When ordinary people come together, they make an extraordinary impact. This is the story of Georgie, an Australian sponsor who, in 1994, made a significant impact on the life of Nancy and her community in Kenya.
That year Nancy moved with her mother, sister, and brother to the community of Lodiarak.
“I came from a broken family. There was no love. There was a lot of mistreatment from my stepdad. I watched the other girls getting married that by class seven I was the only girl,” Nancy recalls.
Many people in the small community, including Nancy’s stepdad, weren’t supportive of girls getting an education.
At the age of 11, Nancy became a sponsored child through World Vision’s child sponsorship programme. World Vision supported her tuition and covered the cost of uniforms during her school years. Her Australian sponsor, Georgie, wanted to make a positive difference in a child’s life, but she had no idea just how significant her contribution would be to shaping Nancy’s life.
Nancy still remembers the day she received her first letter from Georgie, which was the beginning of a friendship of a lifetime.
Watch a video of the impact of sponsorship and a hidden hero on Nancey's life.
“I remember one of the letters where she said ‘your photo is in my bedroom, so everytime when I wake up I see your beautiful smile.’ I felt like there’s someone out there who cares, who is interested in me,” Nancy said, tearing up.
Little did she know, there were to be very difficult times ahead. In 1997 there was a severe drought, and most of the livestock died. Nancy who had become very thin because of the lack of food at the time recalls, “I clearly remember how World Vision constructed water tanks so that our community had water and provided emergency food such as maize, beans, and porridge. World Vision also implemented medical check-ups.”
This support was a lifeline for Nancy, her family and community during one of the most difficult times of their lives. Georgie’s encouragement and financial support over the years also meant Nancy could fulfil her dreams of obtaining an education. Nancy quickly became top of her class and in 2001, Nancy became one of the first girls in her community to graduate from high school.
“It was rare to find girls who had made it to high school. My sister was the first female to graduate from that location, and I’m the second.” Nancy graduated among the top three in her class and went on to Nairobi University, eventually earning her master’s degree.
She became a humanitarian aid worker. Her career has taken her to Ethiopia and South Sudan and she is now working as a Humanitarian Aid Emergency Coordinator.
Now a 34-year-old mother, Nancy believes World Vision child sponsorship also played an important part in her career choice. She says, “If it were not for World Vision, I would not have made it this far, and now I want to pay it back working for the most vulnerable children in my country and other countries in the region.”
In 2019, Nancy and Georgie, her Australian sponsor, met face to face. In an inspiring and heart-warming encounter, Nancy thanked Georgie for all of the support she gave her over the years. But then it was Georgie who thanked Nancy for allowing her to make an impact on her life and her community.
“I was not expecting this much through my commitment as sponsor of Nancy. It meant much more than I ever imagined that I could’ve done in her life and her family at the same time,” Georgie said.
The two are friends and have stayed in touch.
The miracle of community-focused solutions like child sponsorship is that for every child who is sponsored by a generous individual, four more children benefit.
Anybody can become a hero by sponsoring a child. Read more stories of hidden heroes who are impacting the lives of others through child sponsorship.