This first child ended up going missing (they didn't give me details, only that this happens sometimes in such a fragile economy). I only sponsored him for a few months. But then they gave me another child in replacement, who is the child I'm sponsoring now. He's also around the same age, and he's from Zambia. His father is deceased, so his mom has to support him and his siblings on something like $30 a month. I chip in some of my money every month so that the child has a chance to go to school and be get some extra medical care.
The program encourages contact between the people who donate and their sponsored children. Some people don't do this, but I really enjoy it. I've written a several letters to my kid and his mother. His mom has been very sweet to correspond with me, as she knows a little English. So far, my child's been too young to write me, but he does color pictures like this one!
One thing I like about Children International is they send reports on any special gift donations (additional to the set monthly donation). In other words, they let you know what exactly your special Christmas/Birthday/Etc. gift bought for your child.
Also something that's really cool is the newsletters about the region your sponsored child lives. This program really does a lot to take you into the lives of the children you sponsor. I've learned a lot about Zambia just via the little pamphlets and updates they send me. I'd really love to go there someday and meet my kid and his mother and experience life in his world.
So why do I send my money to a complete stranger halfway across the globe? Because I can. Because if I were in that child's position (or his mother's), I would hope some kind person who had enough money would spare a little to better my quality of life. I believe we should treat others as we wish to be treated. This is just a small way in which I can live that philosophy.
Plus, when we switch to the mind-frame of Giving, it has this uncanny ability to lift our own spirits in the process.
Here's the link again to Children International if you want to check it out and think about sponsoring a child, too.
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