Have you ever thought about visiting your sponsored child? For long-time ChildFund sponsor, Denise Silver, meeting Joyce in Kenya was an event she will never forget. Read her story, below.
I have always had a genuine love for children and have been involved in sponsoring children for many years. I wanted to be part of a child’s life overseas who is less fortunate, a child who needs support. With ChildFund I know that support also in turn helps the child’s family and the community. Joyce was four when I started sponsoring her and she is now a lovely young lady of 18 years who has just started secondary school.
The ChildFund staff we met in Kenya were Abdi, Ann and Josephine, they were very supportive and caring towards my daughter Rebekah and I during our visit. The vehicle we travelled to Joyce’s village in could only go so far due to the wet conditions and the rest of the way we needed to walk. So we purchased gumboots from a market and started our two hour adventure of walking through mud, crossing a river to reach Joyce's home. It was challenging and fun, thankfully the ChildFund staff were supportive. On arrival we were greeted by Joyce along with her family, friends and neighbours, they were all dancing and singing to welcome us. Lots of laughter, joy and hugs.
It was so special to meet Joyce, her parents Charles and Susan, her two sisters, her two brothers, her uncle and her grandmother. I enjoyed joining in with the family in the singing and dancing while Rebekah took wonderful pictures and videos. Rebekah also loved the experience. Then there were some speeches which were translated by the staff for Joyce’s family. Joyce spoke only some English but her joy of us being there was very clear. We were presented with a rooster as a gift from Joyce’s family to take home with us. We had it translated back to the family that we appreciated their very kind gift very much but we wouldn't be able to take it with us. They understood and discreetly killed the rooster and cooked it up as a meal for us. It was kind of them and we appreciated their gesture and hospitality.
Susan had made Rebekah and I beautiful capes handmade from beads. While Charles had planted two trees when I started sponsoring Joyce 14 years ago and so Joyce and I had a photo taken of us with the trees. I was able to see that by sponsoring Joyce it has helped the family and we saw the donkey that they were able to get through this support. When we left Joyce, her family and some friends all walked the two hours with us back to the vehicle. It was rather sad to say goodbye, though, such a happy time spent with them.
We are very impressed by ChildFund. We visited the ChildFund office and were warmly greeted by the team who also showed us Joyce's file. We were impressed by the commitment and care the staff have for their families and the great team work. I do highly recommend ChildFund and encourage people to sponsor children.
Visiting your sponsored child is so precious and rewarding with so many special memories; a once in a lifetime experience.
For information about sponsoring a child or visiting a sponsored child phone Lee at ChildFund on 0800 808 822.