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The importance of family

Most Americans cannot relate to the lives of our sisters and brothers who live in Third World countries. Though only occasionally traveling overseas, we often select Europe as our destination – a cruise on the Danube, or a trip to Italy. Thus, imagining what it is like to live in real poverty is almost incomprehensible.

After living in three different African countries for 17 years, I have experienced extreme poverty. In most African villages, owning a bicycle or a radio is a sign of wealth. When I visited the village at Christmas, there were no cold drinks and the temperature was over 100 degrees. What poor people do have is family - that is their main possession and activity – visiting family, sharing and caring for family members. Naturally, family ties are strong.

Now think of many poor people coming across the border, often fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. They have the clothes on their backs and their children. Then, our government separates them from the only source which gives them a sense of belonging and happiness. Ripping families apart and not tracing their whereabouts is cruel and inhumane. Let’s find some generosity and compassion for those less fortunate.

Nancy Street



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