Creating global families and expanding world views through Child Sponsorship
We often view the impact child sponsorship has on the sponsored child and how their family benefits. While this is absolutely the focus and priority of child sponsorship, it is also powerful to stand back and reflect on the reverberating influence sponsorship has on the sponsoring families too.
As we celebrate International Day of Families on May 15, we honor the global families that are created through child sponsorship by introducing you to one family whose generosity and actions ended up having a profound impact on their own lives.
More than 16 years ago, Michele Gething traveled to Sierra Leone with World Hope International. It was there she met young Yeabu and was immediately drawn to her, as Michele is a trained Speech Language Pathologist and Yeabu is deaf.
Since then, Michael and Michele Gething have sponsored Yeabu, and also sponsor another child, Ada. They have been so moved by long-term sponsorship that they’ve returned to Sierra Leone multiple times, sponsoring several communities in the area where Yeabu and Ada live, and inviting others to join with them on their nearly two-decade journey of child sponsorship and wholistic community impact through World Hope’s Communities United Partnership (CUP).
The profound influence of sponsorship went beyond Michael and Michele to impact their daughters, Claire and Elise, who eagerly engaged with their new pen pal in West Africa, with whom they could write letters and send photos. This simple act of regular communication broadened their world-view to connect with children who live in contexts very different from their own, and to understand the importance of looking beyond the community in which they live daily.
Michael said of his daughter’s connection to their sponsored children, “My daughters consider Yeabu and Ada their sisters. It’s been wonderful to witness their caring and affection for them.”
Michele reflected on why sponsorship is critically important to the child: “Because of your sponsorship dollars, children will be able to read and write. This alone makes all the difference in the world to them. This means they can become a functional member of their society and will be able to provide for their family and their future.” In fact, because of their sponsorship, Yeabu was able to attend a school for deaf children where she could be fully supported in her education.
Michael adds, “It’s been fascinating to witness Yeabu’s transformation from a young child with so many needs to a young lady with an education and income-generating skills. It’s been especially impactful for us as a family having had the chance to meet Yeabu in person. It’s been an awesome experience for all of us!”
Sponsorship is not a one-way street, but a wholly transformative two-way street that provides opportunity, dignity, and hope to children, while also making a way for an entire family to develop a long-term bond with a child to expand their perspectives and open their hearts to the needs of other children and the communities in which they live.
We invite you to view their story here and to consider sponsoring a child today.
Director of Child Sponsorship
World Hope International