Paying it forward to a whole community
From receiving support to giving it, read more about this wonderful family
The last two years have been difficult but kind words and actions have carried many of us through. One kindness can ripple out to so many others.
17-year-old Sierralyn, and her family in the Philippines, are paying it forward – and their generosity is benefitting an entire community.
“Because of the unexpected pandemic outbreak, everything changed,” says Sierralyn. “Despite this, Christmas is still Christmas! It is a chance to show gratitude and appreciation – and they are important in community life because they bring us into positive and direct relationships with others.”
How is Sierralyn and her family paying it forward, and why?
One of six children, Sierralyn, along with one of her siblings, was a World Vision sponsored child since primary school in Batangas, Philippines.
That sponsorship didn’t just help the children: it provided training on organic farming techniques for their whole community.
Sierralyn’s parents continue to use the methods they learned to grow crops and the family harvests vegetables and fruits from their seven-hectare farm, as well as commercial trees like mahogany.
Sharing with others
By selling their produce they have a reliable income, which pays for the university fees for two of Sierralyn’s older sisters. It also means that Sierralyn doesn’t worry about school uniforms, books and supplies.
But their sponsors’ generosity has had a much wider effect. From the very beginning, Sierralyn’s parents have paid it forward by sharing whatever they had with those around them, and even today they continue to give some of each harvest to their neighbours before selling the rest.
Now, they have even given World Vision an area to build an agricultural training centre on their land – so that more people in the community can learn farming skills.
“We want to learn and improve our lives,” says Sierralyn’s father, Greg. “Only World Vision gives us that opportunity. The land is nothing compared to what sponsors have been doing for us, for my family.”
“It’s a good feeling to give”
And that kind of transformational generosity is contagious.
“I admire my parents for their generosity towards others despite our situation,” says Sierralyn. “People here respect and love them for that. And I imitate it. I also give when I can. It’s a good feeling to give.”
Sierralyn is already showing her parents how to grow their business and sell their produce online. But she wants to give more. Years of attending sponsorship and school activities helped Sierralyn to overcome the shyness and self-doubt she had as a child.
Today, she has her sights set on becoming a lawyer. But she also wants to help other children in her village develop their self-esteem. “There are many children here who would rather stay home because they are shy,” she says. “I used to be like them. I had doubts about myself. My self-confidence was low. Maybe they can join our Bible studies, or I could initiate a teambuilding. World Vision has lots of team-building activities. I love it!”
This year, sponsor a child, like Sierralyn, and you could help transform an entire community.