Witness Your Sponsorship Support in Action

Author Portrait_Victoria Zegler, Multimedia Storyteller
Victoria Zegler

Multimedia Storyteller

Save the Children U.S.

March 21, 2017

Leaving our Save the Children field office, it’s anywhere between a one to two-hour drive to the rural country side where sponsored children live, play and learn. The roads are dusty and narrow. Traveling along these remote roadways, you can feel every bump and dip in the dirt roads. Passing by children along the shoulder on bicycles and motorcycles, I can’t imagine what their journey is like.

As we drive down the lengthy highway, homes become father apart as the distance becomes greater.

Stepping into a classroom in Lufwanyama, Zambia.
Stepping into a classroom in Lufwanyama, Zambia.

As I get closer to the village, I notice the local community in action. Young children, teenagers, many of them, the mothers and fathers of the children we serve, having labored since dawn with nothing but their bare hands and tools made from the country’s natural resources. I admire their dedication, innovation and hard work. They have no one to rely on but themselves to get the job done.

As we approach the school grounds, children slowly peek their heads out of the newly built classrooms. The smile plastered across my face reflects theirs. I can’t wait to meet these incredible children and to show them pictures of their participation in our programs – solving math problems in notebooks and learning to read with new learning materials – all made possible by their sponsors.

And then it dawned on me – there aren’t many mirrors and smartphones here, so many of these children haven’t seen what they look like in months, maybe even years.

To me, it’s more than just taking their pictures, it’s about unlocking raw emotion.
To me, it’s more than just taking their pictures, it’s about unlocking raw emotion.

The children are eager and curious as they approach me, giggling. After taking their picture, I show the children and big, unfiltered laughter ensues.

To me, it’s more than just taking their pictures. It’s about unlocking the raw emotion deep down inside of them. Showing the happiness on their faces as the corners of their eyes begin to wrinkle. I admire their strength and resilience through the hardest of times. Their hope and hard work for better life. These children instill hope in me every day with their big ideas and willingness to learn. They give me faith in myself, my organization and – most importantly – in humanity.

The moment I see the smiling faces of those children, nothing else matters.

A memory that I will always remember: the excitement that broke out over stickers. The children flocked to me with their arms reaching out at the chance to collect a sticker. I watched the children place them on their hands, faces and their friends faces laughing all the while. This simple gift from generous sponsors made their day – and mine too.

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