Here in Toronto kids are preparing for back-to-school in many ways. Some are heading to the store to pick out new clothes and school supplies. Others are getting acquainted with shiny new computers of their own. Almost all of them are trying to squeeze whatever fun they can out of the last days of summer vacation. Very few of them are considering just what lengths they would go to in order to travel to school.
Back-to-School in Nepal
In a small village in Nepal, a nine-year-old girl named Laxmi faces a very different reality. When Laxmi was very young, she fell into the family cooking fire. Her leg was burned very badly – so badly, in fact, that her skin melted and her bones were destroyed. Her burned leg is only 30 cm long and dangles weakly. She can no longer walk, she can only crawl. This is how she gets to school – pulling herself through mud, over rocky streams and up steep inclines.
In spite of the difficulties Laxmi faces, she is fortunate. Most children who live in poverty with a disability never attend school at all. In the poorest communities, eight out of every ten children with a disability die before their fifth birthday. They are often forgotten by their communities, their governments and most development aid. Ed Epp, Executive Director of leading international Christian development organization cbm Canada, asks, “What would you do if you saw a little girl crawling on her hands and knees trying to get to school?”
Help Kids with Disabilities Get to School
cbm focuses on helping to find kids like Laxmi – kids who are trapped in the cycle of poverty and disability in the poorest countries of the world. Ed Epp says, “Canadians can help us find kids living in poverty with disabilities, to give them hope and a better life.”
cbm empowers these kids to live longer, fuller lives through life-changing, life-saving surgery and care. To that end, they’ve set an urgent but attainable goal. By the end of September, 2013 they want to give 1000 children with disabilities the ability, confidence and opportunity to go to school.
Support cbm Canada
You can help cbm Canada to reach its goal in two ways:
- Make an email pledge today, because every child deserves an education, and they shouldn’t have to crawl there. For every 1000 email pledges cbm receives, a generous sponsor will fund one child’s complete care – from identification through to access to education – for one year.
- Give a $30 gift. It doesn’t sound like much, but it will allow cbm to find a hidden child with a disability and begin their first, critical steps toward healing.
This article was sponsored by cbm Canada. Every year, cbm helps over 31 million people in 73 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Visit www.cbmcanada.org to learn more about how Canadians can help vulnerable children like Laxmi get to school this September and take their first steps towards self-confidence.