On World Children’s Day, we’re celebrating that every child has the right to dream. Dreams are powerful. They ignite potential and remind children and young people that change beyond their circumstances is possible.
Our church partners in Brazil and Bangladesh asked children in our Child Sponsorship Programme to share one longed-for hope. And then our incredible project staff set about making those dreams a reality!
These are the children’s beautiful reactions.
1. A trip to gaze at the city lights
“Seven years ago, our village received electricity for the first time,” shares six-year-old Steve from Bangladesh. “It changed everything. It brought everything to life … but we still lose power for days at a time, and once again, we find ourselves in darkness.
“I’ve always wanted to see the city lights. When the project staff told me my dream would come true, I couldn’t believe it.
“I thought it would look like the daytime at night! But it was even better than I could have imagined. The city was so bright, it lit up the sky. It was like all the stars had gathered in one place. It was beautiful!
“I met a man who helps to keep the lights on. One day, I’d like to be like him, the protector of light in my village.”
2. Two cherished first books
“My dream has always been to have real books, a bookcase full of them,” says 14-year-old Ana Vitória from Brazil. Ana Vitória has a love of reading.
Now, not only does she own one book—she is the proud owner of two! “I’m so grateful; this is my first book! I will read my books a lot. I will read very quickly.”
3. An adventure to see the sea for the first time
“I asked my friend what the sea is like. They told me it’s infinite. But I’m not sure what that means,” explains eight-year-old Ryany from Brazil.
“One day at the Compassion programme, we wrote down our dreams. I’ve always wanted to see the sea. It’s a long journey to get there.
“I thought it [the sea] would be the size of a huge pond. But it was much bigger than I imagined. Swimming in the ocean was like being in a big glass of chocolate milk. And the sand was like a big fluffy blanket. The sea is so beautiful.
“I still have other dreams, like going to the shopping mall. But I have bigger dreams too. Like becoming a teacher so that I can help other children. Facing the sea helps me feel that one day, my dreams could come true!”
4. Francisco’s blue shoes
“My dream is to have beautiful shoes. Blue shoes!” says eight-year-old Francisco from Pentecoste, Brazil.
Francisco’s only shoes are a pair of flip-flops. His father, Antonio, works in a landfill collecting plastic and metal material and is paid per bag filled. It’s a time-consuming effort for minimal pay. Despite Antonio’s hard work, there is little money left to buy his son shoes.
When the eight-year-old was handed the shoebox, he was in awe. He didn’t waste a second—the shoes were going on his feet straight away. “I love my new shoes. They are blue!”
5. A very special first birthday party
“Usually on my birthday, my family wakes up and congratulates me. But only this. When I see other kids singing and having birthday parties, I was a little sad because nobody ever sang happy birthday, just for me, with a cake and candles,” shares 15-year-old Carla.
Maria, Carla’s mother, was heartbroken she couldn’t do something special for her daughter’s 15th birthday—a special milestone called ‘Festa de Debutante’ in Brazil. She went to the Compassion project for help.
“It hurt my heart that I couldn’t offer her anything,” says Maria.
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon, project volunteers called Carla to the project. Suddenly, they put a blindfold on and led her into the courtyard.
When they removed the blindfold, a surprise awaited!
“When I saw my cake, I was astonished! My cake was so beautiful! It was white and pink. My friends were there with me too. My first birthday cake made just for me. It was tasty. I am so happy,” says Carla.
Together we’re empowering children like Steve, Ana Vitória, Ryany, Franciso and Carla to achieve their dreams.
Thank you for everything you’re doing to inspire potential and spark dreams in the life of the child you sponsor.
A version of this blog was originally published by our friends at Compassion Australia.