For every child you sponsor, four more children benefit

For every child you sponsor, four more children benefit

by World Vision Church Resources on November 26, 2018
Debby loves Christmas. The vivacious 7-year-old relishes every day, but Christmas is special. On that day, says her father, there is “more than enough” — more than enough food, and now that they no longer have to walk for water, more than enough time to celebrate. And not just for Debby. Because of World Vision’s community-focused solutions, for every one child a donor helps, four more children benefit, too. In Zambia and around the world, a child doesn’t have to be sponsored to benefit from sponsorship.

That’s why on Christmas, four of Debby’s friends who aren’t yet sponsored — Brendah, Lightwell, Beatrice, and Adam — are also waking up with anticipation.

It wasn’t always like this for children in Moyo.


 
CHRISTMAS PAST: THE STRUGGLES BEFORE CHILD SPONSORSHIP

Grief echoed through the village the day Debby’s brother died. Before Debby was born, the 6-year-old succumbed to diarrhea caused by drinking water from a polluted stream.

“Death was very common in those days,” remembers Debby’s 52-year-old father, Obby Kachepo, with sadness in his kind eyes.

The family scraped by, living in a grass-thatched hut that leaked when it rained. Neighbors begged neighbors for food. Misery flourished. “We lived more or less like animals,” says Obby.

The day to celebrate Jesus’ birth was, for their family, just another day.

“On Christmas, we would tell the children not to go to another home,” says Obby, who didn’t want his kids to see others celebrating and realize how poor they were. “We didn’t want them to see the difference.”

The family needed a miracle.
 
“God answered our prayers through World Vision,” says Obby. “When World Vision came, that’s when the change came. Now Christmas is better.”

In October 2009, World Vision started child sponsorship in Moyo. Local staff asked for volunteers to serve as “caregivers” by regularly monitoring children’s health and well-being. Caregivers look out for the children in the community. Obby joined the team, becoming responsible for 120 children.

The caregivers faced challenges. According to village chief Stephen Moyo, people were moving away to find clean water, healthcare services, and jobs. In 2009, Moyo had the lowest rate in the area for children attending school past eighth grade: only 1 in 3. And the community was battling the stigma attached to HIV and AIDS.

Through the sponsorship program, World Vision worked with local leaders to tackle these challenges. Fortunately, sponsorship is a magnet for other funds, like government grants and generous gifts from donors who want to invest in community-based, long term development — meaning sponsors’ gifts are multiplied in impact.

Funds from World Vision’s Campaign For Every Child were used to drill seven new borehole wells and repair five broken ones, and community members like Obby received training to promote good hygiene. Caregivers helped distribute bicycles so students and teachers could ride to school on Moyo’s rutted roads.

Savings groups, called village banks, were started. The 32 groups, made up mostly of women, were able to save thousands of dollars — their first savings ever. And World Vision worked with faith leaders to turn condemnation into kindness toward people living with HIV and other diseases, and brought in medicine to treat them.

In 2011, the year Debby was born, World Vision began providing goats to families in Moyo. Staff invited community members to choose 50 vulnerable families from among themselves to each receive four female goats from a local supplier and a male goat from outside the community — a “super goat.”
 
“The breed which World Vision brought was a different breed,” says Obby. “They were big goats. The crossbreeding made our traditional goats bigger.”

The 50 families learned to care for the goats, including how to build shelters to keep them safe. When the animals multiplied, the families would give the baby goats to other families.

Every project World Vision introduced was infused with God’s love. Children could attend Good News and Scripture Union clubs. Caregivers like Obby were encouraged to keep God central in every activity and community gathering. Savings groups, hygiene training, borehole drilling — each assembly began with prayer. The 2009 report from Moyo concludes, “Communities actually demand that each meeting starts with a prayer and ends the same way.”

In July 2012, Debby was sponsored by an American woman named Debbie and her husband, David. The couple attended NorthRidge Church in Michigan, where church members sponsor nearly 3,000 children in Moyo and a nearby community. The next year, Debby’s family received five goats from a family whose goats had multiplied.

Steadily, Moyo was transforming. Families were thriving, and an exuberant little girl with a big smile was actively loved and prayed for by a woman with the same name who lived 8,000 miles away.

Check how your church can engage with our child sponsorship program to change hundreds of children’s lives.
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