Nottingham family travel to the Philippines to visit sponsored child

Nottingham family travel to the Philippines to visit sponsored child

Julian and Natalie Brown, along with 9-year-old Samuel and 8-year-old Annie, have just returned from the Philippines where they met Nanbert, the child they have been sponsoring through child development charity, Compassion UK.

The family of four embarked on a world trip this summer, visiting Peru and Australia before travelling to the Philippines they took the opportunity to meet 13-year-old Nanbert, the child they have been sponsoring for over 9 years.

Sponsored child visit

“We were so excited about meeting Nanbert face-to-face, even though we have exchanged letters almost all his life, it’s hard to really grasp his circumstances or know him personally. To finally meet his family, see his home and be able to give him a hug was a real privilege,” reflects Natalie, a 41-year-old GP.

“We were warmly welcomed into his home, a roughly built two storey house with two rooms, which he shares with his mum, stepdad, grandma and four siblings. They live on a small dusty road, opposite a stream surrounded by piles of rubbish and debris. It was very basic and felt hot and overcrowded but they did have water and electricity,” shares Natalie.

“Nanbert was very shy at first but you could tell he was excited and he made a poster to welcome us to the Philippines. It was very humbling, Nanbert, his mum and grandma made a moving speech about the difference our support had made. They said that they had often prayed that one day we would meet, we finished with a big shared hug and it was very emotional,” reflects Natalie.

Nanbert lives on the plains of Mandaue. Typically houses are constructed of bamboo and have corrugated iron roofs. Most adults work as day labourers, street vendors or in factories and earn the equivalent of £55 per month.

Even though primary school in the Philippines is free for children who are Nanbert’s age, poor infrastructure, lack or educational resources and qualified teaching staff mean that quality education is not always guaranteed. The Brown’s sponsorship enables Nanbert to be part of his local Compassion project where he receives nutritious meals, emotional support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.

“Compassion has helped Nanbert with his health, education and even his basketball skills! We hope he grows into a strong and healthy man and gets to become a policeman which is his dream,” share Samuel and Annie, both pupils at Fernwood Primary school in Wollaton.

Now back in the UK, the Brown’s reflect on the family visit: “It was such a rewarding opportunity. It has added a real depth to our ongoing relationship and increased our knowledge and understanding of Nanbert’s life, so now we can support him better.”

Becca Stanley

Words by Becca Stanley


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.