My friend Alana Kaye visits her sponsor child in Honduras with World Vision

In 2013, my friend Alana Kaye travelled to Honduras to visit her beautiful sponsor child Velinda. I shared her story and here are a few excerpts:

My beautiful friend Emma from Lovelly Communications! She had visited her sponsor child in Tanzania and this was the first time that I had heard that you could visit your sponsor child. After asking Emma some specifics, I decided to go ahead and request with World VIsion to visit my sponsor child, Velinda, in Honduras. WIthin 3 months, I was on my way for the trip.

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World Vision had organised a translator for my day with Velinda. His english was perfect and he was quick with his translations too, which was amazing … (Even if Velinda whispered something in my ear, he would kneel down and listen too and then straight away translate). It was things like “Will you visit me again? I like your hair” All those little details that I would have missed, the translator made possible for me.

For more of this story, visit: http://lovellycommunications.com/2015/02/18/amazing-woman-alana-kaye-visits-her-world-vision-sponsor-child-in-honduras/

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

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Project visits after meeting Kamala, my World Vision Sponsor Child

After the emotion of meeting my darling Kamala , a little girl in Nepal I have sponsored with my mother for 5.5 years, I was treated to a tour of the local area with the World Vision staff. It’s important with World Vision to not only learn about and meet the child you sponsor but the greater community which is also supported by our generous donations.

Meeting Kamlaa
Meeting Kamlaa

The visit was of course the highlight and I have shared my experience and story here.

In the morning, my first stop was to the ADP office to meet with staff of World Vision. I was met at my hotel by child sponsorship manager, Kiran. He is a kind and sweet man who clearly has a passion for seeing children live a better life. Soon after I met the lovely Absara, a young intern at World Vision. I was the first child sponsor she had met and she was very excited to see my experience. We sat with the manager of the ADP, Mr Rajan and then met with the entire team. I always like this process with world vision. We are all introduced and each person tells their role. I also introduced myself and shared my many experiences with World Vision and my role now as a #WVAblogger for World Vision Australia. Most importantly, I thanked them for their efforts and tireless work. As a sponsor the best part is seeing the lives of our children in foreign countries and how our support helps.

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Kiran showed me around and also showed me the folder of Kamala’s entire sponsorship history. It was magnificent to see her development over the time and the correspondence we had had over the years. I also got to see the computer system where they keep all the updates on the children. It’s meticulously detailed and I was so impressed and pleased to see that World Vision are so invested in the children’s lives.

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After my visit to kamala’s school we went to another local office. This office was manned by two staff members and they explained their role in more of the nutrition and health side of the projects. They ran Early Childhood Development centres, mothers groups, Outreach Centres for immunizations and childs health and general nutition and health information for the wider community. They have a group called the Unity Society and again this main focus is health. Great to hear of so many programs being run and I would get the chance to see some today.

Staff building the Community Outreach Centre
Staff building the Community Outreach Centre

We went then on some very treacherous and bumpy roads and even had to stop short and walk due to mud and huge divots in the road. We were met by community volunteer, beautiful Padma and walked to amothers group. At the site, they were also building an Early Childhood Development Centre. This is where mothers could take small children and start their education and basic life skills.

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Mothers and babies met under a tarp and sat on a mat to greet me. I don’t like to be so formal and separated so I asked to sit amongst them and chat. We talked about their monthly meetings and what they learnt. Some were also members of savings groups, one of my favourite programs run by world vision. Through being a member they can save their own funds into a large pool with other women and take out small loans from the group to fund business growth or help in times of need with chidlrens health and education. It provides financial empowerment and business skills to women in these communities.

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The leader of the group was a Governemnt health worker and she was actually the mother of Padma. It was so lovely to see that the World Vision passion and support continues through the generations and really becomes a sustainable part of the community. I asked her questions about her role and what the group is able to achieve. She helps the mothers with health advice and they talk to them about nutrition and caring for their child. They meet once a month to share their stories and learn together. It was sucha pleasure to share time with them.

