Welcome back to our four-part blog series talking about how sponsorship impacts a child’s mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical development. This is our third blog, looking at how sponsorship helps a child’s emotional development. 

 

Poverty places children at physical risk, but also at risk of emotional damage. It robs them of the belief that they matter, have value, and deprives them of the dream of a different future. This can hinder a child’s ability to form positive relationships with others and learn to make healthy decisions. Breaking down destructive thought patterns and helping children see themselves as God sees them, is vital to helping them break free from emotional poverty. But it isn’t easy. 

Children are loved by God and are capable of changing their circumstances. Often, children in poverty do not understand this. That’s where tutors come in. Every child registered in Tearfund and Compassion’s sponsorship programme, is partnered with a tutor from their centre. Each tutor gets to know the children in their care, meet with their family, help them with schoolwork and mentor them through each stage of life. 

How-does-sponsorsip-help-kids-emotionally25.jpg Junior from Nicaragua.

Junior from Nicaragua is an example of Compassion’s sponsorship approach. He was seven when he was registered in Compassion’s programme, and refused to participate or cooperate with adults or children in any capacity—his default emotion was anger. Despite his mother’s attempts to help him and the regular care of the centre psychologist, Junior struggled to develop relationships and make positive decisions. 

When he grew older, Junior’s attendance at his Compassion centre began to decrease as he started working with his father. Celia Jarquín, Junior’s tutor, knew that without intervention Junior would likely drop out altogether. She also suspected that giving him more hands-on projects at the centre might help him feel more invested in the programme, so she invited Junior to sign up for an upcoming pastry-making workshop she was teaching. To her surprise, he agreed. 

Junior discovered a new skill in pastry-making and thrived under Celia’s encouragement. He did so well that she asked him to be her teaching assistant at the next workshop. “I thought he might change if I gave him the chance,” says Celia. “Sometimes children only need a vote of confidence, need to feel that we trust them.” 

As Celia continued to trust Junior’s abilities, he began to transform. Instead of being disrespectful and disruptive, he was helping keep the class on track and tutoring his peers. When a third workshop was offered, Celia asked Junior to teach it, and she stepped into the role of his assistant. 

How-does-sponsorship-help-kids-emotionally3.jpg Junior discovered a new skill in pastry-making.

“He needed to trust in himself and needed someone to trust in him too,” says Celia. “Sometimes, because of so much work, parents don’t give children the support they need. But what children need is their motivation and have someone behind them saying, ‘You can do it!’” 

Junior, now a high school student, has dreams to pursue an engineering degree and hopes to open a pastry shop on the side. He also continues to attend activities at his Compassion centre regularly. “I feel good at the centre because I learn many things here,” he says. “I feel motivated and loved here.” 

Junior is just one example of many who receive the emotional support and stability they need to thrive and succeed, thanks to sponsorship.  

Join us for our next blog! 

 

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