Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Mission Trip

The Problem

The livelihoods of those who live on Indian Reservations in the United States are very low. On Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for example, the second largest rez in the country, the average family income in $3,700 a year, making in the poorest county in the nation.Unemployment hangs around 80%, and life expectancy is 48 for men and 52 for women (the lowest in the U.S). About half the people over age 40 have diabetes, tuberculosis is common and the alcoholism rate is the highest in the United States.Adolescent suicide is four times the national average. Many of the families have no electricity, telephone, running water, or sewer. Many families use wood stoves to heat their homes.The infant mortality rate is five times the United States national average.

Plan of Action

The project was the most amazing experience I have ever had. All it took to create the program at my church was to express a great interest in going, do a little research, and put up a couple hundred bucks. I believe that I have made an impact, although I was only on the rez for a week. The fact that I care enough to go be of whatever assistance I can to people in need must have a positive impact, no matter if I saw it when I was there or not. Either way, our youth group is going to a reservation in Montana this summer to continue our service and try to make an impact on a different group of people who are no better off.

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