Who they are
Although living in Ontario, the Lock sisters have always had a deep connection with Peru: it’s where Jimena was born and where she and Daniella visited their grandparents. So, when their mother suggested they sponsor a child, their home country seemed like the perfect fit.
The sisters met their sponsored child, Wilmer, for the first time last summer. Jimena, 27, a sales and marketing specialist in the luxury goods industry, and Daniella, 20, a health sciences student studying at the University of Ottawa, both feel a close connection with the 16-year-old Peruvian: after all, they’ve been writing him letters and sending him pictures for more than 10 years.
The plus side
Avid travellers, meeting their sponsored child was a grand experience for the Lock sisters. One they did not take for granted. “[The most rewarding thing for me is] having the connection with someone that you would never meet without World Vision,” says Daniella. “Meeting Wilmer was actually an incredible moment in my life. I was so overwhelmed.”
Jimena agrees: “The most rewarding part of being a sponsor is knowing you are helping someone and that it doesn’t go unnoticed,” she says. “The cards, letters and photos we’ve received from Wilmer throughout the years have helped create a personal connection with him even though we had never met until last summer.”
The second oldest of five children, Wilmer is a shy but lighthearted teen who takes caring for his younger siblings very seriously. “You could tell that he’s very protective and loving towards his younger brothers,” says Daniella. “He has a very kind heart.”
The girls were able to communicate easily with Wilmer and created a strong bond with him and his family. “My sister and I both speak fluent Spanish, so luckily there was no language barrier,” says Jimena. “Wilmer and his family also speak Quechua, so it was fun learning a few words and hearing them recite poems and sing songs in their native language. We even managed to teach them a few things in English—and we got it all on camera!”
While the sisters work toward separate life goals, seeing Wilmer again sooner rather than later is a priority for both of them. “We do not have any immediate plans to go back to Peru,” says Jimena, “but when we do, we’d love to go back to see Wilmer and his family.”
And according to Daniella, the return trip to Wilmer’s community of Cusipata may just happen within the next two years. “I would like to go visit him again before he turns 18,” says Daniella. There’s no doubt, Wilmer would like that, too.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013-14 issue of Childview.