Today, Samuel is 40 years old. He lives in the same community in Uganda that he grew up in, but his life has changed “tremendously” since childhood. Perry and Elaine helped him understand the importance of family. They also helped him become more resilient and inspired him to do the best in his life.
Samuel now runs his own consulting company specialising in safety, health and emergency systems. He is happily married and a father of two daughters and a son.
“You don’t always know what happens after sponsorship,” Elaine says. “That’s OK, but it’s nice to know if they do succeed.
“I’m so proud of him of what he’s accomplished. It makes me feel really good that he listened and he took what we gave and made himself a better person.
‘We are so lucky here’
Perry and Elaine have never questioned whether they would continue their support with ChildFund, says Elaine.
They have been sponsoring children with ChildFund for 27 years. After Samuel, they sponsored three more children and currently support a seven-year-old girl in Uganda.
It was Perry who started sponsoring first, says Elaine. “He gave because it was his way of giving back,” she says.
“When we got married I brought up ChildFund, and he said, yeah, we’re not giving that up. We never fought over it; we just agreed to do it.
“We are really appreciative; we are happy to help. Even when Perry isn’t working, we always make sure the money is in the bank for our sponsor child. We consider them as a family member.”
Growing up alongside child sponsorship is a lesson in gratitude
Elaine and Perry’s three sons have grown up alongside the children their parents sponsored, and Elaine says this has helped them learn gratitude.
“My kids have always known that our sponsored children do not have a lot,” Elaine says. “My kids know how lucky they are. They know they have good schooling.
“We are so lucky here.”
“We’ve brought up our children to be accountable, and to give and not take all the time.”