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The day she met her sponsored child, everything changed

Anna (left) meets Lisandro (right) and his brother in El Salvador.

Lisandro (right) and his brother share a laugh with their guest of honour, Anna in their community in El Salvador.

As Anna began her trip down a long dirt road in rural El Salvador, she began getting nervous. She was about to meet her sponsored child, Lisandro, for the first time. Although Anna and Lisandro had been exchanging letters for two years, meeting him face-to-face felt different.

“I knew that he was going to school and loved baseball and soccer, and that his big wish is to have a bike one day,” explained Anna. “His letters are short and sweet, but very special to me.”

What Anna was feeling was normal. What will Lisandro say? Will he be too nervous? Was he happy Anna was coming to visit him? Her adrenaline was racing.

A special moment between sponsor and sponsored child
Lisandro hugs Anna, his child sponsor from Canada.

Overcome with excitement from the visit, Lisandro hugs Anna.

As Anna neared her destination, she noticed two boys sitting in the tall grass. When the vehicle drove by, the boys sprung up and began waving at the car. When the car slowed, Anna recognized the faces right away – it was Lisandro and his brother.

“They were so excited to finally meet us that they had tears in their eyes,” Anna said. “Right then I realized that the visit is as special to the family as it is to me, and all my insecurities vanished.”

A day with her sponsored child

The excitement never stopped. Lisandro ran home to tell everyone his special visitor had finally arrived. Anna met everyone: mom, brothers, aunts, cousins and even grandpa stopped in.

“We talked, we laughed, and we went on a tour of the property,” explained Anna. It was during her time with Lisandro and his family that Anna realized the impact her monthly contributions had on the entire community. “It was so great to see that what we do for these children really does have an impact.”

Seeing it from a whole new perspective
Anna, Lisandro, Laura and Plan staff members stand in front of a Plan vehicle in El Salvador.

Anna, Laura (right) and other Plan staff members pose for a group photo with Lisandro in El Salvador.

There was a bonus for Anna. One of the Plan staff members who accompanied Anna on her visit was a former sponsored child herself. Today, Laura works with Plan El Salvador to coordinate child sponsorship, but years ago, she benefited from child sponsorship, just like Lisandro.

“I saw firsthand that the contributions we make to Plan Canada accomplish great things,” said Anna. “It provides kids, families and communities with education, skills training and better living conditions.”

For Anna, meeting Lisandro, his family and Laura opened her eyes to something great.

“I like to think that our small contributions give people hope for a better life and confirmation that there are people that care.”

We’re so happy to see how much Anna cares!