Monday, November 12, 2007

What $25 Buys You in Kenya

  • a boy's suit
  • four shirts
  • one pair of shoes
  • two pairs of socks
  • a pair of trousers
  • two chickens
  • one kg of sugar
  • a packet of tea leaves
  • 250 g cooking fat
  • seven sweets
I know this because Steve and I received a precious letter the other day from Bahati, the six-year-old Kenyan boy we sponsor through Compassion International. We signed up to sponsor him on Compassion Sunday this past spring, and we noticed that he had just turned six--so along with our first payment, we sent a birthday gift. We've received two or three letters from Bahati already, and the latest one was a thank you for our gift. He told us all the things he bought for himself and his family--listed above.

It blew me away. Kind of puts things in perspective, huh?

If a birthday gift goes that far, think what a $32/month sponsorship accomplishes! I know many of you are already involved with this wonderful ministry, but if you're not, may I encourage you to head over to their website now and check it out? Children are the most vulnerable people in the world—and God is passionate about them. What can you do today for the least of these?


Bethany said...

Did you know that you can also give gifts I think up to 300 to the family of your sponsored child? They will find out what they most need such as a cow and buy it for them. Pretty cool.

It is amazing how far our dollar goes in these countries. I had a little girl I sponsored in Thailand and she passed away (it was so sad)...for less than 100 bucks we paid for her whole funeral, burial and family meal. Pretty crazy to think what a difference our money makes.

Zoanna said...

When I first read the list, I was thinking the 25 would buy any ONE of these and was thinking, "25 bucks buys 2 chickens? What am I complaining about, my grocery bill being so high? I thought stuff in AFrica was cheap!" Silly me.

I thought Compassion's ceiling on gifts was 15 bucks for either Christmas or b'day? Did they change that? (rationale: to prevent jealousy among recipients). I've always wanted to send more but thought there was a cap on it.

Amy said...

Zo--wanted to make sure I answer you correctly so I looked this up.

For Christmas, there's no cap because they combine all gifts and divide them equally among project kids. This year's suggested Christmas gift is $18, but you can give more than that to cover other sponsors who might give less, and to cover kids who don't yet have sponsors.

For other gifts, like birthday, Compassion says, "we ask sponsors to keep contributions between $10 and $25 each and limit their gift-giving to twice a year."

Family gifts can be given; "If you desire to give a family gift, please give at least $25 per gift, limit it to three times per year and give no more than $300 per year. Compassion's project staff will help advise families on how best to use these funds. Any leftover money will be used at the family's discretion."

FYI, all gift money goes 100% to the kids.

HTH :)

Amy said...

*Thanks, Bethany, for the heads-up about family gifts. I did not know about that!

Zoanna said...

Good to know. Thanks for looking it up. I don't know what we'll do this year. We're talking about making this year a different kind of Christmas all the way around.

Chris Giovagnoni said...

I've sponsored a Maasai child in Western Kenya since August 2005. I sent a $300 family gift and was excited to hear that the family bought two cows. Often, cows are considered income-generating gifts because the milk and manure can be sold.