“I’m very glad to attend the after school program,” 10-year-old Cliver in Bolivia tells us when asked what he likes. Cliver loves spending time with his family, playing soccer with his friends, and having a cuddle with the family pet. As a sponsored child, Cliver enjoys many new opportunities that have not only benefited his immediate family but his whole community.
SPONSORSHIP HELPS A FAMILY
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cliver’s education was enriched as his after-school program introduced him to a world of many extracurriculars. When school was in session, Cliver loved to play soccer with his friends, learn chess, and help plan various parties and celebrations. Because he is a sponsored child, Cliver regularly attended school and receive these enhanced learning opportunities as well as eat daily school meals.
Even though schools have pivoted out of the classroom and into the home, Cliver’s sponsorship is still having an impact for his whole family. Just before the pandemic, Cliver’s mom Rosa took the opportunity to join a women’s vegetable grower’s organization (WVPO) through our local partner IPTK – all because of Cliver’s sponsorship. As part of the WVPO, Rosa received solar tents, a water tank and a proper irrigation system to grow food at home.
“I learned how to sell my vegetables at the local market, how to have a clear point of sale, and how to display the vegetables attractively,” Rosa told us. This came just in time. With the markets now closed, Rosa is putting her skills to good use and growing food at home – all with the help of her children.
Cliver helps his mom to sow seeds, harvest their produce, carry produce to the market (when open), and help out in the kitchen. “I help my mom cook a lot. We make coleslaw, vegetable bites, and soups together,” Cliver mentioned. Loving to work in the garden, Cliver reaps the rewards of his hard work and enjoys eating homegrown broccoli, chard, spinach, lettuce (his favourite), celery and peas. “Eating healthy is important, and not to eat too much junk food,” he said. Due to the support Rosa received from the WVPO, Cliver and his family have enough to eat during the pandemic.
SPONSORSHIP HELPS A COMMUNITY
Sponsoring a child helps to support entire communities with opportunities like the WVPO and the bakery training. During the pandemic, families are receiving educational supplies and urgent food boxes for additional help, all thanks to the support of sponsors like Cliver’s.
There are other benefits too. Rosa and Cliver joined other WVPO participants in a recent bakery training program. They trained together with several families in their community and learned to cook with different types of vegetables and use them in new and healthy recipes.
When asked about the training, Rosa told us, “It helped us a lot. Before the training, we didn’t know how to use the produce in a lot of recipes. This helps my children eat a variety of recipes and vegetables. My children and I cook together now.”