My sponsored child Ethel is a beautiful woman now who is keen to continue her schooling and has aspirations to be a policewomen. She and I were able to converse in English and both felt a strong and special bond. Neither of us thought 12 years ago that this day would ever come to pass but here we were both joyful and pleased that what seemed impossible was possible.
I was honoured to join the community in a meal cooked on the open fires. Through the help of World Vision translators I sat on the ground with community members and talked as one would with friends. I learnt about their daily routines and the demands of their lifestyle. Ethel has walked 10 kms to and from the nearest secondary school each day. They are subsistence farmers growing their own crops for their needs.
I saw first-hand how money is spent in the community with the supply and installation of solar pumps to pump water into tanks that then are accessed through a tap in the community. People then take their donkey carts with the large water containers and fill them easily. This reduces the need for women to walk miles balancing water containers on their heads.
I saw the improved sanitation procedures with toilets installed near every home and channels dug to enable water to irrigate much needed crops. The education of children especially girls was a foremost priority and all efforts were being made to raise awareness in the communities and ensure education was available and accessed by all through the provision of schools, enabling access through fee support and finding and implementing successful ways to overcome previous barriers to the engagement of girls in education.
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I danced with the community and soaked up the whole experience with a joy that cannot be put into words. I purchased two goats and groceries locally and presented an embroidered blanket in memory of my visit. It was difficult to leave but I know that the small donation each month I have made is being maximised through World Vision to truly change the lives of others for the better. I felt so honoured to be encouraged to visit and am humbled by the welcome and pure joy that was expressed by all. It is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done and it will live in my memory forever.