Sally Kenney with Sharon Akoth and Cynthia Adhiambo
Why I Sponsor
Corresponding with my child for several years and receiving regular, informative reports pales in comparison with the value of meeting her face to face. I had imagined her very differently, gazing at her photo. Before me was a poised young woman. I feel so committed to the value of this program (and elected to sponsor another child on the spot.) Taking these two girls who have had so few material possessions shopping was heartbreaking, but also comical. When did I become the 53-year-old woman who was telling a fourteen-year-old the heels on the shoes she wanted were too high instead of that impractical fourteen-year-old? We have so much and we take it all for granted and they have so little and appreciate it so much. Who knew that the two toiletry bags I had from flying business class would enthrall them much as I loved receiving lipstick samplers from the Avon lady as a little girl? We in New Orleans drown in Mardi Gras beads but for these girls, they are prized possessions. Watching them each devour four pieces of chicken I was mindful of how much we throw away each day. It is impossible to go, observe their joy of living and determination to succeed and not have your heart opened. Perhaps most emotional was meeting the parents. Every living adult is seemingly widowed; every parent sick. They are caring for their dead sibling’s children, too. I looked in the eyes of a parent who probably won’t survive the year and promised her we would look after her children. I am determined to keep my word.