Former sponsored child Carolina with her mother. Photo by John Leonard
We left Mexico City on a mission to meet a young woman who has benefited from the support of World Vision from childhood through to her young adult life. We were joined by one of the co-ordinators Victor Ramirez and a translator and we drove for a couple of hours so to the surrounding hinterland of this sprawling Megatropolis.
We arrived at a University in a small town where we met up with this former sponsored child; Carolina. She was a complete treasure, warm and engaging. She brought us to show us where she spent the majority of her time; in the editing rooms and studios where she is completing a degree in communications.
Afterwards we took a trip out to her family home. We saw the remote location in which she grew up with many challenges. She had to battle against extreme poverty and the patriarchal attitudes of her community. It was not a woman’s place to get educated and a have a career. We had a lovely simple lunch with her mother cooked on a gas stove that World Vision had provided to eliminate the dangerous smoke from their traditional cooking fires.
Carolina told us about life growing up and what she thought of World Vision. Initially, she believed that it was just a means of getting the necessary pens and papers for her school work. In fact, the main reason she wanted to join is because she heard that there were other kids going to World Vision events. She didn’t want to miss out!
But she began to learn. She told us she soon found herself to be part of this massive extended family. She found that not only was she being provided with books and materials to be able to study, but she was getting a deeper and more loving support. She told us she felt part of a massive extended family. She realised soon that she wanted to give something back.
Carolina progressed. She graduated from high school and went to University. The support continued. World Vision was there through it all for her. Her sponsorship program meant that throughout some of the most trying times and conditions in any person’s life (regardless of her gender, remote location and financial status) she was able to carry on with her head held high.
What I loved seeing about Carolina was that she was giving back to those who supported her. She comes to teach the next generation of kids who benefit from World Vision support. She talks to them about discrimination, and the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
At 19 she is already helping educate young kids to have a better understanding of gender and racial equality. She is an inspiring young woman who is passionate about giving back.
She also has a big vision for her own for the future. She wants to create an indigenous TV network that will inspire, entertain and educate the many isolated and disadvantaged, indigenous Mexican communities.
Having met this inspiring and determined young woman, I have no doubt that she will make this a reality.
For me this was a very rewarding experience. I got to see, first hand, the incredible impact that World Vision can have on the life of a child who gets sponsored through their programs. It was a remarkable and enjoyable day, one which we tried to capture in this short documentary.