The first time
she felt someone believed in her and she was not alone.


Growing up without parents in northern Vietnam, 14-year-old Thu was relentlessly bullied and became shy and withdrawn. Her parents separated and left when she was very young. Thu was then raised by her grandmother. People teased her, saying that she was an ugly girl without a mother. She heard it so often that she truly believed it was her identity.

Thu became a sponsored child when she was 10. As she wrote a letter to her sponsor, she tried to share her dream of becoming a doctor, working at health centres or hospitals to treat children, especially those who come from poor households like her. Her sponsor promptly wrote her a reply, telling Thu that she understood her dream and would be rooting for her to achieve it.

It was the first time Thu felt she had been listened to, understood and believed.

She folded the letter carefully and put it in a safe spot. Since then, she would re-read it almost every night before going to bed. The encouragement meant much to her heart.

Thu now had a new friend and supporter, but the Child Sponsorship Programme also opened up other doors for her to step out of her shell.

Firstly, she was encouraged by World Vision to join various activities where she made new friends and learned valuable skills. Secondly, having good friends who understood her and loved her took away her fear of going to school. With the pressure gone, she realised that she likes studying a lot. She became more active and devoted in her studies. Thirdly, her family received outstanding care and attention from World Vision, which lightened their burden and allowed her to continue her studies. Some ladies from World Vision even came to her house and talked about school bullying and how she could cope with that.

For the first time, she saw herself as she truly was… and now she is helping to transform her community, too.

“What greatly motivates me going forward is that the efforts that I am making now will have a positive impact on others, whether big or small. I believe that when more people are equipped with knowledge and skills, the community will soon become a more progressive place. I now have a future and a life purpose of contributing to my community to create an excellent life for all members,” Thu shares with confidence.

Your partnership can bring an unforgettable first-time experience to children in poverty like Thu, as well as transforming a community in the long run to fix the root causes of poverty for children.

This New Year, what will you do for the first time?

The Memorable First-times Of Child Sponsors

“I will never forget the first time I met my sponsored child online. During the pandemic, many people in Hong Kong had to get used to Zoom meetings, but I've never thought that we would use this method to meet my sponsored child as well.

26 November 2022 was the day I finally met Pech, my 14-year-old sponsored child from Cambodia. Before that, we had only been writing letters to each other. I only saw him in photos, and had never even seen his parents. This time, he looked more grown up than in the photos, and I also got to meet his parents. I was overjoyed and excited! Although he was a bit shy, he showed me the letters, photos and table tennis racket that I had sent him. He told me that he didn’t know how to play table tennis, so I told him I will go to Cambodia and teach him someday.

In this online meeting, I showed him some photos of my family, friends, workplace and trips. He and his parents were interested in getting to know me more. I hope that the pandemic will be over soon, so that I can meet him in person and play with him in Cambodia.”

Ying Ko
A sponsor for 10 years,
currently sponsoring a child who lives in Cambodia

World Vision Hong Kong, incorporated with limited liability, is a Christian humanitarian organisation working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty.
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