Today I would like to give a shameless plug for World Vision. My wife and I each sponsor a child through them. My wife sponsors a little girl, Theresia, in Lebanon and I have a little boy, Tinotenda, in Zimbabwe. I chose to sponsor a child in Zimbabwe because it is a high risk area for HIV/AIDS. Tinotenda is a part of the HopeChild program which seeks to help children in these high risk areas. Unfortunately many children born into these areas lose parents and are extremely vulnerable.Over the past (almost) 8 years my wife and I have had our children changed as they either grow up or move outside of the sponsored area. The most exciting letter that we have received was when one of the children my wife sponsors was removed from the program because the family's condition had improved significantly. All you can do is thank God for the work done by World Vision and ask that the family's condition remains stable. However I wonder just how stable their condition could possibly be given that they live in a fairly unstable part of the world to begin with.
One interesting story from the World Vision blog is about a woman that has decided to start sponsoring young girls in her home country of India. Aparna Sen grew up in Calcutta and had the opportunity to further her education in America. But her heart always remained for those growing up in India:
Aparna sponsored Rebika and eventually Aparna and her husband, Ritwick, traveled to India to meet Rebika. What they learned was that the sponsorship of the child affects more than a single child or even a single family. Aparna and Ritwick were greeted by the whole village when they reached Rebika's home.
"I wanted to sponsor a girl since I knew that girls in India, especially from poor communities, are victims of discrimination in almost every walk of life. They rarely get an opportunity for education, and many of them are married off at an early age."
It is a great testimonial about the impact of World Vision. There are so many affected children in the world and there are just not enough sponsors to go around. With the tough economic times here at home it can be very easy to cut back on charitable giving because when we do the lights are not shut off, the car is not repossessed and the house is not foreclosed on. Yet the tough economic conditions that we face are a mere drop in the bucket compared to what others face all over the world.
"I wanted to tell them that I just sponsor a single child, not the whole village — but they made me feel as if I did! Then, I learned about how World Vision works not just with children like Rebika, but also their families and the entire community to provide a support network. I was convinced then that I had made the perfect choice in supporting World Vision to carry on their exceptional work in India."