Steve Heronemus

Want to Help Children? Empower Women.

Those eyes. Those stomachs. Terrible images of starving children haunt our comfortable lives. Whether we see pictures of fly-covered children in Africa, orphans taking up residence in South American landfills, or homeless American children picking through dumpsters, our hearts sink at the utter horror of the helpless dying unimaginable deaths.

What are we to do? Most of us just throw our hands up and try to forget. Some of us help by donating to the many charitable organizations focused on child welfare, and a few actually go where these children live, using our hands for temporary healing.

But still they die, 100s of millions every year. The images never seem to change and it seems no amount of aid will halt the dying.

The problem of child deaths from starvation and preventable disease is a great way to illustrate the difference between mercy and justice. Donating food or money to one of the many wonderful children’s charities is mercy necessary to help relieve today’s suffering, but unless we do something different today’s needs will become tomorrow’s. The answer for tomorrow is to uplift and empower women with education, economic opportunity, and equal rights and access within legal systems.

Empowering women is justice for women and children is Biblical justice. No one will fight harder or sacrifice more for a child’s well-being than that child’s mother. If that mother is educated and has an ability to earn a living wage, the child is highly likely to survive and thrive.