When Rob and I first moved in together we decided that we would sponsor a child through World Vision. We chose a country – Guatemala – where Rob had travelled before we met, and found ourselves with a small 4 year old boy’s photo arrive in the post a little while later. Each month we sent off our $42 (or whatever the amount was/is) and for the past 10 years we have received packages, updates, photos, letters from his Mother and seen him grow into this big kid. While correspondence was the standard Christmas or birthday cards provided by World Vision with a small update about where we lived, moved to, children had, animals that came and went, it became part of our lives, and we all looked forward to the updates, drawings, letters and photos when they came.

On Monday we received a letter to say that Dary’s family had moved away from the project that World Vision runs in their community. It may have been a hard decision for them, maybe not, we’ll never know. Of course there are other children, there will always be children and communities that need our support if we can offer it, and of course we will offer what we can, but I can’t help but feel a little…I don’t know. Something. So many I wonders? I won’t pretend that there was more to the relationship other than a transaction of us helping and World Vision taking and making a positive change and difference to a community and the lives of the families that live in it. But still…something. I have no doubts that we helped the life of this young boy, now young man. I hope his new life is a good one. I hope his family are healthy and well. I hope.

I hope.

Do you sponsor a child through World Vision or the like?
Have you ever had a sponsorship end?


  1. Amanda Heywood says

    My husband and myself sponsor a child through Plan International. I think it’s a human sort of thing. Wanting to help other people out. Am not sure how that works them ‘stepping away’ from the sponsorship? You would feel some sort of connection being ten years – was anything said as to why? xx

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      No, nothing really. I suppose they just needed to move out of the area. Good on you Amanda for doing it too…a human thing indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lisa Hayman says

    It is a funny thing when they are longer apart of that program, I definitely understand you would be feeling a little something about it. To me that represents a relationship that you were active in trying to establish which is a beautiful thing. Derek and I sponsor two children through Compassion, we sponsored our first when we were still just best mates and both at uni. We tend to stink at frequent letter writing and really need to work on that! Our church actually partners with that community where our children are from and have done a few trips to the Philippines to get in there and help. We are yet to but I would so love to! Will you sponsor another?

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Good on you Lisa. Yes, of course there will be another kid – they actually sent the info in the same letter.

  3. We sponsor three children directly with an orphanage in China. They are siblings. We get monthly updates, personally email the American family who run the orphanage, lots of photos and pictures and letters come through. So it is very interactive which gives us a much better sense of where our money is going and the changes it is making in these children’s lives. In two years the transformation in them has been amazing. We hope to sponsor them all through university and until they can support themselves.

  4. Hi Beth, it is great that you sponsor and give what you can to those in need.
    Perhaps one day you can visit Guatamala and track down Dary and his family to say hello. Can you get any information on where they are moving?

  5. michelle barrington says

    We sponsor a girl who is in Ecuador and yes we used to sponsor a boy in Kenya whose family left the program. I had always thought I was personally helping the picture of the child they sent me but then I realised when our sponsored boy left that the money just went to the project and families move frequently. My current sponsored child will turn 18 soon and won’t fit into the sponsorship program anymore ๐Ÿ™

  6. Hi Beth, your story really struck a chord with me. It brought back memories of our own experience with sponsoring a child. We had the standard letters, photos and cards correspondence with Tri, our first sponsor child from Indonesia. Just as you did, I won’t pretend there was more to our relationship than help and regular correspondence but you are so right…there was ‘something’. One day we received a letter telling us that Tri had passed away while swimming with friends and I was devastated. It was a very odd feeling as not many people could understand my grief for this child I had never met. In the same envelope we were sent the details and introduction letter for a new sponsor child and although we have kept up the sponsorship it just doesn’t feel the same this time and the correspondence is far less regular. I can’t put my finger on it – it’s just ‘different’. Thank-you so much for giving me an outlet to share my story (amazing how much better we feel when we can share with someone who ‘gets it’ – even strangers!) All the very best with your future sponsorship endeavours and well done for making a positive change in a young man’s life.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Thank YOU Rachel. You are allowed to feel that something I thing…what a terrible thing for Tri’s family. A tragedy. The same envelope thing is what bugged me I think…perhaps a letter first and then a week or so later details of someone new. All those children and communities and families wait for nothing I suppose – especially some rich white woman who needs to process something she can’t put her finger on! (that’s ME of course!!)

      Thank you for sharing your story with me.

  7. Rebekah Sullivan says

    Hi Beth, I know what you mean, we sponsor three children through Compassion. We started by sponsoring two of them 10 years ago and have followed them and their families through family break-ups, success at school, illnesses and loss during natural disasters. At times I felt sick to the stomach waiting to hear if they were safe. Then about 6 years ago we decided we could afford to sponsor another child, but after only a few months his family moved away from the project and I thought “What? So that’s it? No news, no nothing?” We immediately sponsored another child, but I felt like I had lost something, and I know I will feel the same when Rodeline turns 18 and leaves the program later this year. And then Alberto next year. As they don’t have our address I guess that will be it. I know I will be sad, but we will still have Yulianna and I know they would want us to help other kids, so we are planning to go in a different direction next time and sponsor children with Type 1 Diabetes, like our daughter, who live in countries where insulin and medical help is not readily available to them. Sponsorships ensure they have glucose monitors, daily insulin and help cover additional health needs related to their Diabetes. I can’t imagine having a child with this condition and NOT have access to insulin to keep her alive. It’s a devastating prospect. We are truly blessed to live in this wonderful country.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      We sure are Rebekah – what an amazing thing you are doing for so many. And to be able to help those affected by something that you are, and make such a big difference is an amazing thing. Well done!

