Latest Posts

Lee Sinje’s World Vision Visit to Bohol, The Philippines

The child gazes at this stranger in front of her.

She has strands of blondish hair and a petite frame hidden under loose clothing.  Her tiny hands rest on her lap as she sits cross-legged on the floor.

LSJ

“I’m six,” says the child. When her parents and 7-year-old brother go to the dump site close to their home to collect garbage, she cooks and takes care of her four younger siblings.

She often feels hungry as she only gets two meals a day.

I hand the child some chocolate biscuits and she eats all of them immediately.

Tears swell in my eyes but I am determined to refrain from crying in front of her.

________________________________________________________________________________________

I am reminded of my mother’s family who was also very poor.

My grandmother had to carry two big baskets of sarong to sell at a hilltop, and every trip would last an entire week before she returned.

My then 7-year-old auntie has to wake up early every morning to cook, wash and take care of her five siblings.

“If we were hungry at night, we would mix the burnt rice in the pot with sugar water and drink it,” said my mother.

Once, my mother nearly died because my grandmother simply could not afford to take her to the doctor.

But fuelled by her optimism and strong will, my grandmother single-handedly raised all her six children.

I can still remember the times when she took me to the temple to offer alms to the monks or visit poverty-stricken families living at the hilltop. Her selfless acts of love helped her to raise and protect her family.

She is the source of my compassion for the needy today. Through her, I learn how to love the people around me, and I have seen how a selfless act of love can light up one’s life and even the world.

________________________________________________________________________________________

This is my fourth World Vision visit, and it’s a first for my husband. We are in Philippines, a country comprising more than 7,000 islands, with a population of over 90 million. Forty-one percent of the population lives below the poverty line, earning less than US$2 a day. This means that there are more than 40 million people who suffer from hunger every day.

The sun’s radiant ray shines through the crystal-clear sea water creating a breathtaking view of the sparkling coastline.

The leaves rustle as we take each step.

Finally, we arrive at an organic farm developed by World Vision in collaboration with the local community. We put a handful of earthworms into the organic fertilizer with our bare hands and join the farmers in harvesting at the organic rice fields with our sickles. The setting sun slowly lights up the youthful smiles on the farmers’ faces.

LSJLSJ

LSJ

We decide to spend the night at a villager’s house, showering with the cold water that was carried from far away, eating the chicken the family had raise in their backyard, and sleeping in beds covered by green mosquito nets. In the dark, I can see the moonlight streaming through the wooden plank walls.

The living condition of the villagers has greatly improved with the support from World Vision. No longer are they living without electricity and water; they have started growing organic plants to increase their income and, at the same time, protect the environment; some of their children are World Vision sponsored children and they enjoy going to school.

LSJ

I am overwhelmed by the kindness and passion of the villagers. Their homes may be simple and shabby, they may not be dressed in fine clothing, but they have the ability to impart the purest kind of love that touches the bottom of my heart.

On the other hand, our lives are built around concrete homes in dazzling cities and we are pampered by so much luxury. Yet, our hearts have grown distant from each other.

We own everything. We own the whole world. But the truth is, what do we really possess?

________________________________________________________________________________________

It is the second last day of our trip. We are at a dump site located in a suburb on Bohol Island.

The smell of rubbish which has been accumulated over the last 20 years is utterly nauseating. A group of children are playing in an abandoned dump truck. This rubbish dump is the main source of income for the community here. The adults and children wait for the dump trucks to arrive every day. Once the rubbish is unloaded from the trucks, they will proceed to scavenge for things that they can sell.

LSJ

Afterwards, we visit a poor family who makes a living by scavenging rubbish.

We follow a trail in the bushes and arrive at a shabby wooden house. It is built out of branches and boards. There is only one room.

A one year-old boy is standing in front of the house with his feet soiled with faeces. His sister, who is only six years old, immediately takes him into the house and washes his feet as soon as she spots us approaching. The boy’s other brother and sister, aged 3 and 4, are sitting by the door. Their parents and their 7-year-old brother are at the dump site collecting rubbish. The 6-year-old sister is left to look after her three younger siblings.

