This I Believe

Katie - Georgetown, Kentucky
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I Believe That We Need to Start Making a Difference

Two summers ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for a mission trip. When my team and I arrived in Mexico, we were immediately immerged in a country full of poverty. Upon crossing the border, we saw people begging for food in the middle of the road. We saw people living in cardboard boxes along the side of the road, and we saw houses that were falling down. No matter where we looked, we saw poverty.

Once we reached our destination, we became even more humbled. The purpose of our trip was to work and stay at Casa de Elizabeth in Sonora, Mexico. When we reached the orphanage, I was immediately humbled even more. Coming from a middle class home in a small town, I was no where near prepared for what I was about to see. The children at the orphanage had no food, barely enough clothing, little supervision, and no toys. One little girl that we met was so blind that she could not see at all and was continually running into things. The orphanage did not have enough money to take her to go get glasses. Upon further investigation, we found out that many of the children had never seen a doctor before in their entire lives. One day we were playing with the children out in the yard, and the children immediately warned us not to go over to a large area in the yard. We asked why, and they told us that was where the sewage was dumped. This is how children are living in a country that is only a couple miles away from the largest and most powerful country in the world.

The trip opened my eyes and made me want to learn more. I wanted to see and know about how the other half of my world lived. So I did some research. I found that every year eleven million children die of malnutrition and preventable diseases. I also found out that Tuberculosis kills 1.75 million every year, and malaria causes at least one million deaths every year. Half a million children die ever year from measles, and I found that 600,000 children die from typhoid. These are all diseases that when you and I were born we were vaccinated against because there are cures for these diseases. We have the obligation as human beings to help people if we have the knowledge and the resources. It is one thing if people die from diseases that we can not prevent or from natural disasters. It is a completely different thing to have millions of people every year suffering from diseases that we can prevent.

There is not only poverty in third world countries, but there is also poverty here in the United States. People every day are starving to death, living on the streets, or living under bridges. I believe that America needs to start making a difference in the lives of people that are less fortunate then ourselves. People need to look out for our fellow human beings, and they need to start making a difference because if we do not then who will.