One of the most meaningful things I’ve done so far in my life was to sponsor a child.
I still remember how it started. The classical radio station in the UK would regularly broadcast World Vision ads. I thought, why not? And applied.
It’s been more than 10 years since, and it’s been most fulfilling to be able to throw my two copper coins into the bag this way.
I recall first sponsoring a child from Zambia. Then the project became self-sustainable, and they diverted my contributions to another Area Devt Programme. Now, it’s been more than 5 years since I’ve been sponsoring Kamagelo’s village in Kodumela. It’s amazing how he’s grown from a tubby toddler, to a strapping young boy of 9. We exchange cards, and I write to him at least twice a year, during his birthday and at Christmas. It’s been fun to enclose bookmarks and decorate the cards specially for him…
It’s wonderful that the whole village gets help from this programme, through the provision of lifestock, through training in farming methods… I truly believe that all aid should be geared towards sustainability. I watched an amazing video that made me cry (click on Fri 30 Nov 2012). Which mother doesn’t love her child? Which mother wouldn’t want her to have a decent chance at education?
Last year, I read a heartbreaking, heartbreaking article about how there are more starving children in India than the whole of Africa. That really stunned me. Another BBC article corroborates that too. Do spend some time reading these articles.
A mailer from World Vision totally wrecked my conscience too. It highlighted how millions would be feasting and wasting food during the Lunar New Year festivities. All due to the tradition of an outward show of abundance, most prepare more food than could be consumed. At restaurants, the excess is often discarded. All this whilst millions die of hunger.
So this year, I purposed to sponsor another child, this time from India. Since my sponsorship thus far has been with the UK office, I contacted the Singapore office to sign up. They responded really quickly, and within a week I had received an email with details of my sponsored child, from a mountainous village in Assam, India.
They sent me really comprehensive information on Assam’s Dhemaji ADP too. I hope that one day, our whole family may be able to visit. I’ve read that many sponsors “adopt” a child of the same age as theirs, so that their own children may write to their sponsored children. I thought that was a great idea, but didn’t want to be too specific. Was happy to be sponsoring the 6 year old girl they connected me to!
Overall, I really admire the transparency that World Vision operates with. When I gave towards a Christmas appeal, their leaflet stated that even though the official guidelines in Singapore allows for 30% of donations to cover admin and marketing costs, World Vision only uses about 5% to cover admin costs and another 12% on marketing and communications.
Although the amount might seem daunting on an annual basis, still, I felt that most Singaporeans would be able to afford the monthly sponsorship of $45. To most, it would mean just one less dinner outside a month. Would you consider sponsoring a child?
Note: I have no affliation with World Vision apart from being a sponsor. : ) All images here are from World Vision.