Complete this sentence: If I am healthy, I am ________.
There are many ways to fill that blank—grateful, strong, blessed, to name a few—all meaningful. And that’s the point, isn’t it? Our health is meaningful.
There is no minimizing the gift of health. It matters.
For children living in poverty, health is an essential ingredient to thriving. That’s why even simple gifts such as Dental Kits, Eye Care or Mosquito-Borne Disease Prevention can profoundly impact their lives. The gift of health lays the foundation for a brighter future.
See how these three meaningful gifts have a huge impact for kids like Rakshan, Seraphine and Samantha.
In a small village tucked away in the heart of Sri Lanka, where the sun-drenched streets were lined with humble homes and laughter filled the air, a group of children were learning a simple lesson that would have a great impact: the importance of dental hygiene.
According to the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka, tooth decay is a common affliction among these children, with a staggering 63 per cent of those under the age of five suffering from its painful grip. The agony of decaying teeth is only matched by the blow it deals to their self-confidence and overall development.
But hope is not lost. The local Compassion centre stepped in to ensure that these children, whose beautiful smiles deserved to shine bright, would have the opportunity to care for their oral health.
At the Compassion centre, the children each received their very own toothbrushes and toothpaste, precious possessions that were otherwise out of reach for families in their community. They also gained the practical wisdom to care for their teeth through education on the importance of dental hygiene.
Rakshan, a spirited five-year-old, emerged as a tooth-brushing enthusiast. With a beaming smile, he shared the steps he followed diligently every morning and night to keep his teeth healthy and proudly displayed his dental kit.
Because of the generous gift of Dental Kits, these children now had the tools and understanding to brighten their futures and their smiles.
Seraphine was no stranger to pain. Her headaches caused her to suffer for hours, sometimes a whole day. When she took the medication her parents got for her, the pain would relent—only to return when the medication wore off.
Mariama and Leon, Seraphine’s parents, took her to the hospital in a desperate quest for answers. Worry crept into their hearts as the headaches intensified in frequency and intensity. Through the process, realization began to dawn on Seraphine—her eyes were involved in this enigma.
Despite her ordeal, Seraphine couldn’t bear to burden her already financially stretched parents with the revelation that her eyes were the source of her suffering. She knew her family lacked the resources to take her to an ophthalmologist and didn’t want to add to their burden.
But Seraphine’s vision began to deteriorate rapidly. She struggled to read the teacher’s notes on the board or in her textbooks at school, and her performance began to suffer. Seraphine could no longer hide the fact that she needed help.
When the Compassion staff found out about Seraphine’s struggles, they immediately took her to an ophthalmologist who recommended various medical tests. She was fitted with prescription glasses to alleviate her pain and improve her vision. The centre’s support covered the costs of the glasses, which ended her headaches and offered her a clearer vision.
“If the centre hadn’t stepped in to provide medical glasses for Seraphine, her eyes would have been ruined,” Mariama reflected.
The gift of Eye Care helps children like Seraphine see a brighter future.
Mosquito-Borne Disease Prevention
Did you know mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world? Diseases carried by these pesky insects, such as malaria, dengue and Zika, cause millions of deaths every year.
Families living in densely populated slum areas with no running water or sewage and garbage collection systems are at particular risk of catching mosquito-borne illnesses because the stagnant water provides a breeding ground for the insects. These are many of the families Compassion’s church partners serve.
A simple way to avoid these dangerous illnesses is to sleep under an insecticide-treated mosquito net. Compassion’s church partners provide these nets and education on preventing disease, including addressing mosquito breeding areas.
Meet Brenda, a young mom in El Salvador who recently received a life-saving net for her precious newborn daughter.
Brenda’s second child, Samantha, was born just three weeks after the official launch of the Survival program at her local Compassion centre.
“I was in my last week of pregnancy. I felt that day she was moving a lot. We sang to her; we called her by her name,” said the 27-year-old.
The Compassion staff had prepared a gift for the new baby filled with all the necessities to keep her happy and healthy. After Samantha was born, they joyfully delivered a purple bucket filled with diapers, baby wipes, baby oil and powder, soap, a bottle, clothes, booties and a snuggly blanket. Also included in the gift was perhaps the most important gift of all: a mosquito net.
“It is helping my girl because here [in El Salvador], we have mosquitoes that transmit viral diseases like dengue and other sicknesses. I feel more comfortable because I know Samantha is not getting mosquito bites. I am grateful to God.”
For vulnerable babies like Samantha and every age and stage of life she has ahead of her, the gift of Mosquito-Borne Disease Prevention ensures a bright future.
A bright future starts with good health.
Give the gift of health today.