Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Why visiting your sponsored child is a rewarding experience

Tay MacNabb was a seasoned traveller when he embarked on a trip to Indonesia in early 2019. He had been to many developing countries before but he was unprepared for how much the trip to the island of Java would affect him.

He wasn’t going for just a holiday, or for work; he was going to meet eight-year-old Yumna, whom he had been sponsoring through ChildFund for almost four years.

“The whole experience was more rewarding than I had ever imagined,” he says.

After years of exchanging sponsor letters, Tay wanted Yumna and her family to be able to put a face to a name.

“I really wanted for Yumna and her parents to know that even though her sponsor was a great distance away living in another country, that her sponsor actually genuinely cared for them and their community to make the effort and take the time out to visit,” he says.

“I didn’t want to be this faceless person who merely corresponded by letters but rather someone who took an active and sincere interest in the progression and development of Yumna, which I believe can only be appreciated through a sponsor child visit.”

Tay (right) says meeting his sponsored child Yumna, 8, (in blue) and her family showed him first-hand how his support was helping.

While Tay has been a ChildFund supporter for more than 15 years, the trip to Indonesia was the first time he had visited a child he sponsored.

“I was absolutely delighted to finally meet Yumna,” he says. “She is such a happy, positive, confident and intelligent child. She seems to be making great progress at school and with her own personal development.”

The trip was also a great way to see first-hand how his ongoing support is helping Yumna’s community.

“If it wasn’t for me personally visiting Yumna, I would have never had an appreciation of the great program that has been introduced to develop and support children such as Yumna,” he says. “It is programs such as these that provide children with the opportunity to realise their true potential in life.

“I am certain that the program has certainly supported and aided in Yumna becoming the person that she is today and will continue to do so.”

One of Tay’s most memorable moments from the trip was sharing a traditional Javanese lunch with Yumna, her mother, her baby brother and the ChildFund Indonesia team at a restaurant overlooking lush rice fields and a sprawling mountain range. He felt like a part of the family.

“Sharing in so many happy moments throughout the day, the laughter and seeing so many welcoming, smiling faces was truly magical,” he says.

Tay encouraged other sponsors to visit their sponsored child. He says meeting Yumna and her family was an “invaluable” experience.

“I look forward to visiting Yumna and her family again in the near future.”

Related Stories

Australian family and friends build community hall in Laos

Read Story

5 charity fundraising ideas for preschools

Read Story

How to choose the perfect Christmas gift

Read Story

Sydney school raises $3000 for children in need

Read Story

Gift Giving and The Real Meaning of Christmas

Read Story

Three generations put best foot forward in charity fun run

Read Story

Getting off the beaten track with a postie bike in Cambodia

Read Story

Friendship inspires long-time sponsor to leave a gift in her will

Read Story

Australian engineering boss employs his former sponsored child

Read Story

Olivia gifts a cow for her birthday to help children

Read Story

Sign up to get the latest stories straight to your inbox