Colin and Ian from Fullife Pharmacies meet some of their sponsored children in Ethiopia. Photo by Suzy Sainovski, World Vision
Last month I had the privilege of speaking to 200 year five and six students at St Francis School in Mill Park, Victoria.
I wanted to thank them for writing Christmas cards to the 200 World Vision children that the Fullife Foundation sponsors in Samre, Ethiopia.
Nigel Nalliah, our World Vision manager, and I were amazed, not only by the behaviour of the students, but also by the interest they showed in what we had to say and their involvement in the project.
I talked about our trip to Ethiopia in March 2014, where we were able to spend time with some of our beautiful sponsor children, and also to experience the incredible effect that the Fullife Foundation-World Vision partnership has had on the quality of life, not only for the children, but for entire communities!
I explained to them how Ethiopians are a proud people, and how the children we encountered were fun, positive, and keen to learn, despite their lack of resources. They also loved it when the Aussie rules footy came out!
I described Samre – a dusty, dry but ruggedly beautiful region of Ethiopia where our sponsor children live. World Vision has given hope to the people there for a better future. Most importantly, World Vision has offered them the abilities and skills to be self-supporting in a country of 96 million people, where resources are scarce.
The children were interested to learn that since our involvement with World Vision, the primary school enrolment of children about their age had risen from 53% to 91% by the end of 2013. They were also fascinated that we had been able to assist in the construction of the very first toilet block at the school we visited!
The students asked us what life for a child was like in Ethiopia, which made us smile, since we got the same question from the Samre children, about Australian children.
Finally, I got a chance to talk about our current project of sending 10,000 Safe Birthing Kits to Congo, to help reduce mothers and infant deaths. The students reacted to the fact that it just took little $3 kits to make big changes.
We had a great session with enthusiastic kids and teachers, happy to help us create a #Fullife4All, and we left them to complete their Christmas cards that should be in the hands of our sponsor children in Ethiopia by Christmas.
Many thanks to St Francis School and to World Vision!