Invisible Children

When countries go to war, oftentimes it is those that cannot or have no desire to fight that are hurt the most. Such is the case in Uganda. Uganda can bemoan the fact that it is home to the longest running war in the world: a horrifying twenty three years of bloodshed. Nearly two million innocents have been caught between the two factions, the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army, and left with nothing. Most have been forced out of the only place they’ve ever called home, and have no education or specialized skills to improve their lot in life.

However, Invisible Children intends to change that. Refugees are taught how to create culturally unique bracelets and the finished product is sent to U.S. Once a bracelet is sold, the money is returned to the refugees. Every bracelet-maker is required to attend a course in money management, investing, and how to cultivate small business. Because of these skills, many are able to return home and start anew. To find out how you can help just visit Invisible Children online.

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All Aboard the Smile Train

Every parent’s dream is to stare down at their perfectly formed newborn baby and coo and murmur every bit of soothing nonsense imaginable, but what if their newborn has a birth defect? It makes the child no less special, but sometimes, the world can be unbelievably cruel. The most common birth defect in the world today is the cleft lip and/or palate, a facial deformity that leaves the lip split and the roof of the mouth with a large hole. One in a thousand children is affected each year in the United States alone. It is believed that in developing countries that 165,000 children are born every year with cleft lip or palate, but this is much harder to determine because these children are often killed moments after birth or abandoned, left to the mercy of wild animals or the elements.

A cleft lip or palate repair surgery is one of the simplest and least expensive to perform, but most of these parents can’t afford to have it done, even though it would mean a better quality of life for their child. However, thanks to the generosity and kind spirit of the people who formed Smile Train, these children have a chance to go to school, to get a job when they get older, and to live a life without ridicule. Smile Train’s mission is to provide free surgeries and rehabilitation for children who cannot afford it any other way.  However, Smile Train cannot do it alone. They rely on the donations from kind people who believe in their cause. For only two hundred and fifty dollars, a child’s life can be changed for the better forever. If you believe in Smile Train’s mission and wish to contribute,  you can donate at SmileTrain.org.