Social Issues

What it’s Like to Actually Meet Your Sponsored Child in Person

August 4, 2019

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One of the top 5 most memorable experiences I’ve had in my life was meeting our sponsored child in person. I mean, look at him! Isn’t he cute?


His name is Dawensley and he’s 11 years old. He lives in Figuier, Haiti. His favorite color is red. He lives with his grandmother, while his parents are working in Port-au-Prince. He has 7 siblings. In his spare time he likes to play soccer and help his grandmother with dishes (yep, that’s what he told me! Chores are part of what he enjoys doing in his free time.) He’s in the second grade and he wants to be a doctor.


Perhaps these are all things I could have learned through The 410 Bridge or by writing letters back and forth, but I actually got to ask him questions in person! I got to see his reactions, mannerisms, and facial expressions. I got to hear his soft voice.

woman and boy smiling by river in Haiti

He’s as sweet as he looks too. He’s one of those kids you’d never want to leave your side, because he’s so gentle, kind, and considerate. He’s a bit quiet and shy, but he knows how to stand his ground when messed with by other kids! We witnessed that too!

Initially, we had planned to spend one afternoon with our sponsored children, but it turned out we got to see them on 3 different days! They came to La Beyi and took part in the activities planned on those days with the other kids in the community. We learned about Noah’s Ark, and we colored animal masks and made rainbow bracelets to go with the story. We had a language exchange lesson - they learned English and we learned Haitian Creole! We played games outside and we toured the community of La Beyi together too. Our theme for the week was “joy”, based around Romans 12:12, so we also played a “joy contagion” game. Each kid received a sheet of sticker dots and they had to spread their “joy” by sticking their dots on others. By the end of it they were singing about joy and dancing with joy too (it wasn’t even prompted by us)!


Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.


We thought our second day together would be our last and Dawensley said, “I’m going to miss you when you leave”. Later, as we dropped him off at his community he turned around and gave me at least a 10-second hug! Thinking about it just melts my heart! ❤️ Yes, it was hard to say goodbye, but I know I’ll see him again. I intend to follow him as he grows and continue building a relationship with him through the years. Building a relationship and knowing the children we sponsor, helps us to connect deeper with what’s taking place! It encourages the child and us too!

For some, the thought of meeting your sponsored child might not be in your top 5 life experiences, but for me it was. There’s something so special about knowing and connecting with the child you’re helping go to school. It’s an investment in a life…in a family…and a community too! With The 410 Bridge, child sponsorship ensures children go to school and that their physical and spiritual needs are met as well. They believe “When children are empowered with an education, they can change communities.” I believe it too, because I’ve seen the ripple effect child sponsorship is already making in communities on the southern coast of Haiti!


Interested in learning about child sponsorship?

  • Children from other communities in Haiti, Guatemala, Kenya, or Uganda are waiting to be sponsored too! You can view each child’s information on The 410 Bridge website.

  • Of course, you too can write letters to your child and even visit them in person if you’d like!

  • Already sponsor a child through 410 Bridge? Comment below and let others know why you sponsor and what it means to you! You might just be the one who leads someone else to do the same. 😊

Stephanie Jacobs | Storyteller & Advocate for Social Justice

Explore more categories:  Mission Travel, Social Issues

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