It was 1980 my first job and my first pay packet.
For years I had thought about, planned and looked forward to being able to sponsor a child. I had heard a lot about World Vision and had a childhood interest in South America so with excitement once my pay had been banked I went to find a little girl to sponsor.
|1980 Carla age 2|
She was from a remote village north east of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, South America. She was the youngest of several children living with her Mum and Dad who were rural workers.
|Carla age 4|
When World Vision started working with this community Carla and her family were living under a cardboard box and plastic sheeting. With assistance from World Vision they were given a one room house which seems not enough to us but for her family it was a dream come true. At age 7 Carla still hadn't started school and Blanca told me her family didn't value education and wouldn't be sending her at all or if they did she would be much older. My heart sank as I truly believe the best way out of poverty is to have a good education and once finished you have more choices and opportunities. Over the next year I wrote about the things my class was doing here hoping to inspire her and her family to send her to school. Finally at age 8 she went to school although spasmodically I think. During these years two more siblings were born and her Dad often had to leave the family to find work.
When Carla was about 10 her letters suddenly stopped, there was no contact from Carla or Blanca although Carla herself had never sent a letter of her own. After about 6 months I asked World Vision to send out a field question to find out what had happened to Carla and Blanca.
|Carla age 6|
The news I got back shocked me and bought the reality of the third world right to my door.
Carla's father had gone to Tegucigalpa a month before Christmas to buy gifts for his family, but had never returned. On Christmas eve he was found dead tossed into a ditch beside the road half way between their village and the capital. He had been robbed of the presents he was carrying for his family and murdered, his family had been robbed of their father and husband. It was the beginning of a sad time for Carla and I don't think she ever really recovered from his death.
The photo here was taken some time after her father dies and as you can see the shy sparkle in her eyes has gone. Ever photo that followed held the same pain and sorrow.
|Carla age 10|
Life got slowly more difficult for Carla, her mother took a new partner who was unkind to Carla and had no time for her. Then her mother had 4 more children to her new partner and her older brothers left home to work in the capital. She was often left to care for the younger children.
Her letters got shorter and less detailed, she was so sad, life was tough. Her photos made me want to cry but all I could do for her was pray. When she was 13 her letters stopped again and by this time Blanca was no longer the project worker so the details were unclear. After several months I asked Wold Vision to sent another message to find out how she was.
|Carla age 13|
Another Carla came into my life last week!
Last week I was blessed with another Carla to get to know and write to through Compassion Australia. This young lady is 17 and in her final years of school. She is from Bolivia, high in the mountains southwest of El Alto. She has completed her primary schooling and is making steady progress in high school. I look forward to hearing her hopes and dreams and knowing that with Compassion's
help and Gods love she has a very good chance of living her dream and escaping the perils of poverty helping both her family and community.