India: Cheryle and Riley’s memorable day with their sponsored child

By Cheryle Harry, India child sponsor

In January 2016, my son Riley and I travelled to India to visit our sponsored child Princy.

Since my first visit to India 22 years ago when I did a five week trip, the general feel is that the country is getting richer.

Riley found it an interesting place. He commented about road travel – 'it's every man for himself'. He really liked the forts and palaces and always obtained an audio guide, unlike me. The food was always fantastic. We basically kept to the northern part of India; Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Kanpur and did go a little south to Mumbai.

The lead up to visiting Kanpur was good and I was so glad that Riley was able to come with me to visit Princy and her family.

World Vision staff briefed us about the community and the projects they had been involved in, which was ideal as Riley's knowledge of their work was limited. Some of the work included providing bicycles to children so they can regularly go to school and for those most vulnerable children, being assisted with their school fees. They had also helped to provide children with skill training based on their interests. The type of livelihood activities and skill training the children were assisted with included juice making, rickshaw driving, vegetable cart driving and repair shop work.

World Vision presented us with beautiful bouquets of flowers. Unfortunately, we could not take them with us on the train. We did however take a few photographs as a lovely reminder.

Princy's community gave us a really warm welcome. We were met firstly by the women from a Self Help Group and Children’s Club members in the Remedial Education Centre where there was a small gathering. This centre was where children who were unable to complete their education could come and continue their studies. The Children’s Club presented cultural programs. The kids were great, entertaining us with songs and poetry. It’s an important place for children to learn about their rights and to bring about change in their community.

Cheryle and Riley met their sponsored child Princy in her community.

We then met Princy and her family. We certainly enjoyed afternoon refreshments provided by Princy's mum. I know Riley was touched by the whole day, as was I.

World Vision staff were wonderful to us and really exceeded our expectations for the whole day. We were so well cared for.

The ladies, Abriti and Rajni made sure we ate before departing Kanpur, waited until we had booked out of the hotel and dropped us off at the train station in time for our train to Agra.

I can't thank World Vision staff enough. It was a remarkable day and the photographs are a great reminder. I have always spoken highly of World Vision and recommended my friends who are sponsors to go and visit. This is my second time visiting a sponsored child in India, they were both very different experiences, but well worth the trip each time.