LSJ

I walk up to the house and sit next to the older sister. I hand out some chocolate cookies to all of them; the older sister instantly gobbles up the cookies, then she crouches and stares at the cookies left in my hand. I give her the whole packet. She takes it and eats the cookies quietly.

The children are hungry. The girl tells me she cooks them food and takes care of them every day. They only get to eat twice a day and they get hungry very often. When the children speak, their faces don’t display any expression… there is no sadness, no joy, no anger – just a faint response.

Have you ever experienced hunger? One hour, two hours… Can you imagine what it feels like to be constantly hungry every single day?

Their bodies are so thin and small but what clear, beautiful eyes and pure hearts they have! They have the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen and they speak from their heart. They should grow up being surrounded by the light of love. But here, these children endure immense suffering and hunger. They have been robbed them of their childlike nature. Every day just seems hopeless.

My heart feels as though it is being pierced with a thousand needles. I try not to cry in front of them. I remember how I prayed for hope and miracles during those sleepless nights when I was a child, and now, I am once again reminded of my childhood fears and insecurities when I look at her; I promise to love this child with all my heart.

My grandmother, my mother and my daughter have nourished my life with their love. Children are all the same – they are little angels that need to be loved and protected. When I held the child, I felt strongly about how love can be extended to others. I now understand that much joy comes from giving.

You probably never knew that with a mere RM65 a month, you can change the future of these children. You probably never realised that your heart can be so close to a child who lives hundreds of miles away from you. You probably never discovered that you have the power within you to give hope to others.

Please join me in sponsoring a child through World Vision. Together, we can create a world filled with love and abundant life.

Written by Lee Sinje, World Vision Child Sponsor
May 3, 2010

李心洁“爱让世界转动”菲律宾世界宣明会慈善探访之旅

孩子望着眼前这个陌生的我。

孩子的发丝泛黄,瘦小的身躯隐藏在宽松的衣服里,纤细的手垂在盘坐的腿上。

LSJ

孩子说她今年六岁,当爸爸妈妈和七岁的哥哥到附近的垃圾场捡垃圾时,她负责煮饭和照顾四个弟妹。

孩子说她一天吃两餐,常常觉得饥饿。

我把手中的巧克力饼干递给孩子,孩子接过去很快就把它吃光了。

泪在眼里打滚然后逆流到内心深处,我努力不让自己在孩子面前落泪。

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

妈妈说她小时候家里很穷。

外婆一个人提着两个大篮子上山卖沙龙,一去就一个星期。

七岁的大阿姨一早醒来就开始煮饭,洗衣,照顾五个弟妹。

妈妈说她们晚上肚子饿时就挖焦了的饭底泡糖水吃。

外婆说有一次妈妈生病差点死掉,因为外婆没钱带她看医生。

外婆以她无比坚强乐观的超强意志力独自养大六个孩子。

外婆经常牵着我的手到庙里去供养和尚,拜访山上贫穷的家庭,用她无私的爱守护她的子子孙孙。

外婆启发了我内心的慈悲,让我学会如何去爱身边的每一个人,让我看见无私的爱如何照亮一个人的生命,照亮黑暗的世界。

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

我第四次参与世界宣明会的慈善探访之旅,老公则是第一次。我们来到了菲律宾,一个由七千多个岛屿组成的国家,住着九千多万人。这里有百分之四十一的人口生活在贫穷线以下,每天收入少过两块美金,也就是每天有四千多万人承受饥饿的折磨。

灿烂阳光照耀在清澈的蓝色海面,泛起水晶般的光点。

风吹树叶的声音追逐着我们的每一个脚步。

我们来到了世界宣明会和当地社区组织一起合作开发的有机菜园,徒手抓起一把蚯蚓放到有机肥料中;我们来到了有机稻田,手握镰刀与农夫们一起收割成熟的稻米,金黄色的夕阳照在村民们纯朴的笑容。

