in Latin America - 6 min read
Impacting Haiti’s Children: A Journey Through Child Sponsorship
I recently stumbled upon some old journals and found one from my first trip out of the country. As I read these words, I could still remember this young girl’s face and my first experience in a third-world nation. I met so many children facing extreme situations without any hope. Despite their circumstances, I could still see their potential if given an opportunity beyond the poverty they lived in. I knew that upon returning home, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children growing up in the impoverished conditions I had witnessed firsthand.
The task ahead of me seemed daunting. I found myself asking how any one person could make a difference in a country defined by poverty and destitution. How was anyone ever going to begin to make a difference when the poverty these children lived in seemed impossible to combat? But over the years, I’ve found there are programs doing just that.
Child sponsorship is an incredible and effective way to impact a life. When I came to work at World Help after college, I became even more passionate about child sponsorship as I read individual stories of thousands of children in these programs. Stories of children affected by tragedy, sickness, trafficking, abandonment, leprosy, HIV/AIDS, persecution, and even natural disaster. Each of their stories was truly desperate . . . including that of Dieunie-Love (pronounced Jenny-Love).
My husband and I decided to sponsor this precious 4-year-old girl around the two-year anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake. Haiti has been defined by poverty and disaster for years, and we knew it was a country we wanted to invest in. Then, after reading Jenny’s story, we knew we wanted the opportunity to impact her life.
Jenny and her mother live in a dirty, cramped home with no security, minimal supplies, and concrete floors. At two years of age, Jenny was malnourished and suffered from diphtheria—she was on the verge of death. But thankfully, staff members at Danita’s Children, a local ministry in Ouanaminthe, found Jenny and rushed her to emergency care where the doctors were able to save her life!
Jenny’s mother was so thankful to have her daughter brought back to health. Today, she continues to be grateful for the daily support sponsorship provides Jenny.
In a nation with more than 10 million people living in severe poverty and nearly half a million orphans, Haiti’s children are in desperate need. But sponsorship is providing boys and girls, just like Jenny with basic essentials in a safe and nurturing environment on a daily basis. Not only are they provided with the resources they need, but they also have the opportunity to attend a quality school where they can gain an education that will equip them to build a better way of life. This is what child sponsorship offers. It is an opportunity for a more promising future . . . hope for a better tomorrow.
My husband and I have been sponsoring Jenny for over a year and are continually encouraged by the difference sponsorship can make in a child’s life. We have the opportunity to watch Jenny develop into a strong young girl as we receive pictures periodically, and are able to get to know her even more through correspondence. We have learned Jenny’s favorite color, her favorite class in school, and that she loves to color pictures. We tell her we’re praying for her and even ask if she and her family have any prayer requests. We are excited to continue sponsoring Jenny and look forward to what she will one day accomplish.
Sponsorship creates a bond and opens a door of opportunity for a child in need. It can even overflow into their entire family. In a world with so many disasters and difficulties, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But child sponsorship focuses on saving one life at a time, and each of these lives is worth saving and investing in.
We may not be able to make a difference in every child, but each life saved is a life with new potential and restored hope. We never know what the future may hold for children in developing countries, just like Haiti, until we give them the opportunity to show us. This is what sponsorship enables us to do—impact a child’s life, which can influence an entire family and ultimately a nation.
Ways To Help In Haiti
CHILD SPONSORSHIP: Our partner cares for hundreds of children living on its campus as well as those in surrounding communities. But they can’t do it alone. World Help has committed to provide as many sponsorships as possible in Haiti. We desperately need your help to impact the next generation. SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY >>
HUMANITARIAN AID: World Help has sent millions of dollars in aid to Haiti over the last three years. It never seems like enough, but we’ve witnessed its life-saving power in action. Yet simple items like food, clothing, construction equipment, and medical supplies are always needed. On average, for every dollar spent on shipping, we are able to send over $200 in vital goods, impacting 100 people in need. GIVE TO SHIP CONTAINERS OF AID >>
OPERATION BABY RESCUE: Our partner rescues malnourished infants and children weekly. The majority of them require emergency medical attention and follow-up care. With your help, we can ensure these precious children are restored to full health. RESCUE A CHILD >>