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Retaining Dignity in Sponsorship

Africa New Life is a unique organization in that they welcome sponsors to visit their children. We have the unique opportunity with ANL because they are also helping facilitate the Keyhole Garden project. 

Nicky, our sponsor child lives only 10 minutes away from the centre where we are staying so this afternoon we stopped by with some food and gifts from Canada. 

The family struggles and can’t afford to put Nicky through school and barely has enough food to put on the table or their four kids. 

We walked through a maze of narrow corridors and past wet bricks baking in the sun and finally came to the small home where they live. We were immediately greeted by a very welcoming father and a very shy Nicky. She was shy until our gift bag opened revealing stickers, colouring books, bubbles and clothes. We brought some rice, wheat and other cooking supplies along with a bottle of genuine Maple Syrup from Canada. 

Nicky’s little brother immediately pulled me outside to play with the soccer ball. 

Mom was very shy but thanked us very much. I can imagine it must be awkward for the family and it was important to make sure that our intent was not to show up and be heroes but to sincerely want to meet them. We were honoured to have the means to help.  It must be hard to feel like you don’t have enough to provide for your family. We wanted to make sure that Abdul the father retained his dignity through it all. 

At the end Abdul walked me back to the van and held my hand the whole time as we spoke about our families.  I felt a little awkward but in Rwanda when two hold hands it is a sign of friendship. I learned this later and was really honoured at Abdul’s gesture.