LSJLSJ

LSJ

我们在乡下村民家里过夜,淋着从远处提回来冰凉的水,吃着他们从后院鸡寮抓来煮成的蔬菜土鸡汤,睡在绿色的蚊帐里,在黑暗里看着从木板间透进来的月光。

村民们的生活在世界宣明会的帮助下有了很大的改善。他们不再生活在无电无水的日子里;他们开始学习有机种植提高收入同时保护自然生态;他们的孩子因为成为世界宣明会的助养儿而可以每天开开心心去上学。

LSJ

与纯朴的村民们相处的时光里,我沉醉在那股被善良和热情的爱包围的温暖里。也许他们的屋子很简陋,也许他们没有华丽的衣服,但他们给予我的是最触动内心深处的那份纯洁,毫无杂质的爱,就像他们脸上的笑容。

我们生活在豪华的钢铁住宅里,生活在奢侈的物质拥抱里,生活在绚烂夺目的繁荣都市里,心与心的距离却渐行渐远。

我们拥有了所有东西,拥有了全世界,其实我们到底真正拥有了什么?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

旅程的最后第二天,我们来到了位于波和岛郊区的垃圾场。

累积了二十几年壮观的垃圾场散发出令人作呕的臭味,三个小孩在弃置的垃圾车里嬉戏。这里是附近贫穷村民赖以为生的资源,大人小孩们每天准时站在这里等候垃圾车,然后从垃圾车倒出来的垃圾堆里寻找可以变卖的东西。

LSJ

接着我们前往附近拜访其中一个以捡垃圾为生的贫穷家庭。

我的脚步跟着草丛里的小径来到了一间破旧的高脚木屋前。这是一间用树枝和木板搭起来,只有一间小房间的屋子。

一岁大的小男孩站在屋前,双脚沾满粪便。六岁的姊姊看到陌生人的到访,马上走进房间拿块布帮弟弟把粪便擦掉。另外两个介于三岁和四岁的弟弟妹妹坐在门前的角落。他们的爸妈和七岁的哥哥刚好到垃圾场去捡垃圾,留下六岁的姊姊看护三个弟妹。

LSJ

我攀上木屋,坐在姊姊身旁。我把包包里的巧克力饼干拿出来递给四个孩子。姊姊很快就把饼干吃完,然后低头望着我手中剩余的饼干。我把整包饼干都给她。她接过去,默默吃着。

孩子显然很饿,她说平时她要煮饭,照顾弟妹。她说他们一天吃两餐,常常觉得肚子饿。孩子说话时,脸上没有喜怒哀乐的表情,只有淡淡的回应。

你曾经有过饥饿的感觉吗?一个小时,两个小时…….你能体会每天饥饿的感觉吗?

孩子们的身躯是如此的瘦小,眼睛是如此的透彻,心灵是如此的纯洁。他们拥有全世界最美丽的笑容,说着最真实动人的童语。他们应该在爱的光环里成长。可是孩子瘦弱的身体却承受着巨大的痛苦,饥饿无时无刻侵袭他们所有的知觉,没有希望的明天一天一天来到。

我的心像针一样刺痛,我努力不让自己在孩子面前哭泣。我想起曾经也是孩子的自己,在无数个无助夜里时躲在黑暗被窝里默默地祈祷,祈求奇迹出现,祈求希望来到。我想起第一次见到女儿,看到她天真的灵魂里住着一个不安的恐惧,我告诉自己我要爱这个小孩,我要把所有的爱都给这个孩子。

外婆的爱,妈妈的爱,女儿的爱滋养了我的生命。所有的孩子在我心中都是一样的,都是应该被爱护的小天使。

当我握着孩子的手时,更能感受无私爱的延伸,更能明白美好世界的诞生是需要让自己幸福的同时,给予别人幸福。

也许你从来都不知道原来一个月区区六十五零吉就可以改变贫穷家庭孩子的未来,你从来都不知道原来你和远方素未谋面的孩子的心可以靠得那么近,你更从来不曾发现原来你小小的内心里住着一个可以给予别人希望的强大力量。

请加入我成为世界宣明会的儿童助养人。让我们一起来创造一个充满爱的世界,一个因为有爱而更丰盛的生命。

世界宣明会儿童助养人李心洁执笔
2010年5月3日

Day 4 – The Final Day

by Daniel Lee

Widow and her brood

Mother of 2 children, she is HIV-Positive, and just lost her husband 4 months ago. He died of the HI Virus. Right now she stays with her mother-in-law at a very small hut.