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We next went to visit a school. I love schools!!! This school had 1100 children…. Ummmmm!! They swarmed towards me as we approached and I remembered it was the festival Holi. There was colour flying everywhere and cheeky boys were chasing girls to smudge bright colours to their cheeks. I saw one looking at me slyly so I patted my cheeks and he gladly walked over and smeared pink all over my face. I was inducted to holi and the children roared with laughter.

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As I walked into the group and through the grounds, I was surrounded 360 degrees by fascinated children of all ages wanting to catch a glimpse. Another young man approached me, this time with handfuls of red dust. I welcomed him and he really got stuck into putting the colour all over me. Wow! If you’re going to do it, do it well. A few other boys came up and I now had a completely covered face and they found it very amusing. I smudged some colour off my face and patted it on the cheeks of the smaller children around me. I could have played all day. Except, when they started sparing water, we were outta there. My hosts led me upstairs to the teacher’s office to meet with staff.

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We sat in a room with six teachers and were joined by another young volunteer for World Vision. We again did the introductions of ourselves and what our roles were. They told me about working with the children and that there were 1100 kids in the school. I was pleased to hear 600 are girls and 500 are boys. So many girls in school is so great. There are approximately 100 registered sponsor children through World Vision at the school. World Vision run teacher training programs as well as the “One Goal” program here. That’s a program for children to play soccer and then take part in other activities such as hygiene, sanitation, child protection and awareness and other such important life skills. It was so nice to see the teachers engaged in the program and working with World Vision to help the children.

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Our final visit for the day was to the Outreach Centre, ORC. This is being built at the time and the community project manager was so proud to meet me and show me their work. I was one week too early as they plan on being finished and in business for the community next week. Governemnt health workers will come here and help with immunizations, weighing of children, health checks and running nuritiuon and basic care clinics for mothers nad children. Helath workers and volunteers will go around to the 300 households in the community and tell them about when they can go to the outreach centre. These are extremely important programs for World Vision as it gives people who would otherwise not have it, access to basic health and to education for a healthy child and family.

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We returned to the office. A long drive along bumpy roads and then down a busy highway. I stared out the window and let my mind wander. The thing about these project visit days is that it puts you on a whole new plane of awareness. The world is so much bigger than all of us. There are people and places we will never see, there are issues we will never know about and our role in context is so small. But great things start from small beginnings. Through sponsoring one child in a village, you can be a part of a community of supporters that help them to grow and develop for a more quality life.

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“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.

Do anything. Do SOMETHING!”

– Colleen Patrick – Goudeau

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Thank you again World Vision Australia and World Vision Nepal for giving me this opportunity to meet my sponsor and child and see into her world.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Nepal on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

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What’s the other reason I’m in Nepal?

I’m climbing to Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia: https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

Trouble with flying in Nepal

I’ve woken up this morning wondering if my flight to Kathmandu will go today after some issues yesterday with weather and a plane… incident. See Turkish Airlines landing into Kathmandu. Noone was hurt.

This is rather scary, and does not put me at ease once again for my flight today, domestic small carrier, into Kathamandu. My flight in internationally was one of the worst of my life, terrible turbulence and an electrical storm, I really said my prayers.

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I get a call this morning from a friend. International airport is closed but domestic seems to be ok – hope the flight goes. Soon after I get a knock at the door and reception have come to tell me that a call has come for me saying that my 1.30pm flight… is now at 10.30am (might I add it was 8.45am).

Dhanghadi is a lovely small town
Dhanghadi is a lovely small town

It’s a tiny town and tiny airport, but still, I would like to be there with some time before the plane actually leaves. I was told my taxi would come at 10am – to get me there by 10.15am as it’s only a 15 minute drive. Sorry… you want me to get to the airport 15 minutes before my flight. Nope. I said a car needs to be here asap. Ok 9.30. Still too late for me but it’s the best we’re going to do.

