Fond Memories: A ChildFund Alumna Comes Full Circle
I am a psychologist currently working as the Integral Program Coordinator at the Tonala program, a ChildFund partner organization in Mexico.
I am also a former sponsored child, and I grew up benefitting from the organization I now work for.
I became involved with ChildFund when I was 8 years old. When I was in sixth grade, I started writing letters to my sponsor. I`ll never forget the opportunities I had to write to him €” I loved to share my achievements with him. I would share about school because I liked school a lot, about poetry and about contests I participated in.
One of the most wonderful experiences I remember telling him about is a visit to Oaxaca for a state sports event ChildFund was a part of. They took us on a walk through downtown, and it was all new to me. I was 10 years old. I also shared a lot with my sponsor about specific traditions and celebrations in my community and about the weather.
He always managed to get a letter out to me at least once a year.
Unfortunately, my sponsor had to cancel after being with me a few years, when I was in ninth grade. I was very sad when I heard this because, even though we had written to each other only every once in a while, I discovered, thanks to him, that there was a world out there. I learned about the sea, the most amazing fish species, huge homes. One time he sent me a package with his favorite photos.
Still, my relationship with ChildFund continued. I loved receiving school supplies at the beginning of every school year, and I enjoyed participating in all kinds of ChildFund activities.
I continued to study hard, and when I finished high school I left the community to go to college and study psychology at an Oaxaca state private school. I was able to do this thanks to a full scholarship I received because I had been an A student, with a record of good behavior and perfect attendance.
However, going to school was hard even with the scholarship. To earn some money, I worked in the college`s administrative offices. My father, a taxi driver, gave whatever he could, and my mother sold some of our chickens and pigs. I also made pozole, coffee and flan and sold them door-to-door.
I was working in my first job after college, for a nonprofit organization called Mexfam, when I met a staff member from ChildFund`s Tonala Program, from which I had so many fond memories of growing up. She invited me to give a presentation for a mothers` workshop. Not long after, they invited me to apply for a job there.
I have always loved to work with children €” I think I`m very patient, which makes me suited for the work. What I like most is when sponsored children receive their letters. I try to help them write back and show them how they can better express their ideas and feelings. I share with them that one of the highest dreams of a sponsor is to know that their sponsored child continues his or her studies and prepares for the future.
I still love to write poetry, and I share it every chance I get. In fact, in some of the events ChildFund organizes in the community, I use it according to the theme we`re working on.
I think ChildFund is an organization with a very strong and clear objective. They try to cover the most important needs of the communities they work with in Mexico. ChildFund has a special way of thinking of each community and its people, in which it`s more important to know the real needs of the people rather than to impose an administrative process wherever they work. ChildFund cares for people.