5 years as a sponsored child in Ecuador

Nine-year-old Dariel has been a sponsored child in the Vuelta Larga project for five years. She lives in north-western Ecuador near the sea, in a small community full of lush green vegetation.


By Melanie Houston, Child Sponsorship

Between reed and cement houses, in a dusty, wide street, Dariel lives with her two younger siblings; three-year-old Camilo and five-month-old Dara, and her parents Dorian and Tanya.

Unfortunately for rural communities like Dariel’s, violence, whether in the home or on the street is common.

So how do you tackle a big problem like this and work to keep children in Dariel’s community safe? World Vision works in prevention activities that help transform communities for the future.


Life as a sponsored child

World Vision’s Child Sponsorship program is designed so all children and families receive World Vision’s support, regardless of whether they are sponsored or not. Sponsored children provide a way for Australian sponsors to experience the changes and successes they have achieved within the community in a real and tangible way.

Dariel entered the sponsorship program as a shy three-year-old. Even though she didn’t have a sponsor until she was four, Dariel and the family still benefited from World Vision’s support.

As well as regular health monitoring and family visits, over the years, Dariel started learning about child rights. She participated in World Vision’s group activities that taught her how she should be treated and how to stand up for herself. She learned about her rights to an education and rights to a safe home and community environment.

World Vision has also been working with Dariel’s parents through activities and training that help to build their understanding of a healthy family and to respect their children’s rights.

Little by little, Dariel started to overcome her shyness. She learned to feel secure about enforcing her rights to go to school and be protected at home.


This cheerful nine-year-old is now in grade five and a high achiever at her school. “I like playing with my friends, and Mathematics, because they are easy” she says.

She supports other children, helps them with their homework and accompanies her grandmother, Betty, who volunteers on behalf of their community to help World Vision Ecuador.

For those who know Dariel, they have high aspirations for her future.

“Everything she learns makes her smart and helpful to children,” says Dariel’s mother, Tanya.

“I feel happy for her development, she works with teachers, accepts her mistakes and is always looking to improve her skills; I dream that Dariel continues her studies, I support her in whatever she wants to do” Marcela continues.

Tanya is a teacher at the same school. She looks after her children in the afternoons and helps Dariel with her homework.

This bright young girl’s life has changed in many ways thanks to World Vision and through the generous support of Ecuador sponsors. The days where she was recognised as shy and soft-spoken are long gone.

She has not decided what she wants to be in the future but for now, she enjoys running down the long street and looking for any neighbours who will play hopscotch with her.


She is very studious, she researches and always likes to ask, that is why she is the best of the school. She has demonstrated her capability and potential to go far,

Marcela, Dariel’s favourite teacher said.