  8. I’m a bit slow off the mark. We just sponsored a little girl in Kenya who incidentally was born the day we got married. I figured that way I would never forget her birthday! We just received our first letter from her which warmed the cockles of my heart. I can’t wait to reply. Even though she’s far away, and communication is limited, I already feel some sort of attachment. After 10 years, it’s only natural that you experience a sense of loss when a sponsorship ends especially when there’s no closure or further contact with your sponsor child. You may not sponsor him anymore, but I bet the effects of your sponsorship will stay with Dary forever.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Thanks Sammie. I think Dary was incidentally born on our anniversary too (of our first date)…I always remembered it! Enjoy the experience.

  9. We had the same experience. We had been sponsoring a little girl in Mozambique through World Vision and her family moved. Now we sponsor a boy in the same area. While I do enjoy the personal side of things, I’ve always looked on my regular donations as providing support for a community which I think is fundamental to addressing poverty. Schools, wells with pumps, well-equipped medical facilities – these are the things that will make a real change for these families and the hope is one day they will be available to all, wherever they may move.

  10. We sponsor a little boy and I’ve often wondered what will happen when he grows up? But I suppose the sponsorship is about helping the community not just the child. T

  11. ahoy.jenni says

    We don’t sponsor because we have adopted a little boy with special needs. His biological parents migrated to Australia from Egypt, and as a young couple in a new country they were scared and shocked when their son was born with a disability. So he came to our family at 20 months old.
    I decided (and hubby said OK!) that adoption of a special needs child is our way of giving back to community, it fills the social sense within me that is grateful for what I do have and enables me to give to someone else who would not have otherwise.
    He is a beautiful boy but I wont deny it is hard at times!!
    Maybe sponsorship would have been easier LOL!!
    Good on you for doing it though, have you thought about going OS and volunteering in an orphanage? I can see you doing that.
    I’m not very good in countries that don’t have toilets like ours though….that’s the only thing stopping me :-0

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      What an amazing thing you are doing! I would love to go and volunteer at some stage…have pout my hands up to World Vision if they ever want me!

  12. We sponsor a child through the smith family for education costs. “what if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of someone who cannot afford education”

  13. I’ve been sponsoring Guide Dog puppies for a few years now. I had originally wanted to become a foster parent for a puppy, but my husband wouldn’t let me because he knew I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye. I get emotionally attached quite easily, you see. Especially to animals.

  14. Lisa Mckenzie says

    That’s a bit sad I would be wondering too,why and whatnot ,and no I haven’t ever sponsored a child but prefer to help out Australian charities and the local RFS etc,I do hope Dary is a happy healthy and educated young man now!

  15. Well Bethie you know how much I love World Vision. I want to shout from the rooftops that the work they do and the lives they save … just incredible. And real, like, it really happens. I’m sorry Dary and his family moved somewhere else, but I have a feeling it must be good, though, wherever they went.

    Love reading all the comments here. I think western countries have a responsibility to give to a charity, any charity, if they can afford it.


  16. I sponsored two girls from Bangladesh, but after I went on family leave and only one wage coming in, we just couldn’t afford to continue our sponsorship. I was absolutely devastated but World Vision completely understood it was financially impossible at that time. Once I am back working full time, I would like to resume my sponsorship, I felt like I was making a difference, a small one, but important none the less.

  17. Maryandlil says

    I sponsor a little girl through Baptist World Aide in Nepal. Her name is Pramilla and she is gorgeous. I know that I am making a difference in her life. We also used to sponsor a boy in Africa through another organisation. Unfortunately our sponsorship was ended when he went missing probably due to child soldier circumstances. It broke my heart. Why does this happen? It is only when we look outside our selfish little box of our lives that we realise that we have so so much and others have so so little. We need to be generous and giving to others that deserve a life just like we have. xx

  18. I sponsor a child through World Vision. I picked a girl in Bangladesh because I really want to improve the outcomes for someone of my own gender. Unfortunately, when my girl turned 13 she got married and the sponsorship ended. I was sad that she was married at such an early age. World Vision then replaced my sponsorship with a boy Bangladesh. I was overseas at the time so I’m not sure how much correspondence I got on the issue. I wish I had been more on top of it at the time.

    I’ve always said that for every child we bring into the world we will sponsor a child somewhere else in the world. In the future I really want to include donating to charity as part of my children’s allowance.

    I also sponsor a child through The Smith Family to support the cost of an Australian’s child’s education. It’s important that we don’t forget that people need help here in Australia too. As a teacher I’m a big believer that a good education can change lives.

  19. Some World Vision chaps were on the DPCon14 trip and it was so interesting talking to them… this is such a big issue…. anyway they explained how the projects that are funded usually last 15 years then the communities become self supporting. I have two kids being sponsored, it’s a tiny chink into the real world I usually don’t want to look at too closely. What we spend on our four kids could be covering literally hundreds of kids… ohhhhhh…. yikes…. Big issues!!

  20. If you ever get the chance to visit your sponsor children – do it! It is such a rewarding experience, and the difference you are making to the life of a child becomes very real to you. I sponsor 9 children in India, and have been blessed to visit them 7 times in the last 9 years. I consider each one of them my own, and every visit is a chance to speak love and hope and encouragement over them. Since I started sponsoring, a couple of my children left for various reasons, and it can be heartbreaking, especially if you don’t know where they have gone or how they are doing. But we have to trust that the difference we have made in the time we were able to sponsor them will continue to impact them.

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