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Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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Growing up ‘without’ inspired Robert to help children in need

Long-time ChildFund supporter Robert’s personal experience of growing up in a disadvantaged household has led him to make a difference in the lives of poor children.

“Children feel poverty far more intensely than adults,” the South Australian driving instructor says. “Coming from a fairly poor background myself, I know what it’s like to go without and what it’s like to want something and know that you’re never going to get it.

“I’m in a better situation now, and I want to relieve a child somewhere of that anxiety.”

Robert began sponsoring children through ChildFund more than 28 years ago in 1993, and today supports two children, Erupe and Lilian, from Kenya.

Robert keeps up to date with Erupe and Lilian’s lives and their progress at school through letters. Erupe is at the end of her high school education, but Robert is hoping to help her continue studying.

“She wants to be a teacher,” he says. “I’m hoping to support her through her studies.”

Education, says Robert, can help children like Erupe and Lilian break the cycle of poverty in their families and communities.

“I sponsor children not just to relieve any poverty they are experiencing, but also to help them go to school,” he says.

“Education is important because they will not be able to better themselves unless they are educated.”

Robert says it a responsibility for those who have the means to support children and families in need, to do so. He has a son and a daughter, who also sponsors children.

“We’re wealthy compared to other countries,” Robert says. “I feel we should support those who are less well off.

“I would encourage anybody to sponsor a child. And if they can afford it, I encourage them to sponsor more than one child.

“Through our correspondence with our sponsored children I can see the money is making a difference.” In addition to being a sponsor, Robert has left a gift in his Will to ChildFund. “I believe that I should share this wealth around,” he says.

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