Written by Mauro Hernandez; Edited by Sarah Bartley
Did you know that in 2016, 96 Canadians visited their sponsor children around the world?
Mauro, a Canadian sponsor from Calgary, recently travelled to Armenia to meet his sponsor child, Arman.
“I found that a monthly contribution was not enough,” says Mauro. “It was easy for me to get my credit card charged once a month. I wanted to go the extra mile and show Arman that I am interested in learning about his life and his country.”
Arman, meeting Mauro, and taking his hand for the first time. Photo: World Vision
Mauro arrived excited to meet Arman, bearing gifts for the young boy and his family. According to Mauro, this meeting was the highlight of his visit. “When I got out of the car at the local World Vision office, I saw Arman and his family waiting for me at the entrance with a big smile!” Clothes, toys and stationary were among the presents, but perhaps the best gift was a pair of shoes for Arman—the same ones that Mauro was wearing (in a smaller size, of course). They had lunch together and Arman introduced Mauro to the local cuisine.
Mauro and Arman looking sharp with matching shoes. Photo: World Vision
One of the highlights during sponsor visits are tours of the programs they’re helping to fund in the community. Mauro saw two programs: a community park where Mauro and Arman could walk and play and the Robot-X Club. Here, World Vision partners with a local high school helping children engage with each other, build confidence and gain practical skills by building kinetic robots.
The teens showed Mauro their robots and shared the story of how the club formed, what they were learning and how it’s benefitted them. They also talked about the competitions they’d been part of, and the awards they had won.
Sponsor Mauro visits World Vision’s robotics club in Armenia. Photo: World Vision
In the afternoon, when it was time to say goodbye, it was clear that it was an emotional moment for everyone. Mauro promised that this wouldn’t be the last time he would travel to Armenia, and that he would see Arman again.
Today, Mauro has a renewed excitement about his involvement in Arman’s life and is grateful for the warm hospitality he was shown in Armenia.
“I would like to thank the local World Vision volunteers,” he says. “For their effort and generosity.”
Sponsoring a child and visiting our work in the field is like an insider view to see how Canadians like you are making a difference.