the "conservatives" in Raleigh spent $700,000 of OUR money playing their gerrymandering games...they deny we have any problems with poverty...and they continue to look for ways to cut taxes for the rich while screwing the poor and middle classes. North Carolina ranks #17 in child poverty in the US...with about 1 in 10 children living in extreme poverty where the family income is below $10,800 per year.
What strikes me is that "conservatives" seem to have buried their heads up their own behinds so that they can blindly decimate all the progress, limited as it may be, in women's rights, voter's rights, gay rights, education, and funding for programs that even minimally alleviate the problems of the less fortunate.
We are becoming a third world nation...led into the abyss by a pathetic group of ignorant, self-serving, ideological bigots who entertain their constituents with political theatre, religious ravings, and encouragement to buy assault rifles so they can be prepared to take down liberal forces of evil when we have to "go to the streets." Their "heroes" like Ted Nugent and Rush Limbaugh regularly insult and demean any people or programs that seek to better the lives of others.
We can't allow this to continue. We need to fight tooth and nail to bring these people down. Don't let up in the effort to get Limbaugh off the air in NC. Keep after UNC. Give to or otherwise work for the Democrats running for office in your areas...and ask them to support progressive principles of equality and justice.