Child Sponsorship: A Humbling Experience

May 17, 2024

Having been involved with Hope for Haiti’s Children since 1995, I have sponsored a few children over the years. There is nothing like meeting the child you sponsor. To connect a face to the child that you are providing an education, access to health care, some food—and now an actual daily meal during the school year —is rewarding. But nothing beats seeing in their eyes how blessed they feel to meet you. Very often, they tell you that they pray for you every day! That is most humbling. Their prayers are offered hoping that your circumstances will allow your continued support—which is a blessing—I hope the same thing.

They find hope in knowing that someone out there cares enough about them to provide the support that will shape their future. They feel an increased sense of personal ownership and agency in making full use of their sponsor’s investment. I’ve sponsored children with varying aptitudes, some were great in school, others not so much—but I could always see how hard they worked to make their lives better. So, does sponsorship work? I would answer Yes!

One child I sponsored in the early days was named Fritz. I started sponsoring him when he was 5 or 6 years old. I sort of picked him out. He was prone to ill health as a child but always did well in school. We developed a close relationship because I visited Haiti often. He graduated secondary school in the top of his class. I continued to sponsor him through the PACES program (Promising Adult Continued Education Sponsorship). This gave him access to the University—and oddly enough he didn’t perform well there. After several semesters of dropping out of classes and getting low grades, I finally had to stop sponsoring him. What he did do well was to apply himself to his spiritual development. He kept in contact with me and called me his mom. He grew up in an orphanage and really had no immediate family nearby to help him. I sent money to him occasionally, and he let me know about some opportunities that came his way, none of which seemed very viable.

So I was super surprised when I was reading a Haiti Operations update and saw that Fritz was in Thomazeau serving as an Outreach Minister and the School Spiritual Life Co-Director. He not only was co-leading church evangelistic seminars, but was also training local leaders in Saturday leadership seminars and helping with Camp Hope 2023, providing mentoring and Christian leadershiptraining to 200 HFHC teens. I wasn’t sure how Fritz would fare in his life in Haiti as an adult, but he surprised me and I couldn’t be prouder.

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