Many around our world are living in such tragic conditions and these almost forgotten ones need their plight to be highlighted more and more - even it means the reaction of some will be - O no not again - we have heard all that!
Those in seemingly hopeless situations need someone to shout their cause and where there is despair they need faith to keep them going. Organisations such as World Vision and Tear Fund do what they can with the available resources. They need more. I know the work of Tear fund and they are seeking to do what they can.
One reason for so much trouble is the curse of alcohol. In some nations it is made secretly. In Scotland it is bought cheaply.
The adverts for alcohol never show you the tragic consequences of misuse and abuse.
A drunken husband leaves home taking whatever money there is and a young girl has to stay off school to look after a sick and distressed mother. Now, there would be a fine subject for an alcohol advert warning about what can happen when the product is misused.
How can such a young girl get the education she wants and needs to fulfil her ambition of becoming a doctor? In Uganda and Kenya when I spoke in various classrooms I was astonished at the number of pupils who wanted to do well in order to help their community. It was a joy and privilege to give them every encouragement to continue with their studies, but many need more than encouragement.
And - should they be successful, may they never lose sight of the worthy vision they had to better their nation in some way. How many went into politics for this very reason, but have become sidetracked and diverted from their initial goal?
But there are tremendous agencies doing sterling work.
If you are concerned - if compassion wells up within you - if you sense that God is telling you to do more and become involved, then do so.
I write as a disciple of Jesus Christ and have witnessed at first hand the painful plight of those whose lives are hard in Uganda and Kenya, but I have also seen the amazing work being done in large orphanages and small schools and by one husband and wife who take 12 to 15 children into their poor mud home during the day to allow parents and aunts to go to work.
This couple live down at the bottom of the pile - one has to cross open sewers to reach their little ‘orphanage’.
What are the present prospects for that slum area in Nairobi? The authorities may get round to improving this district in 40 years time! That is a long long time away.
In Christ Jesus, what more can we do to improve educational opportunities, fight the curse of alcohol, minister to the vulnerable children and families, and encourage in positive and material ways those are presently serving in the front line delivering what help and aid they can?
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M. A. and B. D.degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.