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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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