27 September 2023

Generosity is the essence of World Vision sponsorships in India

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By Rama Gaind.

“Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness,
but a sign of strength.” – Buddha

I take heart in these visionary words while reflecting on one of my visits to India to meet the two children I sponsor through World Vision in Australia. Was it only just over three years ago?

Rehan Imamudin, 10, with program manager, World Vision office in Jaipur, India, Dr Josiah Daniel. Photo: Rama Gaind

So much has happened in the intervening years … and in 2020 … it’s not easy looking for positives under the current pressure environment with the global Coronavirus crisis. In the blink of an eye the world’s jet-setting ways have changed, impacting the way we live our daily life.

Conversely, one should never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others … and I take pride in contributing to being a change-maker for World Vision. I have seen, first-hand, the optimistic impact sponsorship has on small communities where some of the concerns – expressed by Mother Teresa – are successfully overcome: “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty”. You just have to care, be empathetic and be munificent.

I’ve sponsored a girl and a boy for more than a decade, having been fortunate enough to meet and spend some time with Mohini Mangal, then 15, Rehan Imamudin, then 10, and also meeting their families, friends and members of the communities in which they live in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.

Mohini is a homemaker who loves sewing. Rehan is studious and keen on sports. Nostalgia prevails as a long-time association with Mohini ended last year as she had completed her studies and wanted to join the workforce. I was then fortunate to sponsor another young girl Kajaal Sharvan, aged 10. Some day I hope to meet Kajaal and her family. I just have to wait for the international travel restrictions to be lifted after the pandemic lockdown. Until then, patience will be a virtue.

Affirmative reflections

Smiles all round among this group of young girls in the Jaipur community in Rajasthan, India. Photo: Rama Gaind

It was a privilege to have seen the beneficial effects of the work being done by World Vision as it helped communities in need. The organisation works to help families and children reach their full potential by tackling the causes of injustice and poverty.

Over the years, I’ve maintained contact with my sponsored children through annual school progress reports and get updates on various community development projects in their region. To meet them was a rewarding and enlightening experience.

Dr Josiah Daniel is manager of the Jaipur Area Development Project, a World Vision advocacy and empowerment program. The sponsorship effectiveness coordinator is Nitin Lall. Both were articulate when it came to explaining the far-reaching benefits of their work.

Mahender Sharma drove us into the Aravali hills to two different neighbourhoods where I met the Mangal and Imamudin families. All happy and thriving in their environment, I felt overwhelmed by their heart-warming sentiments. There was a dynamic sense of purpose, of being cared for, and above all, of not being forgotten.

Confidence was prevalent as they spoke about the various economic development assistance and education programs and the benefits experienced by families and the local community. Their insight revealed how World Vision worked to provide the tools and resources to create more equitable societies for children so they can prosper and have a better future.

Words of kindness reverberate from my previous trip: never mind the quantity, it’s the quality of service you give to a just cause that shows you care about other people. Also, I’ll never forget these words from a dear friend: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. If the beauty of life is sharing, then you should never undervalue any assistance you can provide to help make this world a better place.”

Mohini Mangal with World Vision’s sponsorship effectiveness coordinator, Nitin Lall, in Jaipur. Photo: Rama Gaind

Known as the ‘Pink City’, one of the eye-catching monuments you have to see in Jaipur is the Hawa Mahal, a fine piece of Rajput architecture.

Worthy cause

World Vision is an organisation, born out of crisis, that’s synonymous with child sponsorship, helping the world’s most vulnerable children, especially during the times we are experiencing at present. We are all facing formidable situations, but choosing to help and empower the world’s most susceptible is a gesture that’s always welcome.

Child sponsorship enables World Vision to help communities build their resilience now and into the future, so they are equipped through sustainable, proven community-led approaches to support their own development and respond to challenges like COVID-19. It aims to reach 72 million people through this epidemic. If each and every one of us helped, then together we can contribute to change and make things better for the world in which we live. People are generous in their support.

Emma Whitty, World Vision’s sponsor visit consultant in Melbourne, is a great supporter and believes in the value of the work that has been done by World Vision for more than 60 years. It engages people who work towards eliminating poverty and its causes.

“We work to achieve transformation,” Emma said. “We do this through relief and development, policy advocacy and change, collaboration, education about poverty, and emphasis on personal growth, social justice and spiritual values.”

“Our presence in these communities has created safer and more secure environments for children in their homes and villages which has enabled them to thrive.”

The most recognisable monument of Jaipur – Hawa Mahal – was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.

World Vision is a community development organisation that provides short-term and long-term assistance to 100 million people worldwide (including 2.4 million children).

Child sponsorship is effective because you make a difference by contributing to transform lives for just $48 per month. It’s heartening – and enlightening – to learn that 81.7 per cent of every dollar donated goes to field programs and advocacy work.

Through travel you not only meet certain captivating people living in inconceivable environments, but you also get to see some of the world’s most captivating destinations.

However, a sanguine outlook augurs well for the future. Mahatma Gandhi’s sage quote is opportune: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Showing compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest self.


World Vision

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