Sri Lanka: Top 5 heart-warming sponsor visit experiences

Ever wondered what it would be like to visit your sponsored child? These sponsors shared funny, humbling and eye-opening moments while stepping into the life of their sponsored child’s family and community.

While we know that no two sponsor visits to Sri Lanka are the same, we do get excited to see what adventures are had when World Vision sponsors return.

Here are the top 5 heart-warming experiences that proved to them they were making a difference.

1) We witnessed the generosity and warmth of the people

Fiona: My sponsored child’s family were so appreciative of us and it was so lovely to be culturally welcomed in. They gave us their local food and we met not only our sponsored child but his extended family as well.

Darrell: Both our sponsor visits were quite humbling experiences. The families were so warm and welcoming, and clearly had been preparing for our visit for days, if not weeks. I certainly did not expect that degree of welcome!

Fiona: We were given hand sewn pillowcases. It was so precious to know that they thought enough about me to make me something. It was made by our sponsored child’s sister and now takes pride of place on my bed and will always remind me of the kindness of their family.


Fiona and Darrell visit their sponsored child in Sri Lanka.

2) We saw children treasure our gifts

Celia: The children and their relatives loved all the pencils and notebooks we took with us and the soccer balls were instantly used. We also took some of our son’s old cricket balls and Danujan, our sponsored child loved them and wouldn’t put one down.


3) We made a deeper connection with the family and glimpsed into their everyday life

Fiona: They showed us around their community and Gobinithan’s Father, who is a fisherman, offered to take us out in his boat. On return, Alan, my husband got out the same side I was trying to get out and the boat started tipping. Poor Gobinithan’s dad fell into the water! I think he thought we were very poor sailors! His pride in being able to show us what he did – it obviously meant a lot to him and it was a privilege to be able to see that. 

Mani: I started talking to Hari and his family in Tamil, their native language. As soon as they all heard me speak, their faces just lit up. They were able to tell me about their hardship during the conflict and how World Vision and our sponsorship helped them build the whole community towards a better life.

Kevan: The family asked me if I could help them plant this tree. The father just brought the tree to me and gestured if I could plant it. So I dug a hole and we planted it together. I thought it was a really nice gesture, and quite symbolic.

4) We now understand where the funds go

Kevan: It wasn’t just one family that were benefiting from my support; it was all part of a coordinated project that was working at a community level. It was a very rainy day and I noticed the roads were bitumen (not sand) and I learned that World Vision had contributed quite a lot to that – because if the roads had been sand, they would’ve been impassable without doubt. 

Mani: Seeing how our sponsorship has directly affected the family was very heart warming. They showed us the well that our sponsorship helped to build, as well as the latrine [toilet]. It was great to see the amount of effort that has gone into these buildings, and programs, and we could definitely see the benefit to the community. 

Darrell: We were asked whether we would like to visit the community’s goats our support provided earlier last year, and of course our kids (if you’ll pardon the pun) jumped at the chance! As soon as we headed off it started absolutely bucketing down with rain, but we were on such a high we didn’t care. It was fantastic to see that the “couple of goats” had grown to around 15, and our youngest son Archie, 7, is shown here (right) happily braving the downpour to hold one of the newest arrivals. It was a funny, but really heart-warming moment, and so affirming to see how the effect of our sponsorship can “multiply” over the years to provide an even better result for the community. 


5) We discovered firsthand how sponsorship is making a difference 

Celia: Most impressive was seeing how the sponsorship money is spent and linking that to the difference it makes to people’s lives.

Darrell: It was so rewarding to see the genuine difference that our small bit of support was making in this community. One of my personal highlights, and I mean life highlights, was Kithusaa, our sponsored child reading a beautiful message she had written in near perfect English, and hearing that she’d received a scholarship – evidence of the outcomes of World Vision’s work in this community.


Interested in visiting your sponsored child? Find out more