Last night, I had a rare Girls’ Night Out evening. Two friends invited me for a ‘girls’ evening’. I don’t normally do ‘girls’ things on a big scale. Socially, I’m comfortable with no more than 3 girls. A social Girls’ Night Out involves hundreds of women. It was a scary thought. My friend bought me the ticket, so, to improve my social skill and to expose myself to new challenging environments, I gave it a go.
I told my friend that I was worried about ‘girls’ thing, but she joked that I was becoming a grumpy old woman.
The event was held by World Vision. It’s a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
The Girls’ Night Out event promised that we would be inspired by Carrie Grant (a celebrity), be entertained by Jo Enright (a comedian), and be treated with goodies and delicious sweets. As Jo Enright was ill, Carrie Grant’s husband, David Grant (also a celebrity), took her place and entertained the audience with an engaging sing a long choir session.
My goodies (For non native speakers, goodies are free gifts normally put in a bag called a ‘goodie’ bag’) are chocolate, B. Ready day cream, No.7 eye make-up remover, a mirror, a cucumber peel off mask, peppermint tea. On the night, there were also three prizes to be won.
During the break time, we had free drinks, and beautifully decorated cupcakes by the Little Cupcake company.
It’s all new and interesting to me. I’ve never been to any red-carpet event, and this event was the closest I was ever remotely linked with ‘celebrities’ — glamorous people you hear and see on the television. However, as I’m not a keen follower of the pop culture, I’d never heard of the names of these celebrities. It was a bit embarrassing for me.
The talk was interesting, honest, littered with jokes. Carrie was a talented speaker, and she also performed a few songs and played the keyboard and guitar.
The ultimate goal of the event was sponsorship. We were encouraged to sponsor children from the poorest countries in the world.
Everyone was given a unique, beautifully printed Child Sponsorship card. The card contains the basic biography of a named child with his photograph on the front cover. We were encouraged to sponsor a child — currently £22.80 a month. However, we all have a choice.
If you don’t want to sponsor a particular child, whose card is in your hands, you could swap the card with others. You could specify the sex, age, country of a child that you want to sponsor. On the table, tens of sponsorship cards were on display. Each card has a different child on the cover. You choose. It’s a bit like shopping.
Once you’ve sponsored a child, you get to receive regular updates of the child, and you could even fly to visit your sponsored child.
Child Sponsorship is positive and honourable. I had an interesting evening. I had 2 cupcakes. However, I found it mentally difficult pondering about child suffering and world poverty in a glamorous setting — a modern church with excellent facility, while being pampered with goodies, cupcakes and drinks, and was entertained by celebrities with songs. I was touched by some of the stories that I heard on the night. However, I’m trying to work out why I felt somewhat uncomfortable. Perhaps the dichotomy of indulgence (goodies and cupcakes) and poverty was too great. Perhaps I found the fact that you could select a specific child to sponsor too ‘commercialised’. I was also trying to study the psychology of people who sponsored.
I had an interesting night out. It was fun, but I also had some questions. My friend asked why I couldn’t simply relax and have fun?