By Juliet Hanafie, Project Coordinator
When you receive a letter, a drawing, or the annual photo and report of your sponsored child, have you ever stopped and wondered about the person on the other side – the World Vision staff member who sits with your sponsored child while they’re writing their letters, and who personally delivers your replies? Who are they?
Vilma Hernandez Villatoro is one of these staff members. She is a hardworking and family-oriented 20-something who was born and raised in the mountainous Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Vilma lives nearly 100kms from her family and new husband, catching a costly, 2.5-hour bus ride home each Friday night after work, before returning at dawn every Monday morning. But for Vilma, the opportunity to have furthered her career while working with vulnerable communities, and seeing the smiles on the children’s faces, makes these hardships worthwhile.
“I have had the blessing and opportunity that World Vision gave me to start work as a Sponsorship Data Typist. My role was to enter all the records of the children into the system. It was nice work because I was able to see the situation of each child, only on paper, but also knowing about their family and tastes, and remember some of the children’s faces in my mind. Now I am a Sponsorship Coordinator and although it is a much larger role, it’s very rewarding to meet the children, support them and ensure their welfare.” To get to the communities to visit the children, Vilma often has to catch a bus, followed by a long walk into the villages – as the motorcycles used by the project offices are not always available. The closest community is three hours away – the furthest is five.