Stories of life-changing connection

Sponsoring a child is the start of a connection that can help change their life – and yours. Here are stories of sponsors and sponsored children who’ve experienced this special bond.

Stories of life-changing connection

Sponsoring a child is the start of a connection that can help change their life – and yours. Here are stories of sponsors and sponsored children who’ve experienced this special bond.

The Kirk family

The Kirk family: Growing in empathy and kindness

As a mother, Junia wants to educate her two daughters about the good and bad realities of the world.

Junia grew up in Brazil, where poverty was an everyday reality. But now, living with her family in Australia, Junia wanted Clara (nine) and Nina (seven) to understand they lived in a lucky country – and learn how to care for others.

Sponsoring Nita, a 9-year-old girl in Cambodia, has been an important way of doing just that. Clara and Nina screamed in excitement at their first letter, and they enjoy writing back. But the connection has also helped the girls learn about what charity really means and how they can help change the world.

“I can not only tell them what poverty and inequality are, but I can help them connect with it somehow and develop sympathy and kindness,” Junia says.


The Farquharson family: I feel privileged to be a sponsor

You can tell that Yvonne cares deeply about her connection with her sponsored children.

“I think children just want to feel secure and safe and protected and cared about. It doesn’t matter where they are, whether they are in a rich country or a poor country,” she says.

That feeling is one reason why Yvonne and her husband Bob have sponsored children for 29 years. Child sponsorship is not just food and water – it’s also a deep bond, and Yvonne calls it “a privilege” to have the opportunity to be part of a child’s life in that way.

Today, the couple sponsors Srey in Cambodia, and even after all this time, being a sponsor continues to inspire Yvonne.

“We’ve got three adult children, and they’ve all left home now,” says Yvonne. “But we can continue to sponsor children and give them a chance just like our children had a wonderful chance.”

The Brusnahan family

The Brusnahan family: Our sponsorship opened our world

“Sponsoring a child is the best investment you can make for your family,” Emma says. 

Emma and Grant – with their children Kate, Jonas and Chloe – have sponsored Christina (12 years old) since 2013, and it’s a connection that’s become strong on both sides.

They regularly exchange letters, and the family has visited Christina’s community twice in five years. They also make a special effort to communicate with Christina in her own language.

Over the years, the Brusnahans have seen the change they’ve been part of in Christina’s community, which included giving Christina an education. But they know it’s also been valuable for them, too.

“Child sponsorship has opened up our children’s eyes, their minds and their hearts,” Emma and Grant say. “They know how lucky they are to have a good education, food on the table, to live in safety and most of all to have the choice to do whatever they choose with their lives.”

The Stahlhut family

The Stahlhut family: So much in common

Jorja, age 12, is drawing a card for her family’s sponsored child, Sreylis. “I am going to say I hope you have had a good year, I would love to meet you and I love elephants,” she says.

Jorja and Sreylis share a special connection – they’re the same age, both have September birthdays, love cooking and drawing flowers. Since sponsoring, they’ve exchanged letters and shared excitement over the new friendship.

For Jorja's father Brent, the connection has been special in other ways, too. “We really look forward to the correspondence that we get,” he says. “We sit together as an entire family and we talk about the things we are able to understand and find out.”

Together, the family is getting the chance to not only build a relationship with a child who lives far away, but also get excited about what they can do to make change.

“It’s certainly been exciting to see … my children become passionate about making a difference,” Brent says.

More success stories

Georgie: I sponsored Nancy to give back

Twenty years ago, Georgie watched a documentary on Africa that moved her to sponsor a child. She started writing encouraging letters to her sponsored child, Nancy in Kenya. What resulted was a deep connection that’s had a profound impact on Nancy’s self-esteem – and twenty years later, Nancy recorded a special thank you to Georgie for her generosity. 

Thinking back now, I was hoping that I was helping … I had no idea to what extent that it would go and what a difference.
- Georgie

The Jory family: We get so much out of sponsorship

Nine years ago, Shane and Kerin Jory sponsored Violet in Zimbabwe, a girl who was the same age as their daughter Ruby. Though Violet wasn’t smiling in her early photos, today she’s beaming. Kerin says that seeing Violet grow up alongside Ruby has built a special connection between the two families.

As the years have gone by, we’ve seen Violet look happier and more confident. For the cost of a couple coffees a week, you get so much out of it.
- Kerin

The Chaffey family: A heart for Zimbabwe

When Marilyn and her husband travelled to southern Africa in April 2008, they were so moved by the grim situation in Zimbabwe that they knew they had to act. To date, they’ve sponsored three orphans in Zimbabwe – and they continue to encourage others to sponsor children, too.

Sponsoring a child makes us feel that we can take a small part of what I consider to be our fortunate lives and help make a difference to a child in less fortunate circumstances.
- The Chaffey family