Peterhead resident travels to the Philippines to visit sponsored child

Peterhead resident travels to the Philippines to visit sponsored child

Peterhead resident David Haggath has just returned from the Philippines where he met Ivanne, the child he has been sponsoring. David has supported Ivanne for a year through child development charity, Compassion UK.

69-year-old David who is a part-time volunteer for Fisherman’s Mission in Peterhead, travelled to the Philippines as part of a group from his local church, Apex Church, Peterhead. He wanted to use the opportunity to visit 7-year-old Ivanne.

“Meeting Ivanne was unbelievable. I kept looking at him and shaking my head, thinking ‘This is a real boy, not just a photograph anymore.’ He was very excited on the day, he enjoyed showing me his basketball skills. I was also really impressed by the project staff and Ivanne’s caseworker who used to be sponsored child himself.”

Ivanne lives in the mountainous community of Trancoville, which lies approximately 300 kilometres north of the country’s capital. Homes in his neighbourhood are typically constructed of cement and have tin roofs. Ivanne lives with his grandparents, two of their children and two siblings, since his parents are unable to care for him. Adults in Ivanne’s area typically earn around £15 per week.

“The house was tiny but it was tidy and cared for. It was not the kind of place even a small family would live in the UK. There was very little space and it struck me how fortunate we are,” David reflects. “I saw how much the sponsorship had changed his outlook. He told me he used to be anxious about whether he could attend school. Now he doesn’t need to worry about being able to afford uniform or school equipment, he even dreams of becoming a policeman one day,” says David.

Even though primary school in the Philippines is free for children who are Ivanne’s age, poor infrastructure, lack or educational resources and qualified teaching staff mean that quality education is not always guaranteed. David’s sponsorship enables Ivanne 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.

“There are so many children living in poverty all around the world and you may not be able to help all of them. But I have seen how sponsoring just one boy has brought a life-changing hope to his life – that’s priceless.”

Since returning to the UK, David and his wife, Pauleen, are planning to sponsor another child with the charity.

Compassion UK

Words by Compassion UK


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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.