Thursday, December 11, 2008

Acknowledging Global Poverty - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Leaving my our friend, Rijanah's house - in a South African township near Mossel Bay - is always hard. Tears come to my eyes, as I consider the contrast between her life and mine, and long for something better for her.

There will always be poverty in the world, but we can't turn the other cheek. We must acknowledge it and continue to care.

The "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", which turns 60 today, is meant to help people like Rijanah. Scholastic has a fantastic story explaining it's purpose, and the effect it's had on people's lives. Here's a little excerpt:

...Global citizens have become more protective of human rights since the UDHR was adopted 60 years ago. There are now 90 countries that have signed the declaration. And according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it's the most widely translated document in history...

What can we, as individuals, do to honor this milestone? At the very least, talk with our children about it, and help them to understand the difference each individual can make.

Recently, my son Lukas and I went to the Heifer International website and bought a chicken for another family, somewhere in the world. If you're considering donating, check out the the Passports with Purpose initiative, which signs you up for a prize raffle with each $10 donation. We've donated Travel with Kids: The Definitive Guide to Family Holidays Worldwide and a Magnetic Travel Art Kit for Children ($40), which is just one of dozens of prizes up for grabs.

My mom and sisters have been asking what we'd like for Christmas... I think I just found the answer. If you're struggling to come up with gift ideas, do look into Passports with Purpose. You'll change someone's life... forever.

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