At Last, the Map is No Longer Blank
How would you rank survival, life and living? Are you focusing on survival first and care little about life and living? Or do you put life first so that it will not be in vain? Or are you pursuing a high income, so that you find little meaning in life if you just work to stay alive? No matter how you rank these three, they do influence how we plan for our lives and whether we can live life to the fullest.
World Vision’s statement is “Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness; our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so”. Through Transformational Development, we equip children, families and communities to be able to plan and manage their lives. Certainly, we are all responsible for our transformational development. And when children, families and community members are willing to learn and develop together, they will be able to improve and seek the well-being of more children, bring about lasting change and live a life of abundance.
Mapping out a Life Plan
In some of the countries where World Vision works, in addition to poverty and lack of knowledge, resources and opportunities, deeply-rooted traditions, concepts and norms often restrain children and families from seeking change. It is as if their life map is a piece of blank paper, with no indication of where they can go. But as Keigo Higashino writes in his famed novel Miracles of the Namiya General Store
, “It is troubling when the map is blank, no one knows what to do. But because it’s blank, you can draw any map. Everything is free and the possibilities are endless.” When children and families in need are given access to knowledge and resources through World Vision, they will be able to develop their abilities. The map that they draw themselves will come from the transformation that they have experienced, and it is way richer and more abundant than we can ever imagine.
The Key to Change: Heart, Mind and Pocket
is a beautiful but poor lady from Malawi. In her community, which is about 30 km south of the capital city Lilongwe, poverty means not having enough to eat, wear and survive. For girls, it also means dropping out of school, and even child marriage.
Ireen was first in her class when she had to drop out of school following the death of her father. “I felt pain,” she recalls. “I wanted to go to school. I wanted to become a nurse to help my community.” Instead, she got married at the age of 19, working as a farmer and selling crops to support her family, so as to raise her five children with her husband Salimoni. “We had a lot of problems,” she says. “We couldn’t find money. We ate nshima
(maize flour porridge) two times a day. I had no peace. I’d wake up in the morning worrying about having no food to eat.” Ireen and her husband were hopelessly in debt. With money lenders charging them exorbitant amounts of interest, it was simply impossible for them to repay.