Sing your support to help children in poverty

It’s hard to believe how fast summer has gone by this year! Autumn is now here, but I look back fondly on the season of sunshine.

In my hometown of Montreal, there are a series of festivals for just about every person’s taste. My favorite one is the jazz festival. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people gather to discover a new music genre or enjoy listening to their favorite artists.

There is something so powerful about music and the effect it has on those who hear it:

  • In a matter of seconds, a crowd can dance in rhythm.
  • A song becomes a summer hit after hearing the chorus a few times.
  • You find yourself absent-mindedly humming a few notes of a melody you heard in a TV ad.
  • You’ve got several playlists on your iPod to match your mood.
  • Strangers are united by a tune they both enjoy.
  • You air-guitar a solo while jumping on your bed or singing your heart out in the shower when you think nobody is listening.
Sponsored kids in Colombia sing in music program

CI kids in Barranquilla, Colombia, perfect their singing skills in the Music for Development program.

In my opinion, the most beautiful instrument is that of the human voice. Like a fingerprint, no voice is exactly alike. Out of it comes speech, which springs forth words that can touch the heart and even change a person.

Do you have that one song? The one you identify with and that defines you so well that it should have been written just for you? Perhaps it describes how you are feeling at a particular moment, or it brings back a great memory.

Colombian teen playing the cello

In CI’s Music for Development program, kids in Colombia and the Dominican Republic learn teamwork, leadership and study skills and gain a boost in self-confidence.

Then, there are other songs that can have such a strong message that it moves us to act. Some songs that come to mind are “We Are the Children” or “Wavin’ Flag.

“Wavin’ Flag” was sung for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti a few years back. For some, the song opened their eyes to the devastating events taking place across the ocean. For others, it was a message of hope. The song gained a wider audience because several well-known Canadian artists gathered together to make a CD to raise aid money.

Songs composed to bring disaster relief are an excellent means to get help, because music puts emotion to feelings not yet experienced. It unites. When recognizable voices pitch in, the impact is significant. Millions of dollars have been fundraised to help those who need it most.

Although we may not all have voices worthy of “American Idol,” our voices still remain the most powerful instrument we possess. We don’t need to wait for an emergency or crisis to use it, either. All of us are advocates for a better world for the future generations.

At the jazz festival, I heard a musician sing along to the saxophone, the piano, the trumpet and guitar. I think each one of us has the ability to use our voice in a similar fashion. We can relay a powerful message to those who hear us with the help of other instruments like the telephone or social media.

A girl in CI’s Community Youth Reporter program in Ecuador prepares for a radio broadcast

Teens in CI’s Community Youth Reporters program have learned their voices have value as they develop stories and photos about real-life challenges and triumphs in their own communities.

Just like the popular singer whose voice you recognize and appreciate, your voice is recognized by your entourage, such as your family, friends and colleagues.

They know you well and are more likely to listen and appreciate what you have to say. Musicians are passionate about their craft. We are passionate about our cause: child sponsorship! It may not be as wide-scale as that of certain artists, but each little action counts.

When I first started sponsoring, Children International sent me an inspirational story about a man walking by the ocean. The shore had plenty of stranded starfish. One by one, the man picked up the starfish and threw them back in the ocean.

Some people tried to discourage the man, telling him there was no point helping because he couldn’t save them all. The man looked up from the ground and smiled, saying that it did make a difference to the ones he could save.

A young boy and his sister work on a puzzle in a Colombia community center

Luis and his older sister, Ashiley, love spending time at the CI community center in Colombia, where they have access to plenty of puzzles, games and books.

It is true — we cannot save every suffering person on this planet, but if we do what we can to help, it is already a great start. By talking about your experience as a child sponsor with others, perhaps they, too, may want to sponsor a child.

Just like the man and the starfish, your voice is an advocate to others around you — and in your encouraging letters to your sponsored child — and it can have a powerful impact.

Young kids in Africa play on community center toys

Sponsorship gives kids in need, like these cuties from Zambia, a way to break the cycle of poverty, creating a ripple effect for generations.

Go on. Let your voice be heard!

Speak out on behalf of kids in poverty

Comments

mjohn110
Oct 29, 2016

Nice article and song. It's the first time I have heard it, thanks for sharing this!

Sunflower17
Dec 27, 2016

My pleasure, mjohn110 :) Happy you liked it!

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