From seeing the isolation to witnessing the everyday struggles of children – child sponsor Anne Rich told us all about the experience of travelling to Cambodia and meeting her sponsored child.
Meeting the child you sponsor and seeing their personal circumstances can be life-changing in powerful, humbling, but also challenging ways.
Anne spoke honestly about the experiences that brought her closer to understanding what life is like for Rann, the young girl she sponsors in the Rukh Kiri project in Cambodia. Rann is one of four children in her family and her father was away for work. In between school, which she enjoys and doesn’t like to miss, Rann helps her mother raise a cow. But attending school isn’t as simple as a short walk or catching a bus. In fact, getting to school can be quite dangerous, particularly for girls.
“While I was in Cambodia I had learned that girls and women are vulnerable to kidnapping for the sex trade when out walking and they are very much safer riding a bike. I learned that Rann was walking five kilometres to and from school and she was walking barefoot. When I knew she was on her own walking to school five kilometres, and five kilometres home, and completely vulnerable to kidnapping, I decided to purchase a bike for her. This is all that is required for a female child to be safe!”
When supporters visit their sponsored children, it is sometimes possible for them to purchase modest, but practical gifts for their sponsored child or family that can help with specific needs related to education, health or income generation.
Anne told us that the bicycle cost a mere 40 Australian dollars, and for another $6 she was able to buy a pair of shoes for Rann and each of her siblings, serving as a reminder that a small act of kindness can have a big impact. “It’s not a matter of being generous, it’s a matter of seeing the poverty,” she said, humbly.