Daniel

When we visited their house, the mother-in-law showed the picture of her loving son that has just gone, and she just couldn’t control her emotion, and tears just came down from her eyes. Well maybe she really needs some time for her heart to heal.

But we are happy to see that the family is healthy and we didn’t even see any signs of complaint through their eyes, their responces, even they are staying in that small hut, even if she lives with HIV…

They seem to cope very well. The mother still able to earn a living and the children go to school as normal.

Young Couple

A 20-year old young man with both parents who have passed away cause of HIV, he’s now taking care of his grandparents, and his newly married bride.

They used to be very poor and he grew up as a child labourer in a tobacco company since he was 12. But after a year, World Vision has started to help his family. From a house that didn’t even have roof to a bricked house, he now lives comfortably and plans to start a family soon with his young wife.

Final thoughts by Daniel

Daniel

Now I can really feel that, many people in India have a lot of sad stories because of HIV/AIDS. But we are glad that the number of people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS has dropped. Many of them are taken care of by World Vision through education and regular medication.

Day 3 – Understanding the Complexities of HIV/AIDS

After a brief hiatus, we’re back to continue Daniel’s journey in India.

By Daniel Lee

HIV/AIDS Drop-in Centre

It’s a place where most of the HIV/AIDS mothers and children gather together. For them it is a safe space for them to share their experiences, get counselling and supplementary nutrition from the doctors.

The mothers shared their experiences of being neglected by the community, of their children being neglected in school; some were even chased out from their rented houses.

Through the help of this Centre, the community began to understand more about HIV, and the people living with HIV/AIDS have been accepted. And now the community treats them better, but they still wish to reach out to more HIV patients and to help as many as possible.

But I’m glad that they are coping well, I feel that they should have brought this issue to the court for being treated this way.

And they were really happy to talk to us especially the children. I guess they just want to live normal lives.

Family of 5

In a very rural area, we met Raju*, his 3 children and his old mother.

Raju is HIV-positive; his deceased wife passed away cause of HIV.

The current situation showed that he’s very sick and cannot work, while his mother is about 75, too old and frail to earn a living.

Daniel
Raju’s simple house

So the villagers work together to give them food every day, while the children were sent to a hostel for their schooling. And they are taken care by the villagers and World Vision.

Daniel
Meeting the community under a tree

Hope of a Family

Husband and wife are both HIV-Positive, with 2 daughters.

World Vision was able to provide them with better opportunities.

Both husband and wife seems to be living health lives and working as carpenters

The wife also runs a small grocery stores with a public telephone and a refrigerator. And in the future she hopes that she can afford to run a cafe with a small hotel business.

HIV/AIDS is not as simple as getting an illness and curing it with medication. The fact of the matter is, HIV/AIDS has no cure, many factors come into play to complicate the circumstances for a family and the community. Do click here to learn more about the work World Vision does in terms of HIV/AIDS.

* Raju’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.

Day 2 – Getting adjusted

By Daniel Lee

School Visit

World vision has help the primary school to level the ground, build a water pump, construct a wall for safety and security and most importantly provided school materials, food and nutrition for the children.

So that they can have place to train, especially in sports. And I felt so proud to know that, they have always been the champion among the 42 schools in the area of sports.

They performed dances for us, and it was a joy to see them sing for us, we really enjoyed that.

Daniel

The tragedy of HIV/AIDS

Just about a week ago, World Vision got to know of this 20-year old young man, taking care of his family of six = the grandpa, grandma, mother, 2 sisters and himself. The father committed suicide over the pressures of being HIV-positive and couldn’t handle the burden of taking care of the family. The mother who is also HIV-positive, is quite ill.

The family lives in 2 simple huts next to a railway station.

Daniel

And all the while, this young man worked as a hard laborer on a farm.

Right now, the situation is still not so good, but World Vision has just started to help them as they are able.

