5 Reasons to sponsor a child
With school out and summer in full swing, we're set for those special moments, when memories are made, days are long and full of promise, to have new adventures and and make a difference in this world. But, realistically, can you find time to be positive, healthy, helpful and focussed on relationships, all at the same time? Well, it turns out the answer is yes. Find out how.
1. Feel happier and get healthier
Helping others is genuinely a reward in itself. Researchers have found a link between giving and a release of endorphins - the happy hormone. As a direct result your body will experience less stress, leaving you with more energy for your day. So it really is true; do good, feel good.
2. Banish those empty-nest blues
With adventure and holiday camps, teenagers making their own summer plans, on long days of summer, home can feel a little empty. It's the perfect time to start a new friendship. Sponsoring a child can be a really special relationship with some children coming to view their sponsors like second parents. As 16-year-old Tushi in Bangladesh reveals:
“I exchange letters with my sponsor. She is very special in my life. She worries about me and my needs and sends me advice in the letters. She’s a person I love very much.”
3. Open a window on the world
Child sponsorship offers you a unique, personal insight into life in another country and culture. You'll receive letters from your sponsored child, written in their local language (and translated for you, naturally) as well as photos and videos from the community you're helping.
Sponsors can even travel to countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe to meet their sponsored children. It's an amazing opportunity to visit a new country, to meet your sponsored child and their family, and to see first-hand the changes you're making possible in their community. Sue, a long-time UK child sponsor, travelled to Senegal to see her sponsored child:
“Meeting Laurent, his family and community exceeded all my expectations. The warmth of their welcome and generosity of their gifts combined to make this a very memorable visit.”
4. Rediscover the lost art of letter-writing
Many of us have fond memories of taking time to write a letter to a friend or loved one, sharing news or highlights from our day or a special occasion. Today, a quick message on an email or Facebook can share news instantly - but it doesn't always feel as special.
With child sponsorship you can write letters and cards to your sponsored child - and they'll reply to you. The impact of a letter can be profound for a child, as Samirawit, 17, in Ethiopia illustrates:
“The letters I received from my dearest sponsors and the love they shared with me is still alive in my heart.”
Letter-writing is also a great way to involve your children or grandchildren. And they'll make a new friend as well as learning about another country, culture and language. Writing to a child the same age, that they can relate to will help them understand about other children's lives around the world. You never know, you may find they appreciate what they have a bit more too.
5. Change the world for one child
You can make a real difference to a child, and their family, and the next generation. As a sponsored child in Cambodia, Sreyrath got an education, despite difficult circumstances. Now an adult, she appreciates the chance she was given and understands how important it is for all children to be educated. So, she teaches in the village school, helping the next generation to broaden their horizons and fulfil their potential:
“Now I can do my job and create a good experience for children. I want them to be better educated so they can choose whether or not they will be farmers like their parents.”
Make life better
So child sponsorship can make you happier, more fulfilled and expand your horizons. And at the same time, you'll be making a child happier and helping them to achieve their dreams.
Sponsoring a child with World Vision - changing their life and yours - costs as little as £26 a month.