Why I decided to sponsor a child
Article by theAsianparent, in collaboration with World Vision Singapore.
“Some children wait for years to be sponsored...
But what if, the power to choose is in a child's hands?”
These were the words that first grabbed Mandy Lew’s attention.
“There was something different about this programme and it makes sense because everytime we are the ones who choose who to donate to. I believe everyone deserves to be confident regardless of where they come from. Giving a child the power to choose his/her sponsor is really empowering and meaningful,” says Mandy.
The journey has been enriching so far, and today, Mandy is a sponsor of two children. Here she shares how child sponsorship has changed her life and her relationship with her own children, who turn four and one this year.
Why this mum decided to sponsor a child
Mandy has always believed in making a positive difference to the community. Every year, she and her husband would lend a helping hand to charities or donate to low-income families.
According to Mandy, birthdays become much more special and meaningful when you make an impact on the lives of the less fortunate.
It was on one of those occasions when Mandy was looking for worthy causes to contribute to, that she stumbled upon a video on World Vision Singapore's ambassador Felicia Chin’s experience with Chosen - World Vision’s unique Child Sponsorship programme where the child chooses their sponsor. Mandy was immediately intrigued. Was it really possible that she could make a difference in a child’s life for just $45 a month?
She checked out World Vision’s website and realised that this was indeed a unique programme, where your name and photo are sent to the vulnerable community in which children and their families are supported through child sponsorship. Then, at a choosing event, the children will be given the opportunity to choose you to be his/her sponsor for a better future.
Mandy remembers feeling very excited to know who chose her as a sponsor after she registered to be Chosen. Clement, a boy from Zambia had chosen her to be his sponsor.
Today, she and Clement communicate over e-letters. “Suddenly, it went back to the olden days when you had a pen-pal. I like it when I see his drawings and he tells me about himself,” she shares.
Apart from that, she also gets regular reports from World Vision about the impact that she’s making in Clement’s life, which includes good hygiene education to protect him and his community from diseases, educational kits to help children keep learning at home and life skills to protect children in the community from child abuse.
What I hope to teach my kids through child sponsorship
So, does her 4-year-old son know about her sponsored children, we ask Mandy.
“On one occasion, my son was reluctant to eat and ended up wasting his food,” Mandy recalls.
“I showed him a picture of Clement that I had pinned up on my fridge, and told him that I was donating money to kor-kor (older brother) so he could have food to eat, a better life and education.
“I talked to my son about generosity and giving so that he understands about how fortunate he is in Singapore.”
“I feel he’s still too young to know about donation. But I tell him the impact we can bring for the sponsored child.”
Mandy realised that the best way to cultivate empathy in her son was by being a role model. She decided to get her son more involved in the child sponsorship programme.
So when Mandy decided to sponsor a second child at the subsequent Chosen event in Vietnam, she asked her son to choose the family picture they would be sending across to the community .
“By exposing him to this programme, I feel that he understands the emotion and needs of others.It will be more likely for him to help people in need when he sees them with his own eyes. It’s the personal and human connection to someone else that will motivate him. I think this is what empathy can do,” says Mandy.
True enough, her little one now eagerly awaits updates about his little friends from across the world.
You too can be a child sponsor
Mandy has inspired many of her friends to become child sponsors too.
“Good energy is contagious, so we should just keep spreading it,” she says. We can’t agree more.
Mums and dads, you too can sponsor a child for just $45 a month, or just $1.50 a day.
World Vision’s child sponsorship programme adopts a holistic approach. They address the root causes of poverty by providing the sponsored child and his/her community access to basic needs in five main areas: child protection, education, health and food security, livelihoods and microfinance and clean water and sanitation. Because of their community-focused solutions, for every child you help, four more children benefit, too.
So by sponsoring a child, you not only empower the child but also the whole community, to break free from poverty.
For more information on child sponsorship, visit our page here. Remember, child sponsorship changes lives!