In a month’s time, World Vision will help him to open a sundry store next to the railway station. And will help to take care of his mother and the grandparents’ health, and as a first step, see that the sisters get an education.

And we feel that, at least everything will be okay for them.

Light at the end of a Tunnel

At the end of the day, we met Rehenna. She was a World Vision sponsored child for the last 13 years.

She came from a poor family, but with the help of World Vision, she was able to continue her studies, and now able to pursue her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Logistic.

We are thankful that World Vision Child Sponsors have given these children hope and success.

Conclusion of Day 2

Today, we have seen some very difficult stories, we see little children with so much energy, passion and hopes, we saw a family struggling to survive with the basics of healthcare and living in dire poverty, and we also saw a very successful child that has been blessed by World Vision.

Day 1 in India – Understanding the Situation

By Daniel Lee


Day 1

Slums in Vijayawada

We’re now visiting a slum area in Vijayawada, near the Krishna River. In the slum we could see families having this own small space of home, while the ladies are washing clothes in the river and drying it directly on the ground.

Daniel

Story of Heartbreak

Jaya*’s husband is a lorry driver that always travels for work and lives away from his family for a few months at a time. And he is HIV-positive, so the wife was also infected.

From her expressions, we could feel that she was very depressed about this matter. Before they got married, her family was proud of him and considered him a good man to marry, but when things changed, everyone held her responsible for marrying him. She was very upset at first, but had to just face it.

Well we are glad that she looks healthy and cheerful. But she’s worried about her daughter who is now only 1 and a half years old. She’s worried of one day needing to leave this world, and who will take care of her daughter?

Saree Seller

Rani*, a 20-year old girl, her parents passed away because of HIV/AIDS, and she was the one left to take care of her brother and sister. She earned money by selling sarees from house to house. The 3 of them are staying in a rented house, with a walkway to the entrance that is just about 2 feet. Every morning she wakes up, she cooks for the family, then she go out to sells the sarees for a living.

Daniel

When we asked her about her dream, she meekly says that she couldn’t afford to dream for herself, but she wishes that her brother and sister be good and study well. And maybe one day she can own her own sewing machine.

Well, we are very glad for them, and wish that they could always stay happy together.

Outskirts

A 10-year old boy Raja* who is HIV-positive lives as an orphan. His parents passed away when he was very young. The father passed away when he was 3 months old, and the mother when he was 3 years old. Right now he’s taken care by his elder sister and grandma.

We’re not sure how much he knows about HIV, but he knows that he is different from other children. However, his friends and people around him treat him as a normal child.

And when he grows up, he speaks of wanting to to be a policeman, cause he wants to help people. While the grandma just hope that he studies hard and is able to get a job that doesn’t involve hazardous work, so that he doesn’t need to work so hard.

Conclusion

After visiting these families, I actually think that they might not live in dire poverty, but being HIV-positive and losing family members has given them a very hard time.

But we are glad that they are strong enough to face it.

And thru World Vision, they are at least taken care, and educated about healthcare, especially HIV/AIDS.

Daniel

*all names have been changed to protect the identity of these people.

Daniel’s First Foray into India

by Daniel Lee

Landing in the Land of Hyderabad, India

It’s 1am in the morning, 20°C, we are on our way from the airport to the city of Hyderabad.

Daniel

Other than the presence of a lil’ bit more Indians, and the Hindi signboards, It doesn’t feel like I’m actually in India. Maybe they speak the English we normally hear from any of our Indian friends in Malaysia. And the Hyderabad airport is not very much different from KLIA.

Riding World Vision’s jeep into the city, it just feels like the Malaysia I know. Two lane highways, drivers driving on the left hand side, orange coloured street lights, trucks on the road, shop houses like that in Changlun…

But now further from the airport, the road becomes a lil’ more bumpy.

Still Don’t Know What to Expect

Along the way, from this very small airport to the hotel, this small corner of Hyderabad city seems to be quite developed. They actually have a very big rice field, while further away, they have this very beautiful hotel that we are staying in, ice-cream shops, branded jeans stores, cars showrooms…

So I still cannot imagine, how’s the village that we are visiting gonna be like?

