The charity we are working with, Plan International, has a program which allows you to sponsor a child for £12/ month. To us this is one cheap dinner out and less than a taxi from my fav bar home. I wasn't sure if I wanted to sponsor or not but as we learned more about the program it just seemed like the thing to do. I want to do much more volunteering around the world, but for now I'll start with Rwanda.
I thought it was going to be a breeze; I'd sponsor the adorable little girl who sat in my lap at the opening ceremony.
It didn't take much asking around to learn her name but then it surfaced that she was in high demand and others already wanted to sponsor her too! Oh no! I actually went into a slight depression over it for a minute - before looking out the window and remembering there are about 1,599 other kids out there in desperate need (& those are just the primary school age). From there I headed into the schoolyard to scout for my child. Minutes later I realized this was a horrible idea and felt terribly wrong. Imagine starring at all the kids, some barefoot, others with ripped clothes, plastic bags for rucksacks...how am I to pick ONE of them to support???
Thankfully the money goes into a pot for the community, but you write letters to your child and can send pictures etc. Finding it too award I went back to work. 'Asha, come..' back to my water collecting with Dominique. Later a little girl came along with the longest, most beautiful eyelashes. She was quite sweet and able to tell me her name and age. I thought I'd found my match until about an hour later when I met T. She was part if my water tank crew and though she hardly said a word - perched herself on the concrete to take in excitement with the little entourage we'd formed. The older kids had to ask her name and age for me since she was so shy and didn't speak English.
I spent the rest of the day back and forth from the tank, chatting with the kids at every break while the jug was filling but still wasn't convinced I'd found the one until she showed up at the classroom we used as our home base.
I brought William over to ask her name so they could track her to see if she's available for sponsorship. When he found out he turned and told us her name and the meaning...I teared up right there. Emma looked at me and said she's perfect- meant to be. Her name means 'in him (God) we trust' -done deal. She was chosen for me. I couldn't say a word while Alfred wrote down her name, age and class. Everyday here is emotional and full of surprises. I can't believe we only have one more day. It will be hard to leave our new found friends.
If you want to sponsor a child too, please go to www.plan-uk.org