So, in addition to the recent visit from Meaghan and Franklin from Children International (which was totally awesome btw!!!) I also have some other great sponsorship news. One of the other "super sponsors", (my name for the group of CI sponsors that I hang out with online - hi all!!) Steve is currently on a trip to Guatemala to visit several of his sponsor children. I think he has somewhere around 25 kids! Anyhow, Steve very, VERY generously offered to meet with some of my sponsor children as well. Hooray - the next best thing to seeing them myself!
Steve was able to meet with Hermelinda:
He took lots of photos for me (dying to see them!) as well as video!! I'm so thrilled I could burst.
Steve travels all over the world visiting his many sponsor children so he has a unique perspective on poverty and the potentials of sponsorship. His descriptions of his trip have been so thoughtful, entertaining and insightful. I feel like when I go to Guatemala myself someday (please!!) I will feel more prepared for the experience.
Steve sent me the following email about Hermelinda and gave me permission to reprint it here.
I met Hermalinda (not sure of the spelling) today, along with her 5
siblings and both parents. Your child is painfully shy. Maybe it was
seeing this guy she´s never met nor knows anything about. Her parents
did their best to coax a smile or two out of her. I´ll be sure to
send the still photos upon my return.
I took some video too. Unfortunately, the walk from the town to their
place did not record. I screwed up and feel terrible about it. We
were ready to leave when I realized my error, so I went back and took
video of their home, the family, and their neighbors. Unfortunately,
I was not willing to make the trip from the beginning. Be advised
that their place is on a hillside, and the walk is not for the faint
of heart. There are probably 200 steps to get there. If you plan to
visit, you might want to train on a StairMaster or something!
More importantly, Hermalinda´s home is a metal corrugated shack. The
temperature in there during the summer months must be sweltering.
From what I can tell, they do have some access to electricity. That
family needs a fan badly!
They are poor. Very poor. The trail to their place is strewn with
garbage, and many of the steps are uneven and little more than rocks.
This is no environment for small children. Actually, this is no
environment for anyone. I don´t know how human beings live like
this. I can´t imagine what a predicament they´d be in without your
help. Your are their Godsend. That is their message that I´ve
recorded, and I hope to somehow figure out how to post it for you.
Failing that, I can make a DVD and send it to you.
I can try to fill in some of the blanks later for you if you have
questions. Right now, I´m a little beat and need to grab some dinner
and prepare for tomorrow.
Again, thanks for your efforts with that child. God knows she needs
This email made me sad but also excited that I have an opportunity to make a difference. Fortunately I had already funded a special needs project at the beginning of April for Hermelinda. The family had requested the following:
1 metal bed
1 chest of drawers
2 sets of bed sheets
1 pair of shoes
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of stockings
Now thanks to Steve, I know that they also could use a fan. I will be sending extra money for a fan if they don't purchase one with the money I have already sent. I included some extra money already and asked that they buy something special for Hermelinda since her birthday has just passed. I know that the money has arrived at the field office but I don't think they have had the chance to take Hermelinda's family shopping yet.
Lesly's special needs project is still up over at Aura's House
. Only $98 to go!
You can read about other "super sponsors" at these blogs:
Heather runs a sort of "super sponsor collective" blog at Children Are the World
where she posts about her own sponsor kids as well as those of other "super sponsors" like Efrain, Mack, Victor, Alice and Barbara. (Did I miss anyone?)
Heather has also set up a fundraising site for small projects for the families at: Firstgiving
where she has just finished funding the very first project!
Heather also gets her children involved in sponsorship and you can read about her little sponsor Jaden here
Skye blogs at Life, Love and Happiness
- when she isn't on the Children International's homepage
Robyn shares stories and great photos of her sponsor kids at robynapplause
The official Children International blog is at here.
You can see and read about all of Steve's sponsor children here
And of course my Hubby blogs at our crafting site Flaming Lotus Creations
and posts updates about our sponsor kids as well. He just sold his first set of coasters for our sponsor kids! (And I was serious about him taking requests.) :)
I'm sure there are more great "sponsor blogs" out there... (and you all thought I was the only one!:) )
Phew! Another huge long post. What has gotten into me? :)
Labels: Aura's House, Children International, Hermelinda, income generating projects, Lesly