So then I went down for breakfast… nothing was there! I went into the restaurant and was informed due to Holi festival, there are only 3 guests in the entire hotel. I order to my room and proceed to inhale my delicious breakfast of cold coffee and Aloo Paratha (indian breads stuffed with curried potatoes, my favourite) with curd.

Hotel Devotee, Dhanghadi
Hotel Devotee, Dhanghadi

Hhaha oh Nepal. Ok. So bring on this flight and hope to see you soon Kathamandu. Oh… and just before I leave the hotel, I get a text saying “No worries. Flight time is 11.30. You will need to be at the airport at 10.30, so plenty of time.” What!! Was this not valuable information at the time I was running around my room packing and inhaling food? haha Oh Nepal!

It’s also HOLI Festival. So let’s see how we go with Taxis, getting through the streets etc when I reach!!!

At a school with World Vision Sponsor Children yesterday
At a school with World Vision Sponsor Children yesterday

HAPPY HOLI!!

I’m climbing to Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia.https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

A letter to my World Vision sponsor child in Nepal

Introducing my lovely little sponsor child for World Vision in Nepal. This is a photo of her when she was just 6 years old when I first started sponsoring her. My mum and I contribute together to help her receive medical, education and basic needs for living a better life. I hope to one day visit her in her village. In the meantime, I’m so happy that World Vision offer this opportunity for us to connect via their “My profile” section of the site.
Kamala

Namaste Kamala

I am one of your sponsors, Emma. Together with my mum, Sarah, we have sponsored you for all these years.

I am sorry that we don’t speak as often as we should. I think of you often and I hope that life in your village is good and that there are some great developments. One day I would like to visit your village.

I have been to Nepal twice. Once in 2006 and again in 2010. I have some friends there in Kathmandu and I loved visiting them and seeing the beautiful country. I think Mt Everest is incredible and I hope one day to climb it. I love the rivers and the beautiful valleys. It’s a wonderful country and the people are so beautiful and kind.

Today I am in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s very far from you. I live in Australia usually which is even further. I am here for some work and a holiday. I today met a lovely girl named Bishaka and she is from Nepal. She was so kind and gave me her jacket for 5 days because it is so cold and rainy here. I was going to buy one but she has lent me this one for time. How kind! I always feel that the people are Nepal are like this – so kind and welcoming and generous! It’s so lovely!!

Tell me more about you? I love to receive your updates every year on your school and health. What is your favourite colour? What do you like to do for fun? How many brothers and sisters do you have?? So many questions.

I will tell you some more about my family. We are 5 people. Mum, 58, Dad, 60, James (brother) 29, Emma (me) 27, Andrea (sister) 24. My mum and dad are no longer living together but they are still friends so that is nice. My sister lives with her boyfriend in Melbourne. I live with my Dad in Sydney. My brother lives in Sydney with his Girlfriend and my mum lives in Sydney in a separate house. We all like to meet for dinners and visit each others homes when we can.

I work in marketing and am very lucky that I can work from anywhere in the world, I get to travel a lot! I love visiting my friends all around the World and learning about other cultures. I speak Spanish, a little bit of German, and a little bit of hindi and tora tora Nepali. Mo Nepali hu! haha! IT’s fun!

I have attached two photos for you. One is of me when I was 18 and on my first visit to Nepal. This was the Durbar Square in Kathmandu, an amazing place! I loved the history and architecture. So beautiful.

emma first trip to nepal
The second photo is my mother Sarah and I at a wedding recently for my cousin brother. We had a lovely time there!

emma and mum

Take care

Emma xo

Farewell to my Lazaro

I have written the following piece for World Vision about my little sponsor child Lazaro. World Vision have completed the project in his community and they are now leaving. This is such a sad time but such a truly great time for him.

