At the close of 2011, a Mom humbly shared with a group of us chopping vegetables in the church kitchen that her family was having a rough time and she didn't know how she was going to pay for her son's school fees the next month. She simply asked for prayer and that was it. She was a hard worker, loved her son, and couldn't give him the education she wanted him to have.
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to share this story and her son was sponsored for the school year. And then the sponsorship continued for another year... and another year. His mother continued to work hard but she no longer had to worry about financing her son's education by her self. A couple years in, we received news that he got into some trouble and was expelled. While this was out of the ordinary for him, we learned from this experience and began to question if our approach was causing more problems than good. Our partners on the ground shared openly and had meetings with the family to discuss a way forward. Soon it became clear that this boy's passion was for culinary school and that a vocational program would be a better route for him. His sponsors wanted to continue helping him reach his dream so they supported him through his program. This past year in 2016, 4 years later, he graduated with his culinary certificate. Upon graduating, he wrote a letter expressing his gratitude. He wrote, "You have fulfilled my dreams and you have fought poverty against my family."
It has been an honor to be part of this family's story. We are excited to see what is next for the recent grad and so proud of his dedication on his journey to overcome poverty!