Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sponsorship Changes Lives

World In Need works in places where conflict shatters families, destroys hope and limits opportunities for the future. We try to help restore what has been lost, mainly through sponsorship of children – so often the hardest hit.

The following story shows how the work we do makes a difference. Names have been changed and the country unidentified to preserve anonymity.

When Dawn was a small child, her father was killed in a bomb blast in which Dawn lost a leg. Dawn’s mother was left to bring up six girls, of which Dawn was the eldest.

With sponsorship, Dawn was able to go to school where she was a shining student, sharp and filled with determination. She was given a prosthetic leg but it was not fitted, and consequently was uncomfortable and difficult to wear. As she sat in school, the top of the leg would cut into her stump, which was painful. A fitted leg was far outside the family budget.

She hoped to take a course in business studies, dreaming of doing an MBA and eventually getting a good position in a bank or company.

Then Dawn’s mother died of a brain tumour, leaving Dawn, as the eldest, responsible for the welfare of her five sisters.

Without help, her dreams would have died. She would probably have been consigned to a low paid job, struggling to make ends meet, whilst fighting the pain and discomfort of her ill fitting leg.

Dawn’s sponsor, an elderly lady in England, wanted Dawn to achieve her full potential. She has continued to sponsor Dawn while she studies, enabling her to support her sisters without losing her own opportunities.

Recently, the sponsor reached an age where she felt driving was no longer viable, so she sold her car, and she knew exactly what she would do with the money she received for it.

She wrote to us: “At 82, I’m coming to the end of my life (not too soon, I hope!) whereas Dawn is only beginning and she has her sisters to support. I hope she’ll get her new limb soon.”

Thanks to her sponsor, not only is Dawn able to continue her studies and build her future whilst caring for her sisters, but she will, at long last, have a limb that fits, is comfortable and doesn’t leave her in pain.

Sponsorship does, indeed, change lives.

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