Maps sometimes tell a story of woe. And sometimes the logo on a map and all that it represents endures years after our memories have faded. Although the Central Americas is a tourist destination, it has had its share particularly of natural disasters, each needing emergency response and each leading to new SOS Children's Villages to care for the long term. Nothing shows the trail of disaster more clearly than the map of SOS Villages. Do you remember the 1976 Earthquake in Guatemala, the Mexico City Earthquake of 1985, hurricane Mitch in 1998 across El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua ? Or the landslides in Haiti in 2004? Or more recently what of Peru in 2007? Did you see the pictures of children alone in the wreckage and ever wonder what happened to them? Did you put some money a bucket and shuddered to think?
Look no further and shudder no more. Under every little logo on this map is a Children's Village with around 150 children with no one else to care for them. They live in homes with a loving SOS mother and around ten children each. These homes were set up by thoughtful people like you who looked beyond the immediate needs (which do need sorting as well) and realised that a child who has lost everyone and everything in a disaster needs long term help and love. Villages are born from human misery, sometimes earthquake, sometimes hurricanes and sometimes just sheer poverty and desperation. They are small and precious symbols of hope and symbols that other people care.
In six months, Haiti will be out of the news. The horror of news stories will be forgotten. For many people the only thing left will be a memory and no doubt another symbol on a map, but for a few children who lost everything and for the precious individuals for sponsored them the day they lost their childhood will also be the day when someone far away gave them their childhood back.