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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?

Winds of Change

Children and women are often the most vulnerable in disadvantaged societies, yet are exceedingly capable and resourceful, and have the ability to contribute to their own learning and development. Our change agents in Nepal are engaging in meaningful decision-making opportunities within their community.

This Nepali folk song written by our change agents reflects the vision they have:

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
Today we are happy and smiling, as activists this year.

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
We all study together, to become recognised change agents

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
We will move this campaign forward, ensuring young people are married only after 20

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
We are children today, learning to make a difference

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
We will stay all together, circulate information to others

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
We will move ahead, teaching the importance of teaching illiterate children

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
We all participate, 70 of us change agents will stay together

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
Heart was crying for lack of education, now we are happy here

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
As children we will participate, walk to improve our community

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world
Will clean house and surrounding, will bring small brothers and sisters to school.

Like air blowing, we will move ahead by studying, until we are alive in this world.

She has a dream

Eleven-year-old Sharmila who attends an After-school Program in India, is not too young to identify some of the key needs of her community. “There is domestic abuse and alcoholism, husbands beating their wives, and when it rains, the river overflows and floods our streets and houses,” says Sharmila. “Many of these things affect our health and ability to go to school.”

She wants to see an end to the cycle of abuse, sickness and pollution. “I would like to see wine shops removed from my community, and make sure no one fights.” When Sharmila grows up, she hopes to be a doctor so she can treat everyone who is sick. Sharmila’s painting portrays the effect of rain on her community.

Visit our news page HERE to read more inspiring stories and see how your support is helping children and their communities grow strong for life.