Frontline Stories

Where are they now: 3 former sponsored children share their stories

When you sponsor a child, you become part of their journey and invest in their community.

We work with communities to meet immediate needs as well as providing long-term solutions. Depending on the needs of the community, Child Sponsorship Programmes focus on: child protection, education, healthcare, water & sanitation, economic development and food security – with the goal of creating sustainable change.

Over time you can connect with your child and their community through letters, photos alongside regular updates and reports from the community.

But what happens when a sponsorship ends?

When World Vision moves on from a community, former sponsored children and their families are ready to continue building on the progress that has been made. Keep reading for three stories about former sponsored children achieving great things thanks to you!

Vathanak the nurse, Cambodia

Former sponsored child Vathanak has always dreamed of a career in medicine – a dream that his parents and his sponsor encouraged him to pursue. Now 23 years old, Vathanak has graduated from university in Phnomh Penh to work as a nurse – and he uses his skills to conduct health checks for people in his community. Over the years, he has seen the incredible change that sponsors like his own helped to create by supporting World Vision’s work.

"I got health check-ups after World Vision arrive in my community. Villagers learned a lot about hygiene and received better healthcare services," says Vathanak. "Now many things have improved in a community where we used to have no proper healthcare system, broken facilities in schools and many dangers along the way to school,. World Vision provided us with latrines, wells, and micro-business knowledge; responded to natural disasters and brought village cleaning programme to our communities. During my childhood, the healthcare system was so poor in my community, but World Vision worked closely with the local people to improve it."

Vathanak is grateful for the relationship he developed with his sponsor over the years and how his sponsor encouraged him.

"I’m amazed that a person who never knew me, would spend time and money to support a kid like me," says Vathanak. "My sponsor always responded to my letters, wrote great encouraging words. Whenever I received a letter from her I was so excited and shared it with my mum, dad and friends. Also, she told me to 'study hard and play hard'. I want to tell her that my dream came true."

Kumila the journalist, India

Though Kumila grew up belonging to a marginalised community and confined by poverty, she still dreamed big. Today, the 26-year-old former sponsored child has graduated from university and works as a local news anchor.

"Since my childhood, I have always loved reporting news and being an anchor. But the conditions at home were poor. I remember asking my father for letting me join a computer course so that I could pursue my dream, but he said no because we didn’t have enough money. That day my hope was shattered," says Kumila. When she discovered that World Vision was offering children like her vocational training in computer, she was ecstatic.

"The computer course did me good. For my line of work, understanding technology is very important. Computer knowledge is a must for what I do," says Kumila.

Besides the course, Kumila received educational support from World Vision to help her complete school. A bicycle helped her to travel the long distance to class every day, and her family began earning a better income after her father participated in training to grow rubber saplings.

"Thank you World Vision. I would not be able to reach here on my own. Now I can pursue a career I’ve always dreamed of. World Vision and sponsor gave me the support to complete my studies. There has been a lot of progress in my village and community because of you. Today I am self-reliant member of the household. I feel confident; I am living my dream of being a reporter," says Kumila.

Hyromi the humanitarian, Mali

Hyromi was born into an extremely poor village in Mali with no school, health clinic or access to clean water. “My mother and father suffered a lot before I was born,” he says. “Their first four children died, my parents still don’t know what caused their deaths. So when my older brother was born, my mother named himYizounwhich means ‘we don’t know’ as they didn’t know what his future would look like, whether he would survive or not.”

Though school was over 12km away, Hyromi’s father recognized the importance of education once World Vision started working in the community. "When World Vision came, it was like the sun rising for my community. The closest school was too far for my family members and me to walk. My father organised for my mother, aunt and all my relatives that were of school age to live in a house in the village, where the school was, for three months at a time so that we could get an education.”

Thanks to this education and a sponsor from the other side of the world, he was motivated to succeed. He says, “I worked really hard and was the first in my village to graduate with a university degree. My life and the life of my community is very different now because of World Vision. My community is much healthier today due to some good practices of hygiene and sanitation and access to clean water; and more developed because many of the former sponsored children are educated and can now better support themselves and their families."

Hyromi is now proud to work for World Vision, to pass on his vision and hope to other children in Mali. “I just want to say a huge thank you to all those that have sponsored a child,” he says. “I know personally how much difference sponsoring a child can make, it doesn’t just help a single life but gives a whole community life. The change is real and huge. I am who I am today because of World Vision."

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