When Australian couple Elaine and Perry reconnected with their first sponsored child after more than two decades, Elaine teared up learning that her support and advice over the years had changed the course of a life.
“I sat there and read all the sponsor letters and had a tear in my eye and thought, he’s listened to everything I’ve said,” Elaine says.
“Samuel always says to me, you taught me how important it is to learn.
“I don’t think he’s changed. He was really determined when he was young.”
It had been more than 22 years since Queenslanders Perry and Elaine had heard from their first sponsored child Samuel, who lived in a disadvantaged community in Uganda. The last time was when Samuel was a teenager.
When Samuel contacted them online, he had become a man, had his own family and owned his own business. At first Perry and Elaine did not recognise his pictures online, but then the trio shared old photos they had sent one other during the sponsorship program.
“Samuel sent me a photo of our wedding and all these photos of my kids that I sent him over the years,” Elaine says. “He has a photo on his wall of Perry and I when we got married. I said to Perry, ‘our own kids don’t even have a picture of us on their wall!’”
A transformed life
Elaine and Perry have always known that their sponsorship through ChildFund can help change a child’s life, but it was only when Samuel reached out to them that they realised their extent of their impact.