Visiting Domina brings sponsorship to life

By Lyndall Talbot, Rwanda child sponsor

When my daughter Holly and I decided to visit Domina, our Rwandan sponsored child, we had no idea how rewarding the experience would be.

The visit started with the local World Vision staff explaining their individual roles to us in their office before taking us to the remote village to meet Domina and her family.

As we walked down the hill into the village, we were surrounded by dozens of smiling, happy children. Then as we neared Domina’s village, we were greeted by the sound of Domina and her three sisters singing for our arrival. The extended family and village chief were there to greet us and soon we were all dancing and singing. It was very emotional and humbling.

Domina was understandably shy, and most communication was with her father, as translated by the World Vision staff. He thanked us for our support and told us we were very welcome in his village. The chief also explained to us that we were the first sponsors to visit their village.

Lyndall and Holly were the first child sponsors to visit Domina's village and they were welcomed with singing by Domina and her three sisters.


A highlight of our visit was being taken to the Village Child Nutrition Centre which has been directly funded by World Vision Australia. This centre was established due to ongoing malnutrition amongst pre-schoolers in the district. We were greeted by a roomful of bright toddlers, enjoying a nutritious meal, with ingredients provided by their own families. Vegetables were growing in a greenhouse adjacent to the centre.

The centre was being managed by the local women and the pride they felt in what they have achieved was very evident. The success of this program was evidenced by the fact that there are no longer any malnourished children in this district.

Families are also involved in a savings plan whereby they bank a small amount of money each month. This provides ongoing independence for the local families, as they reach their savings goal. They can also borrow money from their peers to support farming and business activities and it helps them better withstand setbacks that affect their livelihoods.

Following lunch with Domina, her family and the World Vision staff, we made the long trip back to our hotel in Kigali.

It was very gratifying to see our support going directly to where it needs to go. Both Domina and the wider community have benefited from our sponsorship.

The local World Vision staff are passionate about the great work they are doing and it was explained to us that once a project is being sustainably managed, they are able to move on to new projects (communities). It was very encouraging to see that the projects are designed to provide sustainable solutions, so that communities can achieve their goals for security and independence.

Holly and I would like to give our heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful World Vision staff for giving us their time and making it the best trip possible.