Entries in parents (6)
When a child joins a One Child Matters program, do his parents notice a change?
Six-year-old Marielsy’s mother did. In a letter to her sponsor, a project worker relayed a sweet scene:
“Marielsy says that when her family is having lunch she prays for the food and her mother cry of joy for having her praying.”
It could be the smallest little change, but what an encouragement to a parent’s heart!
Hibraimo’s mother had a similar experience. Her son was a shy little boy who was often scared of others. And yet after a year of attending one of One Child Matters' child development centers in Mozambique, her son was confident enough to correct her before dinner.
“I used to always eat without praying over my food,” his mother said, “but one day Hibraimo corrected me and told me that we needed to pray before we ate.” Where would her son have learned such a thing?
The child development center Hibraimo attends is like many of One Child Matters' programs around the world: it provides a space to minister to children physically, socially, educationally, and spiritually.
The last two areas were especially important for Hibraimo. Entrance into the Mozambican school system is difficult for two reasons: schools are overcrowded and places are limited for new students.
To make matters worse, there is no national preparatory kindergarten to help children learn how to learn. Mozambican schools start at first grade, but many young students do not have a solid foundation to begin learning and quickly flounder.
One Child Matters' programs, however, allow children to grow socially as they learn the basic educational skills needed to succeed in school. Hibraimo was enrolled before his 4th birthday but did not have much self-confidence. “When he started here he did not want to learn and participate,” his teacher says, “but now he has learned letters and numbers and is asking a lot of questions.”
After a year of attending the program, Hibraimo's reading and writing skills have progressed. Self-assured and quite helpful in the classroom, Hibraimo is well behaved and a great example to the other children.
No longer the shyest child in class, he is the first to befriend visitors and is always bringing new friends to Sunday school. Hibraimo also takes the Bible stories he hears to heart, remembering every detail. His teachers can only smile at his precociousness. “Every time I tell a Bible story and I say something that is not as he learned, he speaks up and corrects me and explains how it’s supposed to be,” she says.
Because of his mother’s proactive efforts, Hibraimo stands a much better chance of succeeding in school. The child development center he attends has a partnership with a local preschool, which helps ensure that Hibraimo will have a spot in the public school. When he starts first grade, he will do so with a solid moral compass and strong educational skills.
Have you noticed a change in your sponsored child’s confidence? Sometimes it is reflected in the child’s letters, but you can also see the difference in their pictures. Hibraimo has a wide smile, an eager heart, and a bright future because of your faithful giving. May you see such growth in the children you sponsor as well!
If you want to pray for an issue that affects your sponsored child’s quality of life, one of the best things you can pray for is their parents’ jobs.
Many adults in the developing world work in jobs that are considered part of the “informal economy” – they may work as a street vendor or day laborer, working in an unofficial capacity, using whatever money they earn to feed their families.
We’ve learned a lot about what drives Bangladesh’s industrial economy since the collapse of a multi-story garment factory that claimed over 1,100 lives. The images of family members waiting tearfully for news on loved ones were heartbreaking.
After the factory collapse, however, some attention was paid to the average wage earned by a garment worker – roughly $38 a month, or $456 a year, one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.
We prayed hard for those families, knowing that securing a job in a garment factory is often considered a boon for a family, because it provided a more stable source of income than the agricultural jobs most Bangladeshi’s work, especially in rural areas. It is accidents like these and the loss of a stable income that push many families into the crushing poverty we are trying to alleviate.
So how can you pray for those who also provide for your sponsored child?
- Pray for their health and safety as they work
- For jobs that provide a stable income
- For reasonable hours that allow them to see their children, especially if they work more than one job to try and make ends meet
- For the parents to value education (for many families, keeping a child in school means two less hands in the field to earn money, and it is difficult for them to see the long-term benefit of an education)
Be sure to check out this amazing gallery of Bangladeshis at work -- some of their skills will simply amaze you. We praise God that we can partner with these parents, helping them care for the children and improve their chances at a brighter future.
If you're having trouble viewing this slideshow, you can view the gallery separately here.
We know it from our own lives -- one of the most powerful, formative figures in our lives is our mother. This is true of your sponsored child, as well.
A mother does all she can for her child, but she knows when a child needs more than she can provide. When the opportunity for a better life presents itself -- through education or support -- a mother recognizes it. Her gratitude it seems, knows no bounds.
A mother can be a rock for a family, an encourager and nurturer, the one who pushes a child to be more. A mother sees potential.
We've linked the the stories above because sometimes it's hard to imagine raising a child in such poverty. And sometimes, the parents aren't present or aren't positive role models. But for many of the children we serve, their parents and especially their mothers will do anything to improve their lives and break the cycle of poverty.
And so today, as we honor the mothers and nurturing figures in our own lives, we pray for those who love and live in the underserved regions of this world.
In honor of Mother's Day, we thought we'd focus on a very important influence on your sponsored child's life: his mother.
Occasionally, we receive letters from the field that include a note from a child's parent. Although parents often express their gratitude for the programs their child is able to attend, rarely do we receive these thanks in writing.
Christine is a child enrolled in our program in Kenya. Because Christine is young, she does not yet know how to write. Her mother, however, is not able to read and write, either, and so a project worker helped write this letter to Christine's sponsor:
The child says thanks to you for the good letter you wrote to her. She says that she was very happy to hear from you… the child says that going to the project is very interesting as she enjoy singing, dancing, and learning about God in the Bible. She says she likes singing and that sometimes she enjoy leading praise choruses. The child says that she loves you and liking to hear from you. She ask you to send her your photo. – Christine
Then, on the other side of the letter was the note from Christine's mother:
Receive greetings from Abigael, the mother of Christine. The parents is very thankful to you for your kind support that her child is receiving from you. The parent said that she can not forget the wonderful role you are playing in the life of Christine. The child’s mother added that Christine is doing well in school and enjoy attending the project. The parent says that she loves you and appreciate the support you are giving Christine. She says that she will continue praying for you so that God can bless you and enable you. – from Christine’s mother
What a gift to receive such encouragement for your faithfulness as a sponsor! Please take a moment to pray for your sponsored child's mother in honor of Mother's Day. In some ways it seems that a sponsored child's parents are just as encouraged by your commitment as the child!
*The photo above is not Christine and Abigael, but we wanted to share it because we simply love the joy evident in both mother and child and thought you'd appreciate it, too!