When a child in a foreign country tells you this, it is not something you easily forget.
Here in Mexico, I work at a small kids project in the jungle. Often I bring a big 1st aid kit with me and see to the kids wounds, burns, abysses, dog bits …and yes bugs and fungus….but they look at me bight eyed and happy for the attention. I tell them how brave they are and give them some colorful pipe-cleaners to play with while I fix and clean them up.
In South Africa toddlers would literally run after my car, and when I would stop they would be quick to show me and the other COLORS volunteers any of their cuts, ringworm or infections. Soon there would be a line-up of kids outside the car. So much of what we do just feels like common sense (…but alas sometimes common sense is not so common.)
Today is World Health Day…I know I know…its another one of “those days” marked on the calendar that we are supposed to have some awareness or take action. But when I hear this, I think of all the children I’ve worked with all over the world who just need some basic TLC. I have personally used our COLORS 1st aid kits to help kids in South Africa, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and now Mexico, who have been neglected in some way…this small 1st aid kit and extra attention has helped them heal from various ailments…and maybe even most importantly made them feel like someone cares.
Now, in this little juggle skill building afterschool program in Mexico, I sit in a circle with all the children and the lead teacher Paula. Paula says that today we are doing their weekly appreciation circle and all the children need to say something that they appreciate about the person next to them. I felt bad for poor Jose sitting next to me, who had to say something about me. But then when it was Jose’s time to talk, this 7 year old boy looks straight at me and says, “ I appreciate you because you help heal us” . Since it was in Spanish, I did not quite get the whole thing. I asked Paula what he said and she told me. All the kids nodded and then started showing me any new wounds from the day….so after the appreciation circle I pulled out the trusty 1st aid kit again and the kids we all so happy.
On this Wold Health Day, it is important that we not only think about looking after our own health, our family’s heath, our communities health….but perhaps can spread a small amount of aid to kids overseas who just need the smallest amount of TLC to make a world of difference.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
A COLORS 1st Aid kit not just a 1st aid kit. Money from this gift also buys basic medicine, deworming, hand sanitizer, lice spray and other needed items for the small children’s projects COLORS volunteers find all over the world.
$30 provided so much help for so many kids at each centre.