How sponsoring a child changes the trajectory of young lives

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The World Vision Bloggers are in the Philippines! Follow their trip here.

Yesterday, they visited a World Vision sponsorship community in Dulag, where the children were excited and anxious to write Christmas cards to their American sponsors. Jennifer James describes why …

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Most do not fully understand how little material possessions people have that live in low- and middle-income countries around the world. When a letter comes in the mail from a child’s sponsor, she cherishes that letter greatly. It becomes a part of her. Eventually she knows it by heart. This may sound a bit exaggerated, but it’s true. I heard it for myself today.

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    Defenders of childhood

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    Often, it takes a community of supporters to lift another community out of poverty. That’s why World Vision’s Child Ambassadors are so powerful: They build a community of passionate advocates who together have the power to make a difference in the world!

    Read about Stu and Celeste Sherman from Connecticut, who are working to build a community of child sponsors to help change a community and defend childhood in Bangladesh.

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    Some topics are hard to hear about. They are hard to talk about.

    At the World Vision Child Ambassador National Conference this past September, we learned about child sex trafficking. It was disgusting to learn how pimps prey on the insecurity and vulnerability of girls and boys. They are so calculated and so evil.

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      Labor of love

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      Tlangnunthang was once a poor casual laborer in India with no steady income and a grim future, but now he has become a successful rubber entrepreneur, earning a sustainable income and dreaming big.

      Aim to help him generate a sustainable income, World Vision gave him 200 rubber tree saplings, which have enabled his family to have access to good food, health, and education. And two of his children are sponsored through World Vision!

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      Tlangnunthang distinctly remembers the days when he had to go to work with griping hunger pains in his stomach.

      "Poverty deprived me of my basic needs to food, clothing, education. This thought played on my mind every minute, every hour," he says.

      Life got harder when Tlangnunthang started a family of his own. Being a high school dropout, he was unable to find a decent job and had no steady income. Woodcutting, picking up stones, or repairing vehicles, Tlangnunthang took any job he could find to support his family.

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        The joy of a letter

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        While World Vision's child sponsorship program is life-changing for millions of children and families around the world, the most exciting part for many sponsored children is the relationship they build with their sponsors!

        See why 12-year-old Saro in Cambodia loves her sponsor's cards so much … and how her community has changed over the past 8 years.

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        After receiving a card from her World Vision sponsor, 12-year-old Saro rushes to meet her friends, shows them the card, and lets them take turns reading the letter, which is translated into the Khmer language.

        In the colorful card, her sponsor writes: “We are thinking of you. Keep doing your best. Put others first. Trust in Him with cares for us.”

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          A guardian angel for a Honduran family

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          Maria's family in Honduras fell into hard times when her husband left her and her children … until they were registered for sponsorship.

          Read how her son's sponsor, Bob, who cares for their whole family, has been as "if God had put for them a guardian angel,” according to Maria, and how her twin sons are following in his footsteps!

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          Twins Erick Rodeney and Erick Geovany share so many things. They look alike. They sleep in the same room. They attend the same school, study the same subjects, eat the same food, do the same chores.

          But one thing they don’t share is a World Vision child sponsor, a man named Bob from the United States. Bob has sponsored Erick R. since he was about 2 years old.

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            Jennifer’s gift

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            Often in the communities where World Vision works, blessings abound.

            Two weeks ago, our writer Kari Costanza discovered a new blessing: Mercy, a young mother in Zambia whose village believed her possessed because she had malaria so often, her 7 year old son Steven, and their whole village no longer get malaria!

            Kari also discovered that the American couple that sponsors Steven are her friends! And the greatest gift to Mercy and Steven. Read their story!

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            I’ll be honest. One of the reasons I love reporting stories in the field for World Vision is that I see God at work. The work is challenging and often heartbreaking, but along the way, blessings abound.

            It happened today.

            World Vision photographer Jon Warren and I were reporting a story on malaria in Hamaundu, Zambia, interviewing Mercy Mumbala, 27, a mother of five. Malaria did more than nearly kill her. It made her the town freak show.

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              Juliet needs a sponsor!

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              On her recent trip to Uganda, World Vision writer Kari Costanza met Juliet, a 5-year-old girl whose family is struggling and can't send her to school.

              We've just registered Juliet for our child sponsorship program. All she needs now is a sponsor. Read her story and see how you can help her and her family!

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              For never was a story of more woe
              Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

                  —William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

              If ever a story needed a happy ending, it would be that of 5-year-old Juliet.

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                Ashik’s everlasting smile

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                Nothing can take away Ashik’s smile! His father no longer has to sit at home jobless, thanks to World Vision sponsorship. The family no longer suffers from hunger, and the brothers are attending school.

                Read how sponsorship has helped this family smile again!

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                There is nothing that can snatch Ashik’s smile from his face anymore. His smile endures from morning to night, from the playground to his school, and from the field to home. He no longer suffers from hunger now, and he enjoys the opportunity of going to school and playing with his friends.

                Little Ashik, 7 years old, is happy knowing that his dreams are going to come true, as his elder brother Biplob's dream came true. Very recently, Biplob passed the secondary school certificate examination with good results. His second brother, Bipul, is also doing well in grade 4.

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                  Mutchenda: Be there from the beginning

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                  Child sponsorship is just getting started in Mutchenda, World Vision's newest community in Malawi!

                  Hundreds of children are newly registered and waiting for sponsors ... this week we want to find 100 founding sponsors to launch this new community!

                  Meet Mutchenda through our video, and read about the community's needs and the work that's already begun.

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                  Sponsorship is just getting started in the Mutchenda Community of Malawi, which suffers from a lack of income sources, limited health services, dirty water, and overpopulated classrooms. But the community has so much hope for what’s to come – they believe that their children deserve better.

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                    A gift of hope

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                    Henry is 6 and lives in Malawi. His parents used to struggle to grow crops and make a living working various jobs.

                    Read how Henry's sponsorship and the goat he received through World Vision changed their lives and is helping them realize a future filled with hope!

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                    A joyous feeling springs from the cheeks of little Henry. Nothing can dampen the young boy’s excitement as his sole treasure — a goat he received through World Vision’s sponsorship program a couple of years ago — has just given birth to another kid. Henry now boasts of having four goats!

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