My beautiful friend and inspiration, Alana Kaye, went with World Vision Australia in 2013 to Honduras to visit her sponsor child. She is currently in Haiti visiting her second sponsor child. This woman never ceases to amaze me in her loving, generous and kind efforts. As a #WVABlogger Blog Ambassador, I want to spread the word about people like this and encourage people who are sponsors to visit their children, and those who aren’t, to become sponsors!
TIME SPONSORING CHILD: 3 years. (First time visiting her!)
AGE OF SPONSOR CHILD: 9 yrs old at time of visit.
EXPERIENCE: The best day of my life.
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO TAKE THE TRIP:
My beautiful friend Emma from Lovelly Communications! She had visited her sponsor child in Tanzania and this was the first time that I had heard that you could visit your sponsor child. After asking Emma some specifics, I decided to go ahead and request with World VIsion to visit my sponsor child, Velinda, in Honduras. WIthin 3 months, I was on my way for the trip.
WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF VISITING VELINDA:
Of course nothing will ever take away from the moment that I met Velinda! Finally meeting someone in person that you have been writing to/ conversing with/ sending photos and updates with for years is an unbelievable feeling. Meeting Velinda made me cry, laugh and scream with joy. I was so happy to meet her in person!!! The experience was unbelievable!!! Overall, the whole day really blew me away. I didn’t realise that by just sponsoring one child that it can have such an impact on the whole community. I was overwhelmed with World Vision’s organisation and their attention to detail on the day and the way they had involved the whole community in my visit. They had been planning my visit to Marcala for 3 months and had made every effort to make it an incredible experience for Velinda and I. The whole day was simply phenomenal!
I flew into Tegucigalpa and overnighted at a hotel in the city. The next morning a World Vision representative picked me up and we drove west for around 8 hours with a full car of World Vision staff (All were so amazingly welcoming and beautiful)! That evening we went to a Camp Site where the World Vision Staff were at a conference. Around 90 staff. We overnighted that night near that village, World Vision staff took me to a “Home Stay” We had a hammock and it was so lush and green and beautiful!
The next morning – 8am, was THE day that I got to meet Velinda!!
We travelled an hour to her village “Marcala” and she was waiting on the dirt road of the World Vision office with a bunch of red flowers in her hand. I ran to her and we hugged so tight!!!! She was old enough to ‘understand’ what was going on, but still young enough that she would go between her Mum and me all day.
That day of my visit, we did a hike together, had a picnic, we went to a restaurant for lunch and then visited 4 different villages and the children in the different villages had planned plays/ skits/ songs/ to perform for Velinda and I and the World Vision staff. The villages had so many presents to give- baskets of Bananas, coffee, hand woven bags with my name sown on!…. Just overwhelming sweet! The town Doctor and Town Elders then did a thank you speech for coming to their villages and they each told me how World Vision has changed their community. I did a speech in each village to thank them for their overwhelming hospitality. In one village the local radio came to interview Velinda and I and a Women’s rights Activist on the topic of “Why that I feel it is important to sponsor Velinda/ or a child in a far away community”.
World Vision had organised a translator for my day with Velinda. His english was perfect and he was quick with his translations too, which was amazing … (Even if Velinda whispered something in my ear, he would kneel down and listen too and then straight away translate). It was things like “Will you visit me again? I like your hair” All those little details that I would have missed, the translator made possible for me.
WHAT HAS BEEN MY INVOLVEMENT WITH WORLD VISION SINCE MY TRIP TO HONDURAS:
After visiting Honduras, I was so overwhelmed with World Vision’s work and the impact that they make that I decided to sponsor another child. So, I now also sponsor Fabiola who lives in Haiti. I am going to visit Fabiola next month (February, 2015). I can’t wait!