Have You Washed Your Hands Today?

06/20/13

A few days ago, I took care of some very sick little kids for a friend. I can't count the number of times I washed my hands. But each time I did, a wave of relief came over me. "I'm not going to get this nasty bug," I breathed, relieved. 

 
Imagine what my day would have been like if I had no soap. 
 
Because we've been trying to raise money to send 108,000 bars of soap to children in Africa, I thought about that quite often. 
 
The fact is, many children in the world today do not have soap. I have to admit, that is not something I normally think about. But somehow, caring for sick children made it all click for me. Soap saves lives. 
 
Have you washed your hands today?
 
Many children in our care remember what it was like to live without soap. Not only were their lives constantly in danger of diarrhea, cholera, hepatitis A, and deadly bacteria like E. coli, but they also felt the shame of walking around dirty and smelly all day. 
 
For a child like this, soap makes a much greater difference than you could ever imagine. I didn't realize the extent of difference a simple bar of soap could make until I heard the story of Robbin from Uganda.
 
Robbin grew up in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in northern Uganda, and his family literally had to choose between food and soap. Robbin remembers how hard this was:
 
"[My mother] would spend the little money we had on food rather than soap. Washing clothes in my family was a very rare thing because a piece of soap had to last us a month."  
 
"For food, I would walk to a nearby swamp to look for fish with my one net. But because the swamp was small, I would just end up swimming at the shore, which was very dirty.  Getting out of it, I would be smelling very bad, yet I had no soap to wash myself."
 
Robbin remembers his family rationing one bar of soap to last an entire month
                                 Robbin remembers his family rationing one bar of soap to last an entire month. 
 
When Robbin came to live in Children of the Nations' Children's Homes, people like you began providing for all his basic needs—including soap. Robbin appreciates everything you provided. But for him, soap was especially meaningful:
 
"My life is so different here. My sense of humanity is back, because now, I can tell when I'm dirty, and straight away I go to bathe or wash my belongings, for soap is provided for me."
 
Robbin says that having soap has helped restore his sense of humanity
                                       Robbin says that having soap has helped restore his sense of humanity.
 
It's because of people like you that Robbin and other children can have soap. Will you help send soap to children in Africa? Just $25 sends 125 bars of soap! A small gift today will make a big difference for a child like Robbin.
 

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