Dublin; 30th May, 2016: Brian Mac Neill
Sizina is a cheerful 14 year old from Mozambique. Like many girls in developing countries, it can be a real challenge acquiring a good, regular education. One of the major reasons for this is the sheer distances that girls may need to travel daily just to get to school. Other family priorities, such as the need to source fresh water and carry it back to the home, a backbreaking chore that may in itself require walking several kilometres with heavy containers, can also hamper or disrupt schooling.
Imagine having to find the time and energy to carry out these essential chores, and then having to consider a long exhausting walk of up to several miles just to get to school and start your normal routine? Now imagine how much easier this would be if you were a child and you suddenly had the gift of a bicycle?
Sizina has been fortunate enough to be sponsored by a kind Irish sponsor from Co. Carlow since 2009. A long-time supporter of ChildFund Ireland, the donor was recently moved to provide Sizina with the full cost of a bicycle.
Sizina is beaming in because this gift has made a significant difference to the quality of her daily life. To a girl like Sizina, a bike can mean liberation, not just from the exhaustion of long journeys on foot, but from the the constraints of time; affording her an element of independence and giving her the confidence to see through her education. Importantly, It can also help limit girls like Sizina from exposure to hazards and dangers that might be involved in lengthy trips away from the family domicile, such as the threat from wild animals or even from people traffickers.
Sizina is bright and she has very firm ideas about what she wants to do in life;
“I would like to be a teacher. I chose this profession because I will get to teach the children what I am learning and I will be respected in my community”.
Sizina lives 7km away from her school and the bike provided through her sponsor’s act of generosity will make an enormous difference to her life. As a sponsored child however Sizina is also assisted in a variety of ways. The ChildFund sponsor programme that has helped her has also helped everyone in her community too. In a letter to her sponsor she says;
“through your contribution and one of the other sponsors’ in my community, other children and I study in classrooms built through your support”. In our classrooms, we have desks also bought through your support…we received water purifiers to prevent cholera and malaria, and mosquito nets to help prevent malaria.”
Talking about the difference the bicycle has made to her life. She says; ”now I can see the difference from the time I did not have with a bicycle…now I can get up, wash the dishes, sweep the yard and then go to school”.
The Irish donor who sponsors Sizina and paid for the gift of this bike wishes, as do many of our supporters, to remain anonymous. She did however offer up some personal reflections on what the child sponsorship programme means to her;
“I like the fact that the modest regular amounts really go to the child I sponsor, and her family and community at times like Christmas, and although contact is infrequent in my case with the language barrier, it clearly makes a huge difference to the whole project. I feel the personal contact through people such as your good self in the office in Ireland, is very reassuring.”
Many sponsors have a deeply personal relationship with their sponsor child and their family. What they frequently tell us is that it can be a hugely rewarding and uplifting experience to be involved in supporting the life of a vulnerable child; offering them a helping hand on the pathway to a happy, productive life.
Please visit our dedicated child sponsor page and find out more about the programme. Create your own story by intervening in the life of a child who really needs your support. http://www.childfund.ie/sponsor-introduction/
Recognising the importance and material benefit of providing bikes for girls in the developing world, ChildFund launched its Dream Bike campaign in 2015, as part of our partnership with the Camogie Association of Ireland. The campaign seeks seeks to help girls get to school safely and on time so that they can educate themselves to their full potential and get the best opportunity to improve their lives as they develop into adulthood. Please visit our dedicated campaign webpage and find out how you can support this wonderful initiative. http://www.childfund.ie/dream-bike/