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A donor empowers one girl to share the gift of love with 23 children

One relationship spanning 15 years ends with a special goodbye gift

By Allison Downey, sponsor services associate, Canada

Child sponsorship means much more than sending money and writing letters. I was struck by how it empowers girls when a photo (above) of a young woman, handing out shoes to children in her community, came across my desk.

It all started with a Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) child sponsor who wanted to give something special to her sponsored child who was turning 18 and graduating from our program in Ethiopia. The sponsor had already pledged a large gift to benefit Aster’s future education, but she added a heartfelt gift for local children.

Now so many children could feel the joy of receiving something special. The sponsor-services team, in consultation with the program workers in Ethiopia, used the money to buy shoes for 23 disadvantaged children from the community. I am especially excited about what happened next — they asked Aster to distribute the shoes. Aster got to be the gift-giver, thanks to her thoughtful sponsor.

Aster sums it up in the letter she sent to her sponsor after receiving the gifts. “May God give you a healthy and long life,” she said. “You have helped me since my childhood. I have learnt lots from you.”

I can only imagine what was shared in the letters exchanged in the 15 years Aster was supported. The words of encouragement, the joyful experiences celebrated and the reassurance she must have felt from having someone across the globe care about her and cheer her on as she grew up, studied and made life decisions.

Many girls in developing countries don’t get that chance at an education; instead they are compelled to do chores at home or are forced into child marriage. But, when I see Aster’s photo, I see a strong, confident young woman who has been encouraged to be a leader in her community and enabled to fulfil her dreams of furthering her education through the help of CCFC and the kindness of one sponsor.

To learn how girls are being empowered through sponsorship, call and speak with one of our donor-relations associates, 1-800-263-5437, or read more about what you can do at


About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:

Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.