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My name is Emma Lovell and I have been a Sponsor parent for approximately 6 years. I had always wanted to sponsor a child and kept saying “when i’m older, when I have more money, when mum and dad will agree to it.” There will always be a reason that you can’t do something, until oneday I realised that my tips alone for 2 nights at my waitressing job could cover a childs living expenses for a month. My selfish side went out the window and my friends and I jumped on the World Vision website and started searching.

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 My search for a child was very thoughtful, and I was concious of the popularity contest syndrome we have to choose the sweetest looking child or supposedly neediest. Instead I decided to go with a feeling. I knew I wanted to sponsor a young boy, so I could watch him grow, and I knew I wanted to support Africa. Tanzania was the choice and after flicking through a number of photos, I stopped on little Makesen Lerungo Lazaro, a beautiful 6 year old boy with the face of an angel. I know it was over the internet, through a computer screen and just a small photo, but I felt a real connection. This was my boy!

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Lazaro and I have sent many letters to one another over the years and he has not gone without a Christmas card or Birthday card, as well as additional donation, since I started sponsorship. When I received his very first letter thanking me for my sponsorship, giving me Gods blessings and telling me about his family situation, I burst into tears. So much emotion for a child I had never met from a world I could never know. There were 7 people living in a 2 bedroom hut. His mother was just 40 and was a grandmother already. Here I sat, crying in my living room with a plasma TV, car and 4 bedroom house. How could I ever complain about going without or wanting more. Again, worlds apart.

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 It was always my desire and dream to go and visit him and his family. I felt close to him through his letters and thought of him often. His photo has always held pride of place in my bedroom and I am forever talking about him and my experience as a sponsor. Finally in 2008, I had the opportunity, when buying a round the world ticket, to go to Tanzania and visit him. I had to seek approval from World Vision, lock in dates, have a police check and plan all travel arrangements once in country in advance, but it was so worth it.

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The trip nearly ended in disaster as I had so much difficulty getting in contact with the office and had not had confirmation from the team – Luckily, at the 11th hour ,the Australian, Tanzanian and World Vision HQ offices in America helped me and all went well.

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I get so emotional talking about the trip and smile every time I think back to being there. It was the single most amazing experience of my life and I cherish every second I had with my boy. I cannot describe the power of the emotion and intensity of the interaction I had with his parents when they looked me in the eye, and across all language barriers, thanked me for what I was doing for him. This program is saving and changing lives – I will treasure this thought forever.

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When I went to the village, I was told that the program was running well and may finish withing the next 2 years. I decided that I would get back there within, if not exactly to the date, 2 years, so that I could see him again before they moved on. I was informed that once World Vision leaves the area, it is practically impossible for me to go there again. And sadly, for me, that day came just a few weeks ago.

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The letter which explained to me that the settlement was successful and sustainable came as a shock and I was overwhelmed by the information. It’s such a wonderful thing that this village has come so far that they can now manage on their own, but as a sponsor parent, I also thought of the relationship and bond I had developed. Going to the village and seeing the work they do and holding my boy in my arms really intensifies this feeling of sadness and loss. After all, I had known this young boy for half of his life, 6 years, we had grown together. But ultimately, my feelings were selfish. For me to continue sponsoring him means that he is not living at the quality of life which he should and that is not fair. I have to take with me the thoughts that he is now in good care of his family and community and that no matter what, we will always have the memories of our time together and the relationship we had.

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 I still get teary thinking of him. I sent my final farewell card and cried with every word. Goodbye is always the hardest word to say. Lazaro, you are in my thoughts always, as you have been for so many of the past years. I teasure the gift you gave me when I came to visit you and it will continue to have pride of place in my room and my heart. You were an inspiration to me and you put my world in perspective. This world is so much bigger than we can ever imagine, it is so much greater than all of us and you are helping me to understand this.

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I started sponsoring a Nepalese girl one year ago as I also have a close affinity to this country. I look forward to developing a relationship with her and her community and someday soon visiting her in Nepal.

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Thank you World Vision. The magnitude of the work you do can not be put into words. God Bless.

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