All grown up: Susan’s journey to meet her sponsored child after 12 years

Susan travelled to the Tra Bong project to meet her sponsored child of 12 years for the first time.

By Susan, Vietnam Child Sponsor

It was with mixed emotions that I started my journey to Vietnam; I was excited to see my sponsored child*. I was also a little nervous.

Vietnam is a beautiful place, and I took the opportunity to spend some time there. The people are friendly and warm. Even taking the trouble to ensure I made it across the roads in Da Nang, as there are very few traffic lights - much waving of arms and beeping of horns.

I visited a few places such as the old city of Hoi An (in which I was taken around by pedal bike), Hue and the Han market, a boat ride along the river and a trip to the Dragon Bridge, which gushes fire and water every Sunday night. And yes, I purchased the obligatory “Good Morning Vietnam” T-shirt.

My decision to sponsor a child

I’d heard a lot about World Vision and in 2002 I was walking to work and I walked past a World Vision stand. They had a big table there and her face just looked at me, and I thought yep.

The day I finally met my sponsored child was wonderful. It was a five-hour trip from Da Nang city. I was taken by car to the World Vision office in the Tra Bong project and given a lovely lunch, which I had with the whole staff. They are a hard-working dedicated bunch of people.

The staff told me about the health problems in the area and what they’re doing about it. Also, how they were helping mothers to help them look after their babies better.

The children were excited to meet with a World Vision sponsor

I was then taken to meet my sponsored child and her father. It was very emotional. I got to see her school and give them gifts and I also met her headmaster. Then I was taken to another World Vision supported school in the same village.

I got to visit the classrooms and walked around to see the children working. I had some pictures taken with them. They were all excited to meet with a World Vision sponsor from Australia. 

 

              "I could see that the kids were getting educated and World Vision had supported them with cleaner water                      and just making their life better."

 

The schools work in two shifts as there are too many children to go at once. One goes from early morning to lunch, the other from after lunch to evening.

How I know I am making a difference

My sponsored child wants to be a teacher. My sponsorship allows her to stay at school and carry out her education and she has better food and services and things like that.

She comes from a rural area and she’s living in the town while she goes to school. When she’s not at school she goes home to stay with her family for as long as she can.

She was very happy. She’s going to high school now so she told me it’s more difficult but she’s enjoying it. She was a little child when I first sponsored her and now she’s grown up.

 

           "I could actually see my sponsorship doing good if you know what I mean. You know, sometimes you wonder                 as a sponsor, but it was lovely. I’m feeling happy to see what they actually do and how it all works."

 

The time I spent there went fast, before I knew it I was on the way back. I waved her goodbye and hoped I would see her again. An altogether exciting trip. I am already saving to visit again.

I would say to sponsors … your money and what you’re doing is truly making a difference and even if you can’t visit them, know for sure that their life is better because of it.

 

*World Vision is unable to publish the name of Susan’s sponsored child due to Vietnam's privacy restrictions.

Want to read other stories like this? See how Dat improved his daughters' life because of child sponsorship or read about Darren’s visit to Vietnam to meet his sponsored child.

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