Child Sponsor Testimonials from Americas

In Central and South America, SOS Children give children a new home in a loving family environment. We work in most of the south American countries, and all of the central American countries.

Read letters we have received from sponsors about their experiences of supporting children in the Americas:

sponsor a child in bogotaGiving Something Back

Sarah Woods is a freelance travel writer, editor and guidebook author. She explains how SOS sponsorship has enriched her world.

I've been fascinated with travel ever since I was a young girl. From my bedroom a globe, world atlas and shortwave radio provided a bridge to far flung foreign lands and I dreamt of witnessing first hand the incredible sights, smells, colours and cultures of the world at large. As a travel writer I have criss-crossed the globe many times in the last 20 years, clocking up at least a quarter of a million kilometres and journeying through more than 50 countries. I never tire of travel and relish every trip I make, even thought it can mean I'm away from home for up to 200 days each year. People often assume it's a 'dream job' but life on the road can often be anything by glamorous. Aside of the airport delays and jet lag I am also shocked by some of the things that I see, from the poverty-stricken villages and poor levels of sanitation to cities where social decay has taken hold and family life has broken down. It's especially difficult when this affects children, given that young people so often represent hope and the future.

I decided to become an SOS sponsor after meeting some street kids in the slums of Panama. I'd written the first travel guide book to Panama by a British author and had been lucky enough to win a highly prestigious award for my efforts. Yet as I held the hand of a sick little girl as she lay shrouded in a pile of rubble and fast-food packing, the glitz and glamor of that Savoy award presentation was the furthest thing from my mind. I'd been so priveledged to be so warmly welcomed by every Panamanian I'd met as I travelled throughout the isthmus, from the Kuna Indians who surprised me with songs and lobster on my birthday, to the potter who shared his life story whilst at the wheel in Herrera. It was time for me to give something back to Panama and I did this with the help of SOS. My sponsorship has helped dozens of children like that feverish little girl I found alone in the rat-invested backstreets, providing the love, support, education and nuture that abandoned children so need. My next trip? It's to Colombia on another guide book assignment and I've felt so enriched by my experiences at Panama's David children's village that I've already started sponsoring a village in Bogota. Why? Because I now feel that this forms an important component to any long term visit - and I feel honoured to be a part such incredible projects. Helping the future of a nation through it's children has given my travel experiences a fresh perspective, I can honestly say that it's really changed my world.

Sarah Woods 2006

Sponsor a child in PeruAnn Bailey, a sponsor living in Cambridge, writes:

In 1965, whilst working in Canada, I first sponsored a child called Anni, aged 5. I first visited the SOS Children's Village where she lived in 1969 and since then, except for one year, I have seen Anni every year since (mainly in her country but a couple of times in mine). I have had wonderful holidays in the SOS Children's Village where I met her, her SOS Mother

and her eight brothers and sisters in her new family. At Christmas I started sending presents to all of them.

Anni is no longer a sponsored child, she is married (I went to the wedding) to a lawyer and they live with their four children. I am still very much involved with Anni and her family and have just posted a birthday parcel to her youngest child, Jakob, who is now 11 years old. I feel I am part of their family and they are certainly part of mine. I have been to first Holy Communions, school visits and trips to the zoo. I have visited her SOS Mother's own family and taken my sponsored child to the theatre and concerts. Anni's SOS Mother is retired now and still lives in the SOS Village: I see her every time I visit.

After I stopped sponsoring Anni, my next sponsored child was Souad. There was a civil war in his country when I started sponsoring him, so our direct contact was much more limited. We could not send parcels to his country but on holiday I met some nuns near him who took a parcel for me. Souad is now 32, married with a son and living in Paris!

Now I sponsor Martin in Peru. His Christmas card for me arrived last week! Because I have stayed in an SOS Children's Village I know how it works. I know my sponsorship helps do the very best for all the children cared for.

Ann Bailey, Cambridge 2005

A special little girl in Nicaragua

Recently, Helen and Guy Dodd from Falmouth decided to sponsor a little girl in Nicaragua:

“We have been supporting SOS Children for about 35 years now. The organisation has always seemed to us a reliable, utterly practical, frontline charity.

In the early days we raised funds with the help of school children doing sponsored walks and bazaar stalls, but later we started to sponsor individual children in the poor countries of the Caribbean. We chose this area because Helen was a Spanish teacher and felt a special affinity when she was able to communicate with each child.

A high point for us was when we were able to visit our sponsored little girl in Nicaragua. We received such a warm welcome from the whole community. The little girl showed us proudly around her house, introduced us to her ‘Mama’ and her siblings and was clearly happy and secure. We knew she had come to the Village a vulnerable undernourished orphan. Inside the Village there was safety.

Outside on the streets were children begging, their stomachs extended and hair discoloured with malnutrition. The work is never done. Every time there is a major disaster we know that SOS Children will be there for the most needy children and we prefer to send our donations to them in the certain knowledge that not one penny will go astray. We have also left a donation in our will”

Helen and Guy Dodd

Find out more about child sponsorship in the Americas

To find out more about the work we do in the Americas,  including the work we do for street children and the work we do in each country, go to our sponsor a child in the Americas section.