Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

The Great Wheelbarrow Race held in the Atherton Tablelands sees hundreds of Aussies get together each year to push wheelbarrows along a gruelling 140 kilometre stretch over three days.

Most team up and tackle this huge challenge together but not 15-year-old Jenny. “People kept telling me I wouldn’t be able to do it solo; that it would be too hard for me,” says Jenny. “That’s what made me want to do it even more so I just thought, why not?”

After mum gave Jenny the go-ahead she signed up and decided this could be the perfect opportunity to raise funds for children living in northern Vietnam through ChildFund Australia.

Jenny, along with her sister, has been donating her pocket money each month for the past nine years to sponsor 15-year-old Hue from Vietnam and had the opportunity to meet Hue when her family travelled to the country for a family holiday in 2010.

 

My name is Rosa, but people call me Rosy. I was born in rural Guatemala, the youngest of six children.

At the age of seven, I was sponsored through ChildFund. It was at this time that I started attending primary school.

When I was 16, I was supposed to start going to secondary school. But it was a really hard time because my father did not allow me to study – he said that girls have to stay at home doing chores and have to get married to serve their husbands.

Transportation was also a problem. There were no buses, and school was so far away from my home, so the only option to continue studying was to move to another state. Too much for my overprotective parents!

I thought my education was over.

But ChildFund stepped in. I was offered a scholarship and staff from ChildFund Guatemala helped me convince my parents to let me study. After long talks, my parents agreed and I went to live with one of my relatives who offered me a bedroom and enough food.

I was able to finish college. I became the first girl to graduate as a teacher in my community.

A few years later, ChildFund Guatemala’s local partner in my community asked if I would be interested in working with them – I jumped at the chance. It was like a dream!

I have now been working here for 17 years. Currently I am working as a technician on ChildFund`s project ‘Let Me Tell You’, which is helping to improve children’s literacy, self-expression and research skills.

ChildFund has been working for 75 years in the world, and working here means a lot to me. Serving the new generation is awesome!

When I was sponsored, I received so much love, and it changed my attitude. Now I am returning all of these gifts to my children in the communities. I like to see how children are changing their attitudes and aspirations, by reminding them that dreams can come true with perseverance and effort.

I am now 41, and I have two children – Andrea Isabel and Julio Fernando, 5 and 12 years old (pictured above).

My two children are my inspiration, and I love and am really proud of my parents. I have a family that always supported me and a job that I love! What else could I ask for?