The Children Who Deserve Better

Today I got the opportunity to speak to a group of Baptist Pastors in Edinburgh about the work of the Vine Trust. I was able to explain a little about the ethos of this organisation that emerged out of St Andrew's Bo'ness over 25 years ago and has developed into a fully autonomous Trust. At the heart of the Vine Trust is the idea of volunteering. We aim to create opportunities in the developing world for skilled people to go and make a difference in the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Our work centres around Street Children and also taking free Health Care through our medical ships to over 100,000 people in Amazonia. It was wonderful to receive feedback from a pastor who lives in the Borders who is involved with our work and to hear him tell how lives have been changed in his community because they have engaged with the Trust. It made me realise how effectively our strap lined describes what we are about - " Connecting People to Change Lives" Recently I met this little group of children in the above photo playing on the banks of one of the tributaries of the Amazon. they live in the Shanty Town of Belen. They were no different from children the world over. They were excited to see the Gringos arrive and of course looking to see if they could get a penny or two. How difficult these children's lives will be. A recent survey looking at the problems in Belen listed them as follows: Problems (from most severe impact to least) Family and community violence Unclean water Lack of sanitation lack of trash removal Endemic illnesses Juvenile pregnancy Malnourished children Overcrowding (3-5 families per house) Erosion Alcoholism, drugs Solutions (from easiest to most difficult, factored along with seriousness of associated problem) Sewage, sanitation development Trash removal Bridges Raise morale (painting houses, community based work projects) Malaria prevention Family violence education/interventions Potable water Health care (availability of affordable medicine) Sports Anti-erosion measures Increased and improved housing Teen pregnancy prevention Improved child nutrition The task is great!
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