World Vision child sponsor Veronica Hartnett has been to Kenya twice to visit sponsored children Wago, Loiremwa and Leah. As you also sponsor a child in Kenya, we thought you might like to hear about her trip.
After a ride in a very small plane and a five-hour road trip along the worst track I have ever driven (and I live in a remote community in central Australia) I had the most amazing experience on a visit to my sponsored child, Waqo, in far north Kenya.
The entire village was there to greet me, treating me like visiting royalty, all expressing their gratitude for my sponsorship. The school children sang songs, village women performed a dance in my honour and I was presented with gifts.
The entire stay found me in tears most of the time, as I came to appreciate the importance of my sponsorship, not just to Waqo and his family, but to all his community.
Last December I returned to Africa. Naturally, at the top of my ‘to-do’ list was a visit to my sponsored children. Waqo had grown up and so I had two different children to visit – Loiremwa and Leah, both from the Laisamis Project.
It was very emotional meeting with Loiremwa and his parents, who came from the northern region of the project and Leah and her mother and baby sister, who were from the south.
Both families spoke different languages and communication often had moments of great hilarity as we each tried to express our emotions and thoughts, at times using three different interpreters amongst the staff.
Loiremwa’s father made a deeply emotional speech of their gratitude for my sponsorship, and of how it meant such a lot to the whole family.
Many questions were asked, comparing our very different lifestyles. As a teacher I couldn’t resist giving an impromptu geography lesson, drawing a map of the world and showing the families where Australia was in relation to Kenya.
To all those generous people who sponsor children, I would like to urge each and every one of you to seriously consider visiting your children. Each time I have had wonderful experiences; the children are excited at meeting their sponsors, their parents are so grateful for the opportunities given to their children by our support and the World Vision staff couldn’t be more helpful and accommodating.
It is a life-enhancing experience and almost certainly will help in understanding the great job World Vision does to ensure children are provided with the basic necessities of life that we in the western world take for granted. And who knows, you, like me, may be inspired to sponsor just one more child, and make a difference in their life.