What happens when children choose their sponsors?
When children choose their sponsors, or HopeChest Friends as we call them, their community throws a huge party!
As we continue celebrating Children’s HopeChest’s 25th Anniversary, we are expanding the Friendship Model, which flips traditional child sponsorship by empowering children to choose their HopeChest Friends.
When children choose their HopeChest Friends at the CarePoint Launch, they are given voice and choice into who they want to build a friendship with. Many children who are living in poverty have choices made for them — about what they need, about what they eat, about what kind of work they can do in the future, or about who comes into their life to support them.
But the Friendship Model further restores dignity in their lives by giving them the choice of who will be their HopeChest Friend.
When children choose their HopeChest Friends, the Holy Spirit has an opportunity to move in a whole new way in the lives of these children.
In December 2019, the Ceiba Blanca CarePoint in Guatemala celebrated its CarePoint Launch, at which 144 children picked their HopeChest Friends. At this launch, the children and families in the CarePoint community sang Guatemala’s national anthem, and the process of picking a friend was described to the children and their guardians. Country Director of Guatemala, Carolina reported, “It was a day full of joy, and the love of God was so evident.”
One of the children who chose his HopeChest friend on that day was Romeo, a nine-year-old boy whose mother is one of the main leaders at Ceiba Blanca CarePoint.
In July 2019 his dad passed away. One day, he went to work and had a heart attack. This was shocking and devastating for Romeo’s family and their church. It has been a difficult time for the family, as Romeo’s mom is now shouldering the weight of caring for her four children. This loss was especially difficult for Romeo.
He is a smart boy and his ambition is to become a good doctor to help heal other people. Romeo shared, ¨I wanna become a doctor, to help heal a lot of children and many fathers and mothers when they get old. I wanted to heal my dad, but he is no longer with me. But I can help my mom.”
Romeo’s mom wants the very best for him. She wants for him to have the happiest childhood as possible. She wants to help him achieve his dreams, and hopes that he becomes a good doctor to help many children and dads.
During the CarePoint Launch, Romeo felt happy because he was going to choose a new friend. As he said, ¨While I was looking through the pictures, I saw a picture of a family — a whole one with a DAD in it and they seemed so happy. At that moment I remembered my dad and my family when he was with us. So, I chose them as my HopeChest Friends because they reminded me of my dad and my family. I am happy to have them as my friends. That is such a blessing.”
Romeo’s mom is happy to see her son choose their friends. She said, “God bless them, because I know they are praying for Romeo.”
When children choose their HopeChest Friends through HopeChest’s Friendship Model, we see true, tangible impact in the lives of children, who are given the opportunity to use their voice and choice.
Learn more about how the Friendship Model is impacting lives of ambitious and caring children around the world like Romeo.