Ecuador is a beautiful but difficult place to grow up. 3-year old Heidy lives in a small village high in the Ecuadorian Andes, 4,000 metres above sea level (that’s about four times Ireland’s highest peak).
When we first arrived, Heidy was sitting alone playing with a stick and a stone. She turned to us, looked curious and then ran to fetch her brother Alex, 6, who had just come home from school. There were no adults nearby.
Finally, as evening fell, Heidy’s grandmother arrived back from a long day in the fields. She was exhausted and explained all.
Heidy had a really tough start. Her Mam passed away when she was a toddler and her Dad left to find work. When Heidy was taken in by her grandmother, she ate little, often sat alone and didn’t speak a word.
Now, she spends most time outside where cold nights are followed by blazing hot sun; leaving its mark on her burnt red cheeks.
“Alone all day?” we asked. “Yes, so it is,” said the grandmother. She sees no other solution.
The family grow their own food. High in the Andes, this requires an indomitable courage. From morning to night, the grandmother works in the fields. Children must take care of themselves. That’s the reality for many children in this area.
That evening, Plan made a commitment to Heidy, her brother and her grandmother. We would help the elderly grandmother find real and practical alternatives to her dangerous, daily toil. We would look after Heidy and ensure the family are fed and warm. We would find a sponsor for Heidy and help ensure her future is better than her past.
Through child sponsorship with Plan, we can make these commitments and you can play an active part. You support one child in one community and your contributions go directly there. You can communicate with the child, support them through letters and encouragement, and get your children involved. You get updates on their progress, photographs and insights into their life and culture.
Importantly, your contributions help your sponsored child and their community.
That day was a good day for Heidy – the start of a new story - but for thousands like her, it was not. If you can, make 2015 the year to invest in the lives of boys and girls around the globe and make a child like Heidy part of your family today.
A Welcome Pack, introducing you to your sponsored child and family. The real starting point of your journey.
An Annual Update with new photos of your sponsored child and their family, news from the community and much, much more.
Letters and gifts back and
forth to your sponsored child, through which you can build a unique relationship.
Plan is a global children’s charity that is making a positive impact in the lives of 78 million children in over 86,000 communities around the world. One of the best ways for us and for you to make an immediate and lasting improvement to the lives of the world’s poorest children is by sponsoring one child in one community with Plan.
When you sponsor a child, your contribution goes straight to the heart of that child’s community. Your sponsorship ensures your sponsored child has the chance to go to school, to eat a healthy meal each day, to be safe and healthy and to have a roof over their head and food in their belly.
Sponsorship lets you follow your sponsored child’s progress every step of the way. You can be hands-on with the community and child that you sponsor. You’ll write letters, exchange experiences, get regular updates and photographs and even have the opportunity to meet if you so choose.
It is your commitment to your sponsored child that allows Plan Ireland to design, deliver and implement quality, sustainable programmes that help your sponsored child, their family and entire community.
Join us and see what a difference you can make in the life of a child in need. It’s the best present you can give.
Heidy’s is just one story. You can can choose to sponsor a child in any of the 86,000 communities where Plan work.
For every €1 we receive, Plan spend 93c on our programmes. The rest is spent on governance and fundraising.
The decision to sponsor is yours, as is when you want to stop or pause. We understand circumstances change.