Family and friendship
Mandy shared a sense of humour with Jane’s mother and grandmother and they hit it off immediately. There was an instant connection, Mandy felt, not just with Jane and her family but with all her sponsored children and their families.
“There was this immediate acceptance of me,” Mandy says. “It was like, ‘you’re here, we love you, we care about you, we are going to make you welcome and feel included as much as possible’.
Sponsoring children through ChildFund has been like having the family she never had when she was younger, says Mandy.
“I was very spoilt and loved, but I never had any siblings to grow up with and we lived in a semi-rural area; there wasn’t a lot of children, so when I got a little older, having sponsored children was good because it was like I had a little family,” Mandy says.
The best thing about sponsoring children is being able to write letters to them and find out about them and their family, says Mandy. A sponsor visit deepens that connection.
“The visit was good for me and them,” Mandy says. “It has made a difference to them meeting their sponsor.
“When you get there you realise that they have also been unsure whether you existed; they think, how can someone who lives somewhere two days away by air, care about us?
“So it’s this real surprise on both sides when you visit. A sponsor visit helps them understand that this is a genuine thing.”