10 Things I’ve Learned About the Ways Child Sponsorship Benefits a Whole Community

by DebW

Today has been like a breath of fresh air, and not just because the weather has been ideal. We spent the day with the people of Viloma.

This ADP has been operating for thirteen  years. The Colomi ADP that I spoke of each of the last two days only began a year and a half ago. The programs that can change the lives of every member in a community in only thirteen years are inspirational.

Bolivia has taught me so much

Here are the top ten things I’ve learned this week about the ways child sponsorship benefits a whole community:

 
Viloma ADP - Bolivia

1. I’ve learned – when you believe in possibilities amazing things can happen. Arminda is a real live child not just a photo! Her family adopted her two years ago after her mother abandoned her. She joined four brothers making this a family of seven. In 2008,  World Vision – Viloma ADP gave them two pigs. They studied to learn how to best raise them, and now in just three years they have 30 sows and 20 piglets. They are able to feed their family and also sell the meat. They recently purchased land with hopes of building a home on it someday.
 

2. I’ve learned – when you teach parents and children proper hygiene, like washing hands and brushing teeth, their overall health improves. There are fewer illnesses and they begin to work harder at cleanliness in general.

Viloma ADP - Bolivia
 

3. I’ve learned – when the community understands the importance of education and begins working with children at a very young age, they do better in school later on and have a greater desire to learn. These little ones and their moms were so excited to show us their school and the things they are learning.
 
4. I’ve learned – when you teach young mothers how to teach their children through play at home, they become better parents. They are more involved and take pride in their families successes.
 

5. I’ve learned – when you teach people how to raise low fat – high protein guinea pigs and help them  start a cuyes project, a family begins to have a sense of accomplishment and feelings of hope. And when a family eats low fat – high protein cuyes meat their health improves.

Viloma ADP - Bolivia

 

6. I’ve learned – when you give a mother nutritional training not only do her children improve in health, but they do better in school, and feel better about themselves in general. We enjoyed a wonderful time today visiting with this three generational family as they shared all that they had learned about eating a healthy diet which included grains, meats, fruits and vegetables.

Viloma ADP - Bolivia

 

7. I’ve learned – when you teach a mother a trade, like sewing, she is able to provide a beautiful home for her family. We visited this lovely widow this afternoon. She works as a seamtress on projects for her community as well as working at the World Vision sewing center where a group of women are hired to make things like blankets and bags.

Viloma ADP - Bolivia

8. I’ve learned – when you sponsor a child with World Vision they receive:

  • A quaterly physical checkup.
  • A quarterly overall health assessment.
  • A record of their school attendance.
  • A proactive approach by World Vision workers to problems in their homes.
  • A yearly community birthday party for all of the children in the community, as they don’t celebrate birthdays in their homes.

 
9. I’ve learned – when you support parents through education a family is blessed. They are taught:

  • The benefits of good nutrition.
  • Recipes for healthy meals.
  • The importance of good hygene.
  • Ways to prevent illness.
  • The importance of immunizations.
  • The benefits of breastfeeding.
  • The benefits of education through playing.

 
10. I’ve learned – when you help a community learn to help themselves the benefits last from generation to generation and beyond. Some of the community programs are:

  • Leadership Training
  • Cuyes Projects
  • Health Education
  • Health Centers
  • Veterinary Assistance
  • Nutritional Education
  • Schools
  • Playgrounds
  • Food Security (a consistent supply of healthy foods)

 
I’ve learned that sponsoring a child improves future generations, because as a community learns what best helps a child they continue those programs throughout the community as an ADP transitions from assistance to community self-sufficiency.

When you sponsor a child with World Vision you really are making a difference in the life of a child, their family, and their entire community. Please leave a comment and let me know that you have joined me in sponsoring a child through World Vision.

Written by Deb, wife, mom, “gram,” and busy blogger at Counting my Blessings. Deb is also a contributing editor at 5 Minutes for Faith.

 



Email Author    |    Website About DebW

Deb is a speaker/writer who has lived long enough to know that life can be hard; however, with God's help she gets out of bed each day puts on grace-colored glasses and LIVES. Deb is also a contributing editor at 5 Minutes For Faith.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kimberly August 6, 2011 at 6:05 am

I already sponsor through World Vision and I have no complaints about their organization- the way they handle the money they receive and their commitment to honoring the integrity/cultural heritage of the communities they serve never cease to amaze me. They don’t merely come into a community and tell others how to do things differently- they work with community leaders to find real solutions to complex problems.

I also love their stance on religious differences: “We are committed to witness through our lives and our actions and by pointing to evidence of God’s work in the world. What we don’t do is force a religious message onto a people who don’t want it. Spiritual issues are sensitive and we must respect other’s beliefs, as much as their cultural differences. We don’t manipulate, take advantage, or coerce. We don’t say ‘we’ll help you if you’ll listen to our message or read this scripture tract.’ World Vision staff support the freedom for all people to choose their religious beliefs and we respect parents’ wishes in regard to the faith of their children.” Its nice to know that World Vision shows God’s unconditional love by caring for the children and families they serve- regardless of faith and they are respectful/mindful of those religious differences when working with families of other faiths… I think it makes them much more welcome in the communities they serve and much more able to work with community leaders/families to distribute aide effectively.

Best of all they not only help the children in the communities they serve… but they also give their families the tools necessary to help themselves. Wether its teaching a trade to a mother, giving a milk cow to a father in need, or ensuring that every child in a family has access to a education. It creates sustainable and real change that will exist long after World Vision leaves their community… and I’m so honored to be apart of it!

Having studied and worked for non-profits overseas I truly believe World Vision has one of the most sustainable models for child sponsorship… since World Vision takes a community based approach- by lifting an entire community out of poverty the effects of a sponsorship do not simply end when a child graduates from school(like with so many other organizations). I only wish I could sponsor more than the 4 I currently do through World Vision… And I wish more people were willing to give World Vision a chance… you really can change the world by helping one child, one family, and one community at a time.

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2 Austin Children's Academy August 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

All of those ways are amazing and it’s great to see what you can do for kids!

Here is a $200 off promotion that provides a comprehensive educational program based on the Montessori Method. If enriching your kids to begin education early, we are providing a sweet deal!

For more information check us out at
http://www.AustinChildrensAcademy.org

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3 rtyecript August 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

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