Michelle Faber, Save the Children employee in Malawi for a Sponsorship Review

Michelle meeting children from a sponsorship preschool in Malawi. Photo Credit: Save the Children

Let me tell you about my job.

Michelle Faber, Associate Director, Sponsorship Retention Marketing

My job is hard. It’s really hard, especially on your heart. You go to “the field” and you see the realities of those you dedicate your life to helping and you think, How could someone possibly live like this? But they are — living like this — and you’re lucky enough (Is it luck?) to see it, feel it, smell it, touch it, taste it.

Let me tell you about my job.

It’s two steps forward, one step back. Children are washing their hands, but they barely have water. They’re learning their ABC’s, but they’re hungry. And how do you fix hunger in a country that’s so far from being “fixed”? Two steps. You grab someone’s hand, you listen to them, and you take two steps forward without thinking about the fact that you need to walk to the moon 10 times over before things are “fixed”.

Let me tell you about my job.

I believe in it. Honestly, I do. Because I’ve seen it. I’ve talked to the parents, teachers, principals, kids — those kids! — and I know that we are doing good. We are making lives better. We are, in some small way, making forgotten pockets of the world better places. I see girls going to school. I see boys learning that girls are equals. I see them learning this all in Haiti, a place that feels so far away, and yet here I am, in just four hours...here.

Let me tell you about my job.

Sometimes it feels like a magic portal. In my world, four hours is a drive to much of the same. But this four hours time capsule they call a plane transports you to a different world and a different time, one that exists in parallel with yours and yet has so much unfairness it can fill you with rage. It can make you hate this life — this unjust lottery of birth. It can make you wonder, Why are you here and why am I there? Sometimes that can mess with you.

Let me tell you about my job.

It’s truly amazing. It grants me the gift of experiencing the world. I’ve taken a ride in a local’s canoe on Lake Malawi. I’ve learned how to salsa dance in Haiti. I’ve played with refugee children in Australia. I’ve laughed and hugged and cried and smiled and high-fived and jump roped and danced and talked and listened. Most of all I listened.

Let me tell you about my job.

It will make you cry. It will make you feel the world’s pain so deeply. It will make you realize, and think, and hope, and question, and get angry, and get happy, and get excited, and get hurt. Sometimes you think, Nothing can fix this. But then you travel to a remote community. You enter a small school an outsider. You are surrounded by a gaggle of curious kids, staring at your alien face, touching your strange skin. You sit with them and give them the universe’s gift — a smile — and after a while they smile back, hug you, laugh, pull you back. They don’t want you to go. When you finally leave you wave goodbye and you tell them (but you don’t know their words so it’s only a thought) I will try, for the rest of my life, to make this place better for you.

Welcome!

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