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.

Sponsored children stories

Meet Buli

Meet Buli: A life empowered by education

"My sponsor changed my motivation; as a friend, as a sponsor – always he supported me, encouraged me. Up until 2004, 13 long years he supported me as my sponsor."

As the youngest of four children, Buli’s life was forever changed when she was sponsored through World Vision at age nine.

Tragically Buli lost her father to a heart attack when she was just 12 years-old, however her connection with her sponsor helped her through some of the most difficult moments in her life. "When my father passed away, I believed my sponsor was with me," recalls Buli, who despite the adversity continued, with her sponsors support, to stay in school and pursue her education.

Communication with her sponsor Robert was vital to Buli’s motivation and sense of belonging. "During Christmas every year I got a letter, cards and gifts from my sponsor, it was emotional and strengthened my relationship."

Sponsorship not only enabled Buli to continue her studies, her family and community benefited as World Vision programs provided school supplies, uniforms and fees for thousands of children in her community.

With the support of her sponsor Buli successfully completed all of her studies including those at Bangladesh Agricultural University where she qualified as an Agriculturalist. At the same time Buli started working with World Vision Bangladesh and completed a Master of Science degree. Buli went on to challenge societal norms when she became Senior Field Director at World Vision Bangladesh.

"My mother was very grateful for the program, not only my mother or me, but my whole family was grateful to the sponsor. He basically was beside my mother," says Buli as she now focuses on paying it forward by giving back to the millions of vulnerable people World Vision works with in Bangladesh.

Meet Nita

Meet Nita: Embracing life through learning

“I like reading and drawing pictures,” smiles Nita. A bright nine year old living in Cambodia with her parents, Nita is focused on her learning and aspires to be a teacher of Khmer (Cambodian national language) when she grows up.

Through child sponsorship, Nita is growing into a bright, confident young girl, truly a young leader in the making. Considered the best student in her English class where she excels, Nita faces challenges that most children her age don’t. A school bursting with ill-equipped classrooms, old, dilapidated textbooks and until recently no toilets or clean water – Nita’s sponsorship is now providing benefits for the greater school community. With the recent installation of a water filtering system, all children now have access to clean drinking water – which encourages them to stay in school and a toilet facility, offering privacy and dignity to all.

Nita’s family get by with the bare minimum, sharing a bedroom with no mattress or bed, and no bathroom. A toilet was recently installed.

While Nita navigates her way through school, it is a stark reminder that whilst Nita has access to an education, a loving family and a supportive connection with her sponsor family, she is still a young girl living in poverty.

Supporter stories

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.


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.”

More success stories

The Stahlhut family

So much in common

Brent and his daughter Jorja enjoy making and sending cards to their 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,” says Jorja.

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 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.

The Brusnahan family

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, they 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.”

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 20 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

We get so much out of sponsorship

Nine years ago, Shane and Kerin 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

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.
- Marilyn