[Sri Lanka Bloggers] The birthday party I won't ever forget

I met Afra on her eighth birthday. I had no idea how big of an impact this little girl would have on me. We spent the afternoon eating cake, playing games, and celebrating with her family, friends, and neighbors.

The photo above shows me with Afra and children from her neighborhood.

What it doesn't show you is Afra's leg.

Afra was hit by a car at the age of 3, her leg caught in the rear wheel of the vehicle. The driver meant to playfully swerve at a friend -- and instead hit Afra.

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    [Sri Lanka Bloggers] When your mother immolates herself

    Tony Jones traveled to Sri Lanka with the World Vision blogger team, where he met Simras, an 8-year-old sponsored child.

    After the boy's family was torn apart by tragedy, his aunt Sapika and uncle Mohamed took him in as their own. Tony was able to hear some of their story -- and the hopes that Sapika and Mohamed have for Simras.

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      [Sri Lanka Bloggers] Meeting my O!

      September is "Connect With Your Sponsored Child" month. Allison Olfelt was given a unique opportunity to do just that when she traveled to Sri Lanka last month with the World Vision blogger team.

      Read on to learn about Allison's experience meeting Odish and his mother -- and learn how you can visit your sponsored child.

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        Top five ways to connect with your sponsored child

        Sponsorship is about more than just giving money to help people in need -- it's about letting children know they are loved.

        Taking time to write letters or send small gifts and cards can create a meaningful relationship with your sponsored child. Many sponsors find that investing in this relationship is more than a blessing for their sponsored child -- it also changes their own life.

        Read on to learn how you can create a lasting relationship with your sponsored child.

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          How child sponsorship through World Vision works

          Maybe you've wondered how World Vision's global programs work; why sponsorship is a monthly pledge; or what happens when someone stops sponsoring a child.

          During her visit to Sri Lanka with the World Vision blogger team, Laura Tremaine sought answers to these questions, and here, she shares some of her experience.

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            [Sri Lanka Bloggers] I don’t think it’s just the jet-lag talking

            Joy Bennett traveled to Sri Lanka with our blogger team last week to experience firsthand how World Vision's sponsorship programs are making a difference in the lives of children, families, and communities in need. Along the way, she discovered just how stark poverty can be -- and how blessed we are as Americans.

            How does she feel now that she's back in the United States? Read on to find out.

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              [Sri Lanka Bloggers] Sewvandi and Mala

              During her visit to Sri Lanka last week with the World Vision blogger team, Laura Tremaine met Mala and her daughter, Sewvandi, whose story she shares below. Knowing that education is key to helping Sewvandi escape from poverty, Laura made a special commitment to the girl.

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                [Sri Lanka Bloggers] The crowd waiting for us in the street, and my new hero

                Shawn Smucker traveled with the World Vision blogger team to Sri Lanka last week, visiting with children, families, and communities whose lives have been changed by our work made possible through child sponsorship.

                In this post, he describes his experience receiving a very warm welcome from residents of an area where World Vision is concluding its development work, which has equipped the community to become self-sufficient and sustainable.

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                  [Sri Lanka Bloggers] Sri Lanka: A tale of two fathers

                  World Vision Sri Lanka blogger Darrell Dow compares his own worries and uncertainties with that of another father, whom he met in Sri Lanka while traveling with our blogger team to witness firsthand the impacts of World Vision's child sponsorship programs.

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                    [Sri Lanka Bloggers] Married at 13

                    World Vision Sri Lanka blogger Allison Olfelt shares about her remarkable encounter with a young women who was forced into marriage at the age of 13 -- and became pregnant shortly thereafter. The girl's story is a heart-wrenching one -- but thanks to World Vision sponsorship, her daughters can avoid becoming trapped in a similar situation.

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