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Karen St.M

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1 reviews

Review for Village2Village Project, Inc., Fishers, IN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Meeting our sponsored child after 16 years~

Sixteen years ago, Laurie Kroll, my sister, and Founder of Village2Village Project, asked if I would sponsor a little girl in Uganda named Esther. Since then we have enjoyed choosing special gifts and writing letters to our sponsored child. Over time I have collected a boxful of beautiful letters she has written to us. Last summer’s letter to us however, reduced me to tears. Esther, who is now in her 20’s wrote, “I remember the first day I got photos and dolls from you, the smile I had on my face is the same big smile I have today. My heart is full of love, my mind at peace and I am filled with joy. I graduated with an honors degree on 5th July, 2019 and it was the happiest day of my life.”

Our Village2Village Project daughter, Inebe Esther, had graduated from Uganda Christian University with an honors degree in development! After reading her letter, I knew that I wanted to give her a hug…in person.

My daughter Jocelyn and I booked our flights to join the team for their January 2020 trip. It was amazing to see Uganda for the first time after years hearing my sister’s stories. Keeping our travel plans a secret from everyone was hard, but so worth it. Our arrival day was full of hugs and big happy tears. It was so special to spend more than a week really getting to know Esther, who was also hired as the newest caseworker with the Village2Village Project staff! Spending time with all the sponsored children and the amazing staff of Village2Village Project far exceeded our imaginations. Each morning the Ugandan staff started our days with sports and silly games and big belly laughs. Following all the games and sports were beautiful worship songs and lessons. The younger children loved being with the older teens as they happily joined to help. We watched in amazement as nutritious meals for more than 100 children were cooked over only a wood burning fire. Breakfast and lunch felt like huge family gatherings with brothers and sisters of all ages. There was such genuine love between the children and the incredibly dedicated and hardworking staff