For Victorian couple Rosemary Minogue and Sunil De Abrew, visiting World Vision sponsored child Kirubaharan in Sri Lanka in 2013 was such a rewarding experience, they quickly began planning another trip back.
Last year, their dream to see him again came true.
When Rosemary and Sunil walked into Kirubaharan’s community this time, they knew what to expect. Communities often put on a big celebration for sponsors who visit, to show them just how much their sponsorship means. And this community was no different.
Children lined the road with Australian flags to welcome them. Flowers were thrown. A children’s band played. And laughter and celebration filled the air.
But for this couple who had travelled so far to see their sponsored child, now aged 16, it was seeing Kirubaharan’s face for the first time in so long that made the biggest impression.
“When we arrived with the World Vision staff at the village, and we saw Kirubaharan and his mother waiting for us, it was quite emotional for me, I had to stop and steel myself,” Rosemary recalls. “His mother came and took my hand and led me down the road to their small house, probably sensing my emotions ...”
“He had grown about a foot in height from our previous visit in 2013. He is a quiet, happy teenager, with a goal to be a doctor later in life.”