I guess hopelessness is one of the paradigmatic (new word maybe..) emotions of the trip out here to India. Looking at the bigger picture there's so much corruption and sub-cultural issues that need overcoming before change can happen at a wider scale that it soon becomes overwhelming. That's exactly why we focus on 'One child at a time' - to keep plugging away at individuals and finding solace in knowing that their lives have been positively affected by standing up and fighting for them.
For me, the feeling of hopelessness comes about during some pretty painful 'eureka' moments. One such example that when a lady has been raped, and has kept the child. Their 'euphemism' for the situation is that her husband left her when she found out she was pregnant. Such a statement is still a cause for much stigma, but less so than the truth. That so many women have to face the trauma of rape, and attempt to come to terms with it without the support of even their closest friends. I find that pretty hard to take, especially when we only recently realised that particular story was a euphemism, and have met countless kids who have repeated the same story to us ad verbatim.
These people need support and people to stand up for them so that they can get the support they deserve. Whilst I sat back at home and watched TV or wasted time at the snooker club, there were people here facing such horrible situations, and many of them have not survived. It's a pretty big pill to swallow, realising that I could have done something to help these people, and through my own forced ignorance and inflated self-worth, decided that money was better spent elsewhere.
I'm pretty sure that in future I'll still waste money that could have been used for a better cause, but at least now I'll think twice. I just hope that by doing the work out here that I get other people at home to also think about where their time and effort gets spent.
One of the things I really like about our effort out here, is that I know exactly where the money getting donated gets spent, and I have full confidence in our accounting and ethical stance regarding the spending. If you'd like to get involved, there's so much coming up that I'd like to do. For the geek crowd, let me know if any of you have any ideas. There are so many parallel problems to be drawn between open source volunteering and charitable volunteering, such as taking advantage of the long tail .etc.
Get back to me with comments. Thanks.