Stories of Hope

Claudia Overcomes Hardship

Nine years old now, Claudia didn’t grow up with her biological mother and father but was adopted as a baby by a couple, Bianca and Effren, in a small Nicaraguan community. Born significantly underweight, Claudia also suffered from diabetes. Bianca remembers crying over her stove at night because they didn’t have the money to buy her the milk or special food she needed.

Despite their hardship, the couple loves Claudia as their own. “I feel that I am very blessed,” Bianca says, “to have received this girl into my family.” She’s also thankful to the girl’s sponsor who, by supporting Feed the Children’s meal center, has helped her gain weight and bring her illness under control with more consistently nutritious food—a benefit that many community children receive in addition to school supplies, shoes and backpacks that help them make the most of their studies and improve their quality of life.

Like many nine-year-olds, Claudia likes to draw pictures, ride her bike, make crafts and go to school. Mature beyond her years, she says that when she grows up she wants to be a doctor so that she can help children who have health problems like her. Bianca told us how grateful she is, saying “I thank God infinitely—because of these good-hearted people who help us.”

 

Feeding Jefferson’s Dreams

The community in Haiti where Jefferson lives was once a lush, wooded area with many fruit trees. But Jefferson explains it, “it has been difficult to live here since people started cutting down the trees—the land is not producing as much as it used to.” Though most of the area’s inhabitants are farmers, what they can sell in local markets is far from enough to feed their children or send them to school.

Even so, 14-year old Jefferson is able to go to school and he loves it. The support he receives from his sponsor is one reason he can attend and not spend all of his time working the land with his parents. The regular meals he eats there, not to mention the school supplies the sponsorship program provides him, lessen the expenses his parents face and help them endure the tough agricultural conditions.

While the school canteen program helps area children meet their basic nutritional needs, other benefits like handwashing stations and healthier school facilities in general allow their parents to experience hope for their community’s future growth. For Jefferson—who also loves to play his guitar—the opportunity to study feeds his dream of becoming a pediatrician someday. As he describes his sponsorship experience: “Feed the Children’s programs bring great satisfaction to me.”