This I Believe

Kelcie - Calgary, Canada
Entered on May 13, 2007

This I Believe…

This year I went with my school on a trip to Ecuador to do a travel studies. It wasn’t until that I actually started doing the work with the young children at an orphanage in Quito that I began to realize how lucky I was. When I looked around there were fences with broken bottles cemented on the top, half finished homes and broken windows, yet the people still smiled. A lot of the children were playing games and having fun. Even some of the adults engaged in activities. It was a bit of a reality shock when I thought about all the things that I have, and all things that other people do not have. I wished at that moment that I could take some of the kids and bring them home to give them and their family a better life.

This trip reminded me of when my family and I were in Egypt. We were walking back from the Cairo museum and there was a little girl standing on the street. She asked if we had any money and we said no. She continued to ask us but we had to keep telling her no, because that was the truth. I felt really bad and wished I had some money I could give her because I felt she probably needed it more than I did. When you visit other countries it makes you realize how fortunate you are.

I hope to one day join an organization, or even create my own, that will help the less fortunate people in this world. If even a small change can be made to reduce poverty then maybe the rest of the world will follow and it won’t be such a big problem.

This year our grade did a seminar based on the concept of prejudice. Our group decided to focus on prejudice against the homeless. Many people generally associate someone who is homeless as someone with drug/alcohol problems, mental disabilities, or being to lazy to find a job. This is not always the case. Homelessness is often caused by the price of housing, condos, or rent being too high for someone on minimum wage to afford. When a person drops out of high school, there is little chance that they will be able to get a proper well paying job. In a time of strong economic growth the government needs to consider taking measures such as decreasing the cost of rents by implementing rent control. Other measures such as building low cost housing or providing subsidized housing for the working poor would help to decrease homelessness.

I believe that no matter what society you live in there will always be challenges that need to be faced. Whether it be finding a job, graduating, or finding a decent place to live, it is important to remember that one must keep hope with them. A lady by the name of Margaret Mead once said “A small group of thoughtful people can change the world, in fact it is the only thing that ever has.”