We caught up with Cindy in Peru, where she was on a World Vision Ambassador trip. She is a teacher, a mother, a grandmother. Kindness pours out of her giant, welcoming smile. You can sense her welcoming presence. Even without the streak of deep purple hair highlighting her silver-blonde locks, Cindy commands your attention, making you feel like you are the only one in the room.
“Your road to sponsorship was a bit different than others. Can you tell me more about that?”
Yes, my five-year-old granddaughter and I were in a shopping mall in Vancouver. We came across a World Vision table filled with photographs. I asked Mia, “Would you like to help a child?” She said yes and knew exactly who she wanted to help! It should be a little girl, of the same age and from Peru, because that is where her father is from. That day, we ended up sponsoring little Elda.
I originally started all of this to be a good lesson for my granddaughter. I wanted her to grow up with a sense of compassion and giving. It’s become more than that. Elda and her family have become an extension of our own family. I know sponsorship has contributed positively to the family here in Peru, and that makes us feel good that it’s happening for them. We’re motivated to continue for as long as we can.
“So, first you were a sponsor, but how did that lead to becoming an Ambassador?”
That’s an interesting story. I arranged a sponsorship visit [in Peru] when I was volunteer teaching in Belize. When I spoke with Elda and her mother and sister, I realized there was so much good work being done. I heard how sponsorship has improved their family life, their community, and Elda herself. When I got back to Canada, I called the World Vision office and said I wanted to do more to help.
“Can you tell me about the Sponsorship Ambassador program you’re a part of?
We are child sponsors who want to do more. To encourage and inspire other Canadians to get involved.
“Since you took on this role, what have you been doing as an Ambassador?”
This is my third trip. I have been to Tanzania, Ghana and Peru. I make my own newsletter, updating people on what’s happening with my work with World Vision. I let people know how they can get involved. Once you see the work in the field, there is no end to the creativity you want to bring to the work of the Ambassador.
“What kind of impact does an Ambassador have?”
I think there is a segment of Canadian society that is very moved by first-hand, eyewitness accounts. You can share through presentations, photos and newsletters. I know I have inspired people to become more involved. In terms of impact, there’s already has been so much, but we can do more.
“What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming an Ambassador?”
There is great reward in it. I love this quote: “If you want others to be happy, show others compassion. If you want to be happy, be compassionate.” In this work, there are so many ways to be compassionate. It is so rewarding because you’re making others happy and you yourself are receiving so much joy. It’s a win-win situation. I believe that, for anyone who gets involved, there is great personal reward and great contribution.
Be our Storyteller. Become a Sponsorship Ambassador today.