We believe sponsorship that empowers children with skills, resources and knowledge to understand their rights and value, and that enables their communities to better provide for their children is a powerful way to break the cycle of poverty now and for the future. Coming from a tradition of direct child sponsorship where sponsor support ensured a deserving child could receive an education, our sponsorship model now sees the child as part of a bigger community of family, school and other networks.
We know that children thrive when their communities are empowered to support them. Child focused development sponsorship benefits both the child and their community.
Agent of Change: Kathir’s Story
12-year-old Kathir is the eldest of three children. He attends an After-School Program run by one of Asian Aid’s partners in India. His father is a truck driver and his mother a homemaker. Kathir and his siblings had to drop out of school because of their father’s alcoholism and the resulting family problems. But that was then.
Now, after receiving free counselling enabled by the support of Asian Aid supporters – people like you – the father has stopped drinking and fighting with the family and the children are back at school. Kathir’s life has changed at a personal and family level, but he knows the community needs to change too for real transformation to happen.
Kathir is a change-maker. “I will plant trees to reduce flooding,” he says. Why? Because his community lives in an area where water stagnates during the monsoon. “I also want to help all kids to go to school and not waste time. Everyone must help each other.” Maybe then the problem of alcoholism in his community won’t be so highly prevalent?
Hope that keeps on giving
Orphaned very young, Balu (Hindi word for ‘bear’) was taken in by his uncle and aunty, and helped maintain their house and babysit their daughter. Sponsored to attend school as a boarding student, Balu had little hope for a better life. But it was at the school that Balu met his future wife, Kempu, a sponsor orphan herself, who was raised by grandparents. In 2007, ten years after they first met in Elim Home, Balu and Kempu were married. Theirs was a marriage based on love, not arrangement.
Today, Kempu is a nurse at the Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Bangalore, and a favourite among doctors and patients alike! Balu has worked with Asian Aid’s partner Helping Hand Welfare Society for over 10 years.
The full-circle sponsorship story
Sundramma was one of the first students to enrol at the Asian Aid-supported Kollegal Deaf School, in India, in 1993. She was just six years old then, but she has now returned to teach tailoring to the students. Students love her creativity and sewing skills, and she loves their joy even in times of hardship.
Laltalnsanga, a teen, lost his mother when he was very young. Not long after, his father left to work overseas and he and his siblings had to fend for themselves. A relative referred them to an Asian Aid school so that the children could receive an education. Laltalnsanga is grateful for the opportunities he has received.