Around the world, almost 400,000 children are sponsored by generous Australians through World Vision. Their contributions are helping to create positive changes, not only for their sponsored child, the child's family and community, but also children in other sponsorship communities, for generations to come.
Here's a look at the lives of four sponsored children and at some of the initiatives taking place in World Vision Area Development Programs worldwide.
Atnafu, 8, lives with his family in an Ethiopian village. His widowed mother Yezina struggled to feed her children, but as a result of an income generating scheme she was able to buy livestock including a milking cow.
Now the children have milk to drink and the remainder earns the family about $10 a month to buy food and other essentials.Yezina is saving to buy oxen so that she can work her farmland and strengthen the family's financial position.
Before World Vision arrived in Kholganat's community in Mongolia, his father Nyetbek struggled to support the family on a welding assistant’s income. As a result of program activities, Kholganat, aged 9, can now go to school and receive healthcare when he is sick.
His mother Mart sews traditional Kazakh embroidery and with World Vision's help she has started selling her work to increase the family's income. Nyetbek’s wish of sending all his children to university may yet come true.
Elias, 8, lives with his family in rural Uganda. They receive regular visits from William, a community health worker trained through a World Vision project to provide basic treatment and promote preventative healthcare.
“When I had a headache, he (William) came home and bought me tablets to swallow. He comforted me and advised my mother to take me to the clinic for a check up. The time I fell sick with a cough, he used his bicycle to take me to the clinic,” said Elias.
Elias’ community has also built boreholes and shallow wells with World Vision’s help. The school he goes to now has a rainwater tank and two latrines.
Martha’s family, like others in her Ethiopian village, makes a living by breeding animals and growing crops. World Vision partnered with local service providers to improve health and education, and irrigation facilities.
“Martha is a lucky girl," says her mother of the opportunities now unfolding for her 12-year-old daughter. Martha is determined to do well in school because she wants to become a doctor when she grows up.
World Vision believes that the best way to change a child's life is to change the community they live in. Child sponsors are critical partners in this process of transformation.