Life seemed hopeless to 13-year-old Yoan, with no clear path to the future, until Food for the Hungry’s local Child Sponsorship staff stepped in to help.
Yoan lives in Tarapaca, Bolivia, part of El Alto de La Paz, a sprawling city born out of years of rural-to-urban migration. His father, Reddy, is 46. In addition to Yoan, Reddy is father to six other children ranging in age from Yoan’s 2-year-old brother Israel, to Ronal, his 19-year-old brother. Yoan explains that life has always been hard for the large family.
“All in the community had financial problems, because most of them do not have stable jobs,” he says. Reddy, like many in the community, worked as a day laborer, which meant his employment is for a day at a time.
“We didn’t have enough to eat sometimes because it depended on my dad’s job, and he couldn’t work every day.
“But we had a mother and father, so even though we were a large family, we were OK.”
Family Suffers Unbearable Loss
That all changed in early 2020, when Yoan’s mother died.
“My mom used to be in charge of keeping our home running well and taking care of the children. After her death, we were all shocked and didn’t know what to do,” he says.
Too Much Responsibility
“The death of my mom made my dad fall into depression. He couldn’t find a job and he also needed to help my two older brothers with their eye problems, so they won’t be blind. So now I am in charge of my little siblings,” Yoan explained.
Reddy lost his wife at the beginning of 2020 and lives with his seven children. With the help of FH Child Sponsorship, this family is recovering from their loss and again has hope.
When his mother was alive, Yoan knew there were difficulties. “But it was normal to me, and it was not my responsibility. Now that my mom is not with us anymore, I am concerned about providing for my family along with my dad,” said the 13 year old.
Child Sponsorship Brings Hope
Food for the Hungry began working in Yoan’s community in September 2016. Yoan joined FH programs May 10, 2017. Thanks to the support of child sponsors in Yoan’s community, he began participating in children’s club, an FH afterschool program where he learned Bible lessons and good habits based on Bible principles. He also began to receive support with his school needs and even help with homework. All this set him on a better path to the future. One where he has an education, strong values, and good character.
Food for the Hungry’s facilitator, María Elena, regularly visited the family to encourage them and share hope with them from the Bible about how God could help in their situation.
Showing a Path to the Future
“Now I am in eighth grade and am very much part of the children’s club in my school. My dad found consolation, strength, and hope in the Word of God. He also found a job,” Yoan says. His brothers couldn’t be treated because it was too expensive, he says. “But they feel better. And Ronal, the oldest, helps our dad with his work.”
Yoan says he is grateful. “We are better in our community now, they do not see us with pity. And the help we received through Child Sponsorship means we can study and stay in school.”
Child Sponsorship Helps with Education
Yoan says completing his education is his top priority, and the supplies made possible through Child Sponsorship helped a great deal. ”I want to finish school, and then be able to work and help. I like helping because I love my family,” he says.
“When my mom was with us, she used to take care of us and protect us because my dad had to work. Now we have learned to be more independent, and that is not bad. Getting through all this was hard, but we did it!”
Yoan’s other siblings benefiting from FH Child Sponsorship, in addition to Ronal, 19, and Israel, 2, are:
Diego, 6; Mary, 8; Luz, 10; and Cristian, 15.
You can bring hope and change into a child’s life and community like child sponsorship did for Yoan. Sponsor a child today to set them on a path to a better future.
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