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Life coming full circle for a former sponsored child

Today, Alphonse works as an accountant at Plan Benin.

Today, Alphonse works as an accountant at Plan Benin.

Once a month, dozens of students meet on a university campus in Benin, West Africa. Though they come from different parts of the country and study different things, they have two things in common: as children, they were sponsored by Plan, and as young adults, they’ve chosen to give back to the organization that supported them as children.

Together, they’ve formed a group called the Association of Former Plan Benin Sponsored Children. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but their goal is simple. They’re helping sponsored children access the same opportunities they did as children.

Child sponsorship changed his life

For group founder, Alphonse Dayou, clean water was hard to come by as a child. Electricity didn’t exist in his community and the closest school or health clinic was a 2 km walk away.

“It was very difficult to survive,” explains Alphonse. “Being sponsored by Plan was a great opportunity for me. [Otherwise] I would have stayed in the village and not had many opportunities.”

That didn’t happen. Because child sponsorship funded education projects for the children in his community, Alphonse had the opportunity to attend school every day. Because of his sponsor, he worked hard to achieve his dreams because he knew someone on the other side of the world believed in him.

Something that you never forget

When Alphonse turned 18, his excellent grades earned him a scholarship to university where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. He went on to complete his Master’s in Finance.

Later, Plan took Alphonse on as an intern for 6 months. Before he knew it, Alphonse had earned a full-time job working for Plan Benin as an accountant, a role he still holds today.

Giving back and coming full circle
Alphonse and his organization are helping other sponsored children in Benin reach their full potential.

Alphonse and his organization are helping other sponsored children in Benin reach their full potential.

Alphonse partnered with another former sponsored child, Calixte. They both wanted to do something to give back to Plan, and more importantly, help children in their villages.

So, the Association of Former Plan Benin Sponsored Children was born. Today, more than 20 former sponsored children have joined the group and together, they have been supporting children and families in Benin with the following:

  • Tutoring students in primary and secondary school
  • Volunteering their time and advice during the stress of exam season
  • They encourage parents and educators to empower girls to achieve their dreams
  • They support Plan projects through community education campaigns and peer outreach.

Alphonse and his team are incredible Plan ambassadors, and proof that child sponsorship does transform lives.