Making 3rd World Problems 1st World Concerns

I was trying to enter my passcode into my iPhone yesterday when it froze up on me. I heard the usual click after I put in the numbers, but the screen didn’t respond. I let out a deep sigh of frustration and thought to myself, “Noooo!!”

Yes… 1st world problems, I know!

I almost wanted to laugh at myself for reacting so dramatically to such a minor, small, insignificant “problem”. In fact, I’m smiling right now as I type this. And I’m thankful I have the resources to own a cell phone, working or not.

This got me thinking about all the material things I have, which I totally take for granted on a daily basis.

~ clean water
~ electricity
~ more than enough food
~ more than enough clothes
~ feminine products

Yes, you read that right. I’m talking about those lovely products that we females get to use once a month. When I see a box of those items, all I get is a nagging reminder of “Aunt Flo’s” never-ending visits. But to girls in Uganda, having access to sanitary pads is like having a boat come to your rescue when you’re floating aimlessly in the ocean.

I came across this need recently (thanks to this amazing website) and was just shocked to learn that there are many young girls in Africa who are too embarrassed to attend school during their menstrual periods because they can’t afford pads! This means they fall behind on their schoolwork and eventually drop out and are then forced by their families into an early marriage. This then translates into teen pregnancies, possible exposure to HIV and broken dreams. Without an education, they cannot pursue a career and will have to be dependent on someone else for their survival.

I can’t imagine what these girls go through. I can’t even bear to imagine what it would mean for my daughter if she was in the same situation. No girl should have their lives thrown off track because of something that can be solved rather easily.

That’s why I was so excited to find out there is an organization that is providing these girls in Uganda with underwear, soap and sanitary pads (eco-friendly ones made from papyrus leaves) so they can stay in school! The girls also receive mentorship in life skills and character development. Support systems are put in place within the community to emphasize the importance of educating girls.

Image courtesy of africa/freedigitalphotos.net

Isn’t this cool?! 🙂 And to think that we, all the way around the world, can be a part of the solution to this PROBLEM (in caps because it is major, huge and significant).

There are so many 3rd world problems that can become our 1st world concerns. This is one of them for me. What are yours?

I thought Alicia Keys’ song, “Girl on Fire“, would be appropriate for this post. When girls are empowered through education, they are on fire!

What global problems are you passionate about fixing?

2 comments

Leave a Reply