Nyirasabimana sits in silence for a moment, trying to hold back tears as the sun shines into her one-room home in Rwanda. “These are tears of joy, not sadness,” she explains with a laugh. “If Tuyishime was not sponsored, I can’t even picture how his life would be today.”
We often get asked what parents think about their child being sponsored through the Compassion programme. So let’s hear from them.
The start of the journey
In the Philippines, the Batangan Child Development Centre recently registered another 103 children from the surrounding communities. So what do their parents think?
“I am so happy,” Abelardo says with a big smile. “I know now that my son can have a bright future, thanks to this [programme]. He will go to school and have a life that is different from mine.”
Abelardo and his 4-year-old son, Nico, live in the mountains in the Quezon Province where people have fished, herded animals and engaged in subsistence farming for generations to earn a living. For Aberlardo’s family, not having enough food is a regular obstacle to overcome. Sponsorship means the start of something different for Nico.
Melanie Velasco is also delighted her 5-year-old twin daughters, Angel Joy and Angel Mae, are sponsored.
“Our house is far away, at the other end of this path, and we just walked coming here today with my daughters and me carrying my baby,” Melanie says. “I don’t mind the sacrifice, as long as my daughters get the chance to study. They are very happy to be here, and they are excited when they learnt that soon they will receive bags, shoes, school uniform and an umbrella.”
Supported throughout childhood
Danna lives with her mum in her grandmother’s house in Colombia along with her two siblings. They stay there as her mum, Martha, is unemployed and unable to afford rent.
“When [Project Director] Deniluz talked to me about the project, I thought it would be a good place for Danna. People at the project were interested in Danna’s health and helped her. Danna used to be malnourished and sick. Thanks to the project's help and support Danna is doing better now,” Martha says.
“Danna has improved her health, but she also has learnt important things like personal care, washing her hands before eating, brushing [her] teeth correctly, being organised and having good relationships. Before Danna was sponsored, she used to fight with neighbours’ children, but now she says she should not fight.”
The Compassion graduate
Which takes us back to Rwanda and Nyirasabimana. Her husband passed away when her son Tuyishime was one, leaving her to take care of their two children.
“I had not had any education, so being able to take care of two children as a single parent was so hard,” Nyirasabimana says. “I got a job as a cleaner to see if I could make ends meet, but the money was not enough to provide for the basic needs of my two children.”
In 2005, Tuyishime was sponsored through the Compassion programme. He was able to go to school, receive food, medical check-ups and support in his studies. Determined to succeed, he studied hard and in 2015 he emerged as the second-best student in the Rwanda Advanced Level Certificate of Education.
“I can’t find the right words to express how I felt when I got to know he was a top student,” shares Nyirasabimana. “It’s all God’s grace. If Tuyishime was not sponsored, I can’t even picture how his life would be today. But I’m grateful to God in everything. I always pray and thank God for his sponsors, who are always willing to offer support to a child they have never met. May God continue to bless his sponsors.”
Tuyishime received a government scholarship to attend the University of Rwanda College of Business where he is studying a degree in business administration and finance.
There are so many more stories of the impact of sponsorship not only upon the child but their parents. From children teaching their parents to read, to caregivers gaining employment and more, your sponsorship is making a huge difference.