You’ve seen the ads, heard the stories, and maybe even know someone who sponsors a child in another country - but maybe you’re still on the fence about just how much of an impact you can make through child and community sponsorship. Jared and Rachel Fisher have been sponsoring their children in Beirut, Lebanon through World Vision with LCBC Berks since 2018 and took some time to share their heart for Child Sponsorship - from what drew them to the opportunity to why they choose to sponsor multiple children through LCBC.
Q: How and when did you first hear about child sponsorship, and what made you want to start sponsoring children?
We first learned about child sponsorship in June of 2018 after hearing Dr. Vinh Chung’s story. Vinh was born in Vietnam where his family made the decision to flee the country following the war and board a boat to sail into the open water toward no specific destination, risking everything in the hope of finding something. They were eventually found and rescued by a World Vision boat and brought to America, where he and his siblings grew up to become doctors and lawyers. We were inspired by his story and the impact World Vision had on his family.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the children you currently sponsor?
Our sponsored children live in Beirut, Lebanon and range in ages from 9 to 13 years old. They enjoy playing with toys, playing sports and video games, and singing. Their favorite school subjects include foreign languages and math. We had the opportunity in August of 2019 to meet a few of our sponsored children on a trip to Lebanon.
Meeting our children in-person taught us that the notions created of the Middle East fueled by media are skewed. Yes, Lebanon (and the Middle East) has some darker aspects (as does America), but the vast majority of its people are friendly, warm, and looking to provide for their families and communities, just as we do. Our sponsored children share so much with our nieces and nephews; they are kids who enjoy playing and learning.
Q: What have you learned about the benefits that child sponsorship provides to your children and their community?
Our children told us the most impactful project from World Vision was the install of a new bathroom in their school. Parents were happiest with the education their children received surrounding safety when it came to interacting with strangers both in-person and online. We also saw sanitation stations in the Syrian refugee camps that provided the people living there with a basic and overlooked need for a clean, healthy, and dignified space to go to the bathroom. These are just a few examples of the many programs World Vision supports throughout Lebanon.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about sponsoring your children?
One of the goals of World Vision in Lebanon is to engage with children at a young age to instill a positive worldview and provide environments which serve to encourage creative thinking and the growth of social and practical skills. World Vision has a comprehensive long-term plan intended to plant peaceful seeds in the children and grow their understanding of their emotions through providing them with safe environments to learn and grow.
Q: What would you tell someone who is considering child sponsorship?
Having traveled to Lebanon and seen the programs firsthand, we were thoroughly impressed by the capability, knowledge, passion, and professionalism of the program leads. World Vision deliberately and diligently chooses programs to sponsor, which are then accountable to prove the funds were used constructively. Not only do the individuals involved have good hearts, but they are incredibly capable and skilled at their jobs. Our money each month goes toward helping families and communities create safe spaces for children to learn and grow, and we have seen that in practice.
Our biggest motivation to start sponsoring a child is the fact that they are children. Children are born into, and become, products of their environment. They don’t make their own choices, but are born into their circumstances. We believe engaged families and education are the most powerful ways to improve a child’s life and sustain them throughout their lives.
If you’re looking to learn more about child and community sponsorship, check out LCBC’s Global Initiatives to learn more about the communities that each LCBC location sponsors around the world. And to hear more about the impact of sponsorship check out Why Sponsorship Works.