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My dream for the future

13-year-old Gisela (pictured above) from Mexico is the youngest of three siblings. Her parents sew soccer balls by hand for a living, a common profession in this rural community high in the hills of the state of Oaxaca.

It takes about 10 hours to sew one ball, which will bring 11 pesos (just a little less than $1). With each parent making one ball per day, Gisela’s family of five must survive on less than $2 a day. Her parents’ hands are badly worn and blistered from pushing needles through the thick leather.

Though she already knows how to sew balls too, Gisela has other dreams for her future. When asked what she hopes to do one day, she replies with a coy smile that she would like to be a kindergarten teacher, not a ball maker. “I want to teach [children] to paint and about using vowels and how to write their names,” she adds.

Gisela is shy, but she describes herself as “friendly, respectful, intelligent, honest and affectionate,” adding “these qualities are important for any human being and that, above all, we should treat others well”.

Gisela is sponsored through ChildFund. She loves receiving letters from her sponsored family and keeps all their letters and photos safely tucked away in an envelope labelled “beautiful details”, which she made just for this purpose.

Gisela is learning some English in school, so she likes to try reading the letters in English to help her practise. Now, she can also pick out words in the letters like “mother”, “father” and “blue”.

Gisela’s sponsorship is helping to keep her in school so she can achieve her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher in the future. This is one way in which ChildFund is helping to break the cycle of poverty for children in some of the poorest parts of the world.

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