Meeting the community members where sponsorship is making a difference
While walking around the community, I engaged with the people who had been participating in their own development and taking ownership of the water and sanitation facilities’ building process alongside World Vision. The most impressive part of my visit was meeting the men and women who had formed an independent committee that partner with World Vision in managing most of the activities of the project. This committee is responsible to ensure that the community is kept clean and tidy, while monitoring the cleanliness of the toilets and shower cubicles that were built by World Vision because of the Child Sponsorship program.
“I did not use toilets for 14 years, but now because of World Vision, I am able to use a clean toilet,” a community member from the Mirpur Urban project told me that day.
But it wasn’t just the adults who were taking part in the community’s development and improvement – the children were too.
In the second community, I met a group of children (some were sponsored, others had sponsored siblings) who said they participated in a World Vision Child Forum. A Child Forum is a committee made of children of the community where they can engage, participate, express their opinion, contribute to decision making and learn about child rights and their wellbeing. Because these children had been part of the forum, they are able to confidently share what they want to achieve for themselves and for the future of their community.
Helping children who were engaged in child labour
I spoke to a very active Child Forum member, Anamika, who was 16-year-old. She started to earn money for her family by cleaning other people’s houses when she was merely seven years old, which meant she missed out on school. But because of World Vision’s non-formal learning program she is now studying in grade nine in the commerce stream.
After Anamika attended a World Vision skills training course in sewing and embroidery for two months, she continues to work with her mother after school but saves her earnings for her future now. She loves dancing and acting and her dream is to become a banker.
Throughout my visit I witnessed smiles and laughter. Child sponsorship is making a big difference in children’s lives, and the lives of men and women of the communities of the Mirpur Urban project because of the generous hearts of amazing supporters like you!