So I received a letter recently, informing me that World Vision UK’s work in Kodumela Area Development Program (ADP) in South Africa is complete, and thanking me for the years I have sponsored a child there. It wisely mentioned that I might feel a sense of loss. Initially I thought I wouldn’t, but after reading the entire letter and filing away the photograph, I did feel kinda sad.
On one hand, I should be glad that the work is complete and the community is on much better footing now to support itself. But I guess I wistfully realised that I wouldn’t be receiving updates and photographs of my sponsored child, and won’t be writing cards and such to him anymore. My last gift to him was a Muji notebook with an altered cover (to suit manly tastes), personalised with his first name.
This is a photo of him from about 5 years back. Upon reading an old post, I realised that I have been sponsoring him for about 11 years. How time does fly.
And look at him now! A strapping youth of 17.
It has been my privilege indeed to have contributed a small amount monthly to support the work in the community, beyond ensuring that my sponsored child gets access to education and basic necessities.
I read from their final report, that in the 10 years that World Vision UK has been working there, it has set up 10 “drop-in centres” to care for more than 800 orphans and vulnerable children. 6 water tanks have been installed in schools, so that children get access to clean water. 2 dams have also been built to irrigate community gardens. Womens’ groups have been set up to grant access to micro-finance, such that they can run small businesses to support their families.
The most comforting piece of news is that the community can sustain itself independently now, without need for anymore outside help. I suppose this has always been the original intent of Area Development Programmes, and the kindergartens and schools will be run by locals, well-equipped schools can continue educating hundreds of children.
Some 65,000 lives have been transformed over the many years, and now it’s on to the next community to work with! Excited to find out which it will be, and which new child I will be privileged to sponsor in partnership with World Vision.
In 2013, I felt that I had the capacity to sponsor another child. I contacted World Vision Singapore, and started supporting a little girl from Assam, India. I specifically indicated a preference for a girl from India, because we all know how marginalised they are there.
As Singaporeans, we are blessed with so much, and there is so much want in this world. I guess this is a small way of re-distributing the plenty that we have.
For $45 a month, you can join in the effort too. The money from sponsors of children in that locale is pooled together for community projects that go towards providing their basic needs in five main areas: food security, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, education and economic development.
Beyond just providing for a little one, we will be strengthening the whole community. A community that is akin to a fledging newborn bird – we will see it grow, to one strong enough to spread its wings and fly to bring food back to the nest. If that’s not one of the most meaningful projects we can be involved in, I don’t know what is. Learn more here.