Beyond the beauty, there are humble people in need
Take a journey with Bonar Bell to new CCFC communities of operation to see their challenges
By Bonar Bell, CCFC communications manager, Canada
CHENNAI, India — There’s no better way to understand the important work Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) does than to spend time in our countries of operation.
For the past week, I — along with Rachel Bonnetta, volunteer ambassador, and a small camera crew — have been visiting communities where CCFC has just started working. In each new village we are greeted with flowers, rituals and blessings; community members ask for nothing but handshakes and selfies. They’re strangers to us, so it’s humbling to be welcomed into their lives, even for a brief moment.
For this time, we are transported to a world unfamiliar to us. The beauty of India — bright colours, delicious foods, rich culture and tradition — doesn’t tell the entire story. There are real and devastating issues affecting families every day and, in many of the rural communities we visit, early marriage is a way of life.
According to leaders in Equva Bandarlapalli, nine out of 10 girls in their village are child brides. I’ve been meeting girls who were married as young as 12, giving birth to multiple children before becoming adults.
I’ve seen only a few of the challenges this community faces, but it’s clear there is a lot of work to do in the next 12 to 15 years. I trust as CCFC begins its work, children in this village will complete primary school, their families will no longer struggle to find clean, safe drinking water and girls will be saved from being married before they’re 18.
Welcome reception: Rachel Bonnetta, CCFC volunteer ambassador, is humbled by a grand welcome into a rural village in India
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.