Children living in El Kennedy, a community in the Dominican Republic (DR), didn’t always have access to an education, clean water, and medical resources. They had little or no hope of ever finding a brighter future.
The area was designated as part of the DR’s vulnerable population. The World Food Programme estimates that 40% of children and families in the Dominican Republic live in poverty.
Anianna was one of those vulnerable children growing up in El Kennedy. But when she was still very young, Food for the Hungry (FH) started working in her community. And that has changed everything for Anianna and other children in El Kennedy.
Growing up as a Sponsored Child
Anianna was one of several children in the community who entered FH child sponsorship. The faithful support of Anianna’s sponsor and other sponsors started making significant changes in the community very quickly. Working with local leaders, FH built and installed a water purification system in the center of the community. This made it possible for families to stop using unsafe water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
Anianna’s parents and other community members learned important new hygiene and sanitation practices. They also learned to effectively eliminate all the accumulated water around their houses and yards that was attracting mosquitoes. This alleviated one of the reasons so many members of the community had contracted the deadly tropical disease dengue fever.
Anianna and other students were provided with vitamins and deworming medicine as well.
Time For a Quality Education
The new water source also meant women and children no longer had to walk long distances to haul water. This freed students to attend classes and devote time to their schoolwork.
Those funds also made possible construction of a new local school fully stocked with up-to-date school supplies.
Child Sponsorship is Life Changing
As Anianna attended the new school, dreams of what she wanted to be when she grew up began to take root. She frequently wrote letters to her sponsor about how well she was doing at school. She also shared her hope of becoming a pediatrician someday.
“I feel thankful that there is a person outside the country who cares about me, who prays for me and my family. And I feel proud that they care about my education and health,” Anianna said.
As she writes letters to her sponsor, Anianna said FH staff members help her put her thankfulness into words. “I write things that come out of my heart,” she said.
Dreams Take Shape
Through prayer and financial support from child sponsors, Anianna and her classmates excelled in school. And with the good education she has been able to receive, she now has the foundation she needs to pursue her dreams.
Anianna says she wants to become a doctor to help others. “I especially want to help children the way Food for the Hungry has helped me and our entire community!”
FH Child Sponsorship has made it possible for Anianna and many children like her to grow up in communities where the cycle of poverty is broken, and they are able to reach their God-given potential.
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