Sponsored girls: where are they now?
Child Sponsorship is making a real difference
Over 20 million children in 54 countries are positively impacted every year – thanks to World Vision Child Sponsorship. The purpose is clear – empowered children and those around them are breaking free from poverty for good. There are now millions of adults across the world living productive, fulfilled lives thanks to sponsors who decided to make a difference.
As we celebrate the International Day of Charity, let’s hear from Kalpana in Bangladesh, Cidalia in Mozambique and Thuong from Vietnam. They are all now adults - and living proof of how World Vision Child Sponsorship creates lasting change.
As a child, Kalpana’s family was so poor that their neighbours would avoid them in case they asked for help. But sponsors helped Kalpana change her story – she has become a lawyer, and now her neighbours wait for her on the walk home to ask for her help with legal advice.
"I am the stone that was thrown away,” she says. “Now I have become the cornerstone of my community.”
Cidalia, from Mozambique, is a powerhouse in her community – a teacher, a radio star, a mum and an inspiration.
Cidalia lost her parents when she was just a child. After they died, she and her three siblings went to live with their grandparents - but she had to grow up fast to help the family make ends meet. “I was very young,” she says. “But I used to fetch water and wash clothes just to get some money and provide for my siblings.”
Then she was sponsored and Cidalia had someone to take care of her. She finished school, and even got a scholarship to become a teacher. Today, Cidalia is inspiring a whole new generation, teaching history at the local school. She even hits the airwaves with her lessons, broadcasting educational programmes on local radio.
“I have this profession thanks to my sponsors,” she says. “With my work, I provide for my siblings and my two children – I was able to defeat poverty.”
Thuong is from Vietnam. She tells her story:
“I still remember that my one wish was to sleep with our bellies full and go to school like other kids. Whenever my parents got back from the field, I would peak into their pouches and count how many taros [a type of root vegetable] they would find that day. The more taros we had, the more my mum could sell by the highway, meaning that we would have a good meal that day. So, I had one more wish, and that was to find more taros every day.
“One afternoon, we had a special visit from the village head. The commune had selected me to be a sponsored child with World Vision. I felt a strong sense of pride. Things also started to look better for my family. We received a water tank to store clean water in drought times, and my parents participated in livelihoods classes. Over the years, we got different kinds of assistance, including a breeding cow and coverage for my brother’s medical bills when he was hospitalised for thirteen days.”
“I had the opportunity to join different club activities and special classes from the sponsorship programme. There were things that I had never heard of before, like learning to love yourself for who you are. We also had training on more serious topics, such as protection against child abuse and drug use in adolescence. But my favorite part was our children club’s performing shows. I loved working on these projects. I knew that this was what I wanted to do when I grew up – to organise activities for children and help them find confidence.
“Now I have a small family of my own. We have two children: our girl is four, and our little boy is one. I also achieved my dream of becoming a coordinator for my commune’s youth activities. As someone growing up from the sponsorship programme, I know better than anyone else how much those after-class meetings and training sessions can change a person’s course of life.”
It's wonderful to hear how lives are changed through Child Sponsorship, but many children today still need to be sponsored to help them break the circle of poverty.