Finally Vijayawada

With the Kingfisher turboprop, we finally land in Vijayawada a very cute town in India, with a small airport. This place is so beautiful, with plots of big rice fields.

Daniel

Do check out Daniel’s India journey through the entire week of  22 February 2010.

6天的印度之旅 (6 Days in India)

Check out this space as we bring to you Daniel Lee 李桀汉’s diary through World Vision’s work in India.

6天的印度之旅

从来没想过自己有机会,可以到印度去,所以我真的真的不知该有什么心理准备,也很不确定这一次以世界宣明会的代表,能够为他们做些什么。

不过在印度的6天,真的让我大开眼界,学到很多东西,而且我想,我会很想念这里的咖喱,繁忙的交通,这里的小朋友,我们探访的家庭,还有大马团的每一位。

我了解到贫穷固然是影响他们很大的因素,但更糟的是HIV在印度已经传染到很严重的地步了。所以很多贫穷的家庭都是因为健康的关系,无法好好工作,甚至很多都因为家长重病而逝世,小孩的未来就这样给毁了。很多都是因为HIV关系,影响了他们的经济能力,也影响了小孩的学业。

不过感到高兴的是,印度有很多社区都受到世界宣明会的照顾和帮助。他们的医务、药剂、学业、经济,及人民们的心理建设都有受到关怀,希望这样可以减低他们的贫穷率,及减少HIV的数量,同时也提高人民对HIV的了解,希望那些无辜的病患者都受到一样的待遇。

在此,我很希望各位幸运的朋友们,可以跟我们一起和世界宣明会联手帮助这些朋友们。

敬之,

李桀汉

Daniel

6 Days in India

I’ve never thought that I would, or ever have a chance to go to India in my life. So I really didn’t know what to expect in this trip. And I was quite unsure on what I could actually do as me or as a part of World Vision.

But everything’s seems to be great and cool, I thought it was fun and I learned a lot. I’m gonna miss the curry, the crazy traffic, the children and families that we met, and everybody from Malaysia in our trip.

And thru the trip, I learned that poverty might be an issue for the people, but the toughest thing to see is people living with HIV, as it’s a serious issue in India. Some of these people lose their health, some lose their loved ones, and it just changes their future somehow. A lot of them suffer because of HIV, then it affects their financial support and also children’s education…

Thankfully World Vision has helped this community a lot, in terms of healthcare, medication, education, financial and social supports, to decrease the number of HIV and poverty. And to increase the awareness about HIV, at least everybody understands that the innocent people who are infected should have the same treatment.

So we really hope all of us who are more blessed, can give a hand to World Vision, to help these people.

Love,

Daniel

Mrs Ornanong and Richard Supat – lives that inspired me

Last month, I had the privilege of meeting two former World Vision sponsored children from Thailand and The Philippines, who were in town to offer their voices and share their lives with the Malaysian public. And because of my job scope, I had the honor of sitting through their interviews with the media. With that, I try my best now to share with you their stories. Simple yet powerful stories, of how lives were transformed. Stories of hopes that became realities. Stories that made a person pay attention to listen, not because one has to but because one is attracted to.

Once in a while, we meet people who inspire us, who made us believe in the goodness of humanity again. Such were the sweet encounters with Mrs Ornanong Panyawang Awakul, from Thailand and Mr Richard Supat, from The Philippines. One was a former Ms Thailand 1992, who is now a well known actress, TV host and a celebrity in her home country. The other, holds a degree in Mass Communications and an MBA, spearheading the Human Resources Department of a location-based services in his home country. Neither of them ever thought that their lives would take such a turn.

Richard Supat

Both were born into a poor family, struggling to survive on daily basis. Richard’s parents were working in a peanut butter factory, depending on daily wages. Richard, who grew up in the ‘shanti’ (slums) area of Metro Manila known as the ‘sin city’, got emotional when speaking to The Star journalist, reminded that sometimes he only had rice with salt. Life took a gradual turn after he got selected into World Vision’s Child Sponsorship programme, teaching him values beyond classroom education – learning to be thankful and to be a good steward of what has been given. I believe lessons like these are the ones that shape a person’s world views. Richard eludes a quiet yet friendly persona and his humility amazed me when we met. When he sang “You Raised Me Up” at our This Is My World Vision Campaign launch, each word came alive from a soul who truly understood the lyrics. I must say, some of the audience present were at the verge of tears.

