Contributed by Laura Walls in Stories from the Field
My Facebook feed has been flooded with beautiful photos of children heading back to school. Their faces are bright with promise and their backpacks filled with supplies for the coming year. It's a hopeful time for so many kids!
But for Mao Reasa, the youngest of ten children, the return of the school year was not a time for hope. Reasa lives in northwest Cambodia, near the border of Thailand where the average daily wage is just $1.29 a day. Her parents Vann Mao and Soa Soeurt had told her she couldn't go to school anymore. They could no longer afford the school fees and expenses. Reasa watched as the other children went to school each day while she stayed behind.
When World Vision came into Reasa's community, a children's club was started and Reasa began to attend with her friends. It was there that a hunger to return to school began to grow in Reasa's heart. With the support and encouragement of World Vision staff, Reasa approached her parents to see about returning to school and, in addition to making the request, she had a plan.
World Vision would supply Reasa with chickens and, to pay for her schooling, she would sell the eggs.
Her parents were proud of Reasa's determination and happy to allow her to return to school. They quickly noticed a change in Reasa's spirit and her appearance. "Just look at her." Her father beamed. "She takes such good care of her hair and appearance, now."
And we could see it, too! Reasa had an air of hope and promise - just like the faces of the kids we see scattered across the wall of our Facebook feeds. And it was all because of child sponsors and donors who believed in and gave to help a little girl they had never met, in a place they had never been to, because of the example of a Savior who loved and gave to us all.
So, as child ambassadors, when you see photos of kids heading back to school, remember the many children like Reasa, who need someone to stand alongside them, encourage, and support them. Be faithful to look for sponsors for the kids who need your voice and share the story of Reasa, whose life is changed as a result of World Vision's impact in the lives of children around the world!
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
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Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.