Charity and compassion have been the guiding principles of
at least three generations of Judy Browne’s family.
“My father said if you have food for your table to feed your family, you’ve won in this life, and if you have any left over give it to your neighbours,” long-time ChildFund Australia supporter Judy (pictured above) says. “You do not hold on to anything.”
When Judy started her own family, she passed these values on
to her own children. She began sponsoring a young boy, Ahmed, who lived in
Ethiopia, through ChildFund in 1993. Her oldest son, Buster, was 12 years old
at the time; the same age as Ahmed.
For the next nine years, Buster made it his goal to raise money
to pay for the sponsorship.
“Buster sold eggs to get the money each month and did odd
jobs around the farm for extra money,” Judy says.
“I was over the moon to see Buster supporting Ahmed.”
Through sponsorship photos and letters sent to the family to
update them on Ahmed’s progress, Buster learnt that Ahmed had a very different
life to his own. Judy remembers Buster being particularly moved by one photo of
Ahmed with a ball made from rags.
“Buster said, ‘that’s no good’, and went down to the student
representative council at his high school and asked them to fundraise to get
Ahmed a soccer ball and a schoolbag,” Judy says.
Weeks later ChildFund Ethiopia sent a photo of Ahmed with
his new soccer ball and bag. “It was the most beautiful photo of Ahmed beaming,”
Judy says. “The photo was placed pride of place on the school noticeboard for
all to see.”