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Sponsorship Stories: "if you can make a child smile, that’s priceless"

13/05/2016

A sponsor is more than someone far away supporting a child’s education, they can become mentors and friends, like Dave, Debbie and Fitzy, long-time EFTC supporters and child sponsors at the School of Hope.

Debbie and Dave Evans sponsor four children at the School of Hope and they’ve been involved with the Foundation for almost 10 years as volunteers and sponsors.

Dave and Debbie Evans

I came over here in 2007 when there were about 125 children in the school. Over the years, we’ve watched the school grow, grow and grow and we’ve been able to see the benefits that the children have had,” says Debbie.

It’s been great seeing the school grow not just in terms of numbers but also the completeness of what it does, and the impact it has not just on the children but on their families and communities as well,” adds Dave.

"We’ve watched the school grow, grow and grow and we’ve seen the benefits that the children have had."

Debbie smiles as she talks about their sponsored children:

Irma (19) is the oldest student we sponsor, she’s currently in college and we believe that she’s going to become a teacher. We also sponsor Lisbeth (15) and Oliver (12), and we recently started sponsoring Dayana (6), who is in Kindergarten. It’s lovely to be able to follow them through.

Dave admits that being sponsors is not only good for the children: “we’ve benefitted hugely from being part of this; we’ve made good friends, and it’s so great to see the kids growing in confidence, it means a lot to us.”

Dave and Debbie laugh as they recall getting letters from their sponsored children: “we love getting the letters with their little drawings, telling us what they and their families are doing.

Fitzy sponsorship

Michael “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, from Scotland, became involved with EFTC eight years ago, after he attended our Annual Golf Day Fundraiser which ended up in “a room full of crying men” after watching a video about EFTC.

That inspired him to visit the school: “the more you go there, the more you want to help. We’re pretty lucky to be living where we are, and anything you can do to help is massive. I can’t do enough, to be honest.” But he has done a lot in these eight years supporting EFTC.

Fitzy has sponsored Kimberly, a 12-year-old 5th grader, since she was five. “When I first met Kimberly, my Spanish was zero and she was reserved because of her family history, which is quite tragic, so it took a while to get to know each other, but now we have a really close bond. She’s very interested in my life and my family, as I am in hers.

"I’ve visited her house in Vista Hermosa, which was a real eye-opener because that’s one of the poorest places I’ve ever seen. At least six kids, mom and dad, aunts and uncles all living under the same roof of a tin metal shed. So it’s inspirational, seeing a child that comes from nothing being a happy, healthy, smiling little kid. We joke all the time, so if you can make a child smile and be happy, that’s priceless.”

"It took a while to get to know each other, but now we have a really close bond."