Richard Supat

In his interview with BFM 89.9 BFM 89.9, Richard said “Never in my entire life, I would imagine that someone I don’t know would help me. So that is a big responsibility and that has taught me to love other people who you do not know and just be there for them.” This is the beauty of the World Vision Child Sponsorship programme, it not just about a programme or the donation of RM65/ 80 per month but more than that, it is a journey together – the sponsor and the sponsored child.

Ornanong

Mrs Ornanong, was always pleasant and one of the most down to earth celebrity I’ve met. She was always polite, even when speaking through an interpreter and there was a certain radiance about her smile. This was a child who came from a family of 7 siblings and her father was a construction worker by day and a tricylce taxi peddler by night, relying on daily wages. Her mother was a factory worker and sold fruits in the market. Growing up, she taught she would turn out to be a fruit vendor like her mom.

Ornanong

World Vision came to the school she was studying one day and identified the poorest families, offering if they would like to be a part of its Child Sponsorship programme. The rest, as they say, is history for her. She kept her grades at school and eventually learned the traditional Thai dance, which contributed to her winning the title of Ms Thailand in 1992. She made public her background of poverty and that she was a sponsored child to the media upon winning the crown, believing that one should not be ashamed but instead, be grateful of how much her life has been changed because of the generosity of others. Today, she sponsors 6 children with her husband, saying that she can relate to them because she was once in their shoes. This is her way of encouraging the sponsored children that they must not give up on their dreams.

“World Vision is like a boat, it collects people on-board along the way and bring them to their destination”, she said through her translator to New Tide magazine journalist. Will you join us in this journey? Thank You, Mrs Ornanong and Richard, for being such amazing living testimonies.

I am writing this entry, not because its part of my job as a staff but because I truly believe in the work World Vision does. I hope you too, can believe in us to Build A Better World For Children. You can be that person for someone else too.

From a Sponsor’s Heart (Part II)

By Chew Sue Lee

It’s refreshing to see the community in action, especially when you live in the city where individualism takes first place. We stayed at one of the communities one of the nights, and after dinner, we had fellowship with the community. Obviously that place being the only place where there was electricity, it was where everyone gathered. And we had fun together. How different it is from us being at our homes, where every family is in their individual houses, and every family member is in their own room! 


SL

Meeting my sponsor child and her mom was really special. She’s a really sweet girl whose mom obviously loves her very much. Margareta is no longer just a name to me but a person with a face, with a history and a story. Perhaps that’s the value of joining World Vision’s child sponsorships programme versus just paying a donation to a community. Because in having a sponsor child, at least for me, i feel not only compassion and a desire to help my kid, but the whole community. Because I know that if the community my child lives in is in dire straits, then my child too can’t move very far in life. We know that most times poverty is not so much an individual problem, but a societal problem caused by failed social structures, systems and flawed leaders. I guess that’s why God calls us to seek justice for all, and to usher in His Kingdom. We all have roles to play and perhaps for some of us it’s doing the work, but for some of us, it would be providing the resources for others to do the bulk of the work.


SL

Sue Lee and her sponsored child, Margareta

Being in Indonesia and talking to some of them villagers also helped me look at Indonesian workers in Malaysia in a different light. They are people with stories, with perhaps difficult backgrounds, and they have families whom they are trying to give a better living to. I guess it’s true that unless you step into a person’s shoes, you can never pretend to know what their life is like and the kinds of things they are dealing with.

I can learn to be more emphatic towards them.

SL

I hope more people will consider sponsoring a child through World Vision. We live a blessed life and we too easily take things for granted – no water for 10 minutes…”WHAT?!” The daily amenities we have each day, should be and is cause for great thanksgiving.

Cheers, Sue Lee