Meeting my sponsor child was a really rewarding experience for me. I was very humbled by how inviting and welcoming him and his family were, they treated me like an old friend even though it was our first time meeting. My sponsor child’s father was incredibly warm and thankful, and told me about the impact the sponsorship had had on their lives, which was really exciting to hear. Meeting the family allowed me to see that my contribution was directly benefitting these people, it allowed me to see that I really was making a difference in other peoples lives.
Sponsorship is about more than just donating money, its about building connections with kids and families around the world, and being able to meet my sponsor child and his family really drove that point home. It’s an experience I’ll always be grateful for, and I’m looking forward to going back in the future to visit him and his family again.
- Alana Reger
I lost my father suddenly after a short five week battle with cancer. I decided to give back with some of my inheritance and help out some less privileged people. Bridges of Hope guided me through the process of fundraising and eventually building a school in Yoro, Burkina Faso. Through Bridges of Hope, I also chose to sponsor two children - a boy, Loukmane, and a girl, Adiara.
After a few short years of hard work I had the opportunity to travel to Burkina to see the legacy school for my father, and also to meet my sponsor children. This, for me, was definitely a 'once in a lifetime' and a very eye opening kind of experience. Not only did I get to see two beautiful children that are so appreciative to be able to go to school and be taken care of because of my sponsorship, but also I was able to heal a little bit from the sudden loss of my father. Being in Burkina and paying my dad's giving nature forward was a life changing experience for me, and also a bit of a form of therapy. I know my dad was with me that day as I saw the school for the first time, and I know he had a huge smile on his face.
Burkina Faso, and its people, helped me heal a little bit from the tragedy that I was struggling to cope with. It also showed me that everyone has to experience some sort of pain and hardship in life. Only then do you realize that we are all truly connected. We need to support each other in our weakest times, and need to help one another navigate our lives to move forward in the best way possible.
Thank you to Bridges of Hope, Daniel and all the staff, for helping me get through a very tough time and showing me that even in the smallest parts of the world you have friends to help lift you back up when you fall down.
- Becky Barton
In March, 2011, I participated on a medical trip to Burkina Faso, West Africa. I was really looking forward to this trip because this is where Bridges of Hope was established and has developed clinics, orphanages, schools and many business opportunities. I was excited to witness the progress that has been made and the work that is being done there. The thing I was most looking forward to was meeting one of my sponsor children for the first time. In Boura, a small village in Burkina, my sponsor child, Barkatou, lives with her aunt and sister. I remember the anticipation, nervousness and overwhelming emotions while I waited for our first meeting and how surreal the whole experience was. I had spent 5 years writing her letters, sending pictures and praying for the opportunity for me to meet her in person. I remember when she was brought to the place we were staying in Boura. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes, and I think I had a big smile on my face for the next few hours that we spent together. Of course we could not communicate like I could with someone at home because of the language barrier, but we were able to spend some time “talking” to each other through the help of translators and my French-English dictionary. Being able to hold her hand, meet her little sister and aunt, and see where she lived and went to school, truly made everything that much more real. I remember when I was at her house, giving her the gifts I had brought and reading a letter to her, that I was overcome with happiness and emotion and tears filled my eyes. It is an experience that I don’t think that anyone will understand until they have experienced it firsthand. I can honestly say that meeting Barkatou has been one of the best moments I have ever experienced in my life thus far. The sponsorship program that Bridges of Hope provides is making a difference in these children’s lives. Providing them with clothes, food, and education, and a chance to stay connected to the people that are sponsoring them. They say that by sponsoring the children we are changing their lives, but after my experience I can truly say that it has changed me and has been a blessing to me as well.
- Jodie Nieboer
My name is Shawn Harter and I went on a trip to Burkina Faso in July, 2010. It was an amazing, life changing experience that I will never forget. Going to this poverty-filled nation impacted me in a way that I cannot explain. I went expecting to help the people I was meeting but came back being helped by them. On this trip I was able to see the amazing difference that Bridges of Hope was having in these communities. I heard testimony after testimony from people who had taken micro-loans and were able to support themselves, I heard stories from praising mothers who had found the malnutrition center in Boura after having nowhere to take their malnourished babies, and I was able to see the impact that sponsorship has had on so many children. It gave me a larger understanding of what Bridges of Hope is trying to do and why they are doing it. It helped me to grasp the vision of Bridges of Hope, and to see how much potential there is to make a change.
I have a sponsor girl in Burkina Faso named Odette. I had the awesome opportunity to meet her. It was an amazing experience as I was able to see where she lived and meet her family. Before I met her, having a sponsor child felt so distant and it was hard to grasp the impact it was having. But after meeting her I was able to see the real person that was being supported through this program. It showed me how my small contribution is actually making a huge difference in the life of one little girl.
- Shawn Harter
Through the Global Connection Experience Program with Bridges of Hope, I was able to spend three months teaching English in Burkina Faso, West Africa. I witnessed firsthand how Bridges of Hope is empowering the Burkinabe people, especially through education and health care.
One day, I saw women with babies on their backs heading towards the BOH malnutrition centre. This centre is where babies were being assessed to see if they were malnourished. As I was walking around, I came across a little girl whose tiny body made me feel sick to my stomach. I had to do something. I asked one of the staff members how I could help. We ended up sending the two mothers and their babies to the BOH medical clinic where I was able to pay for their medical bills.
There are so many children in need of medical and malnutrition attention, but unfortunately many families have no means to pay for this. Bridges of Hope is doing amazing things to help the lives of the poor in Burkina Faso by helping as many as they can. Without a medical clinic, and BOH employees, these women and their babies would never have been helped.
Sometimes we feel disconnected from the poverty we are helping to fight against, but the support we give is necessary to help the people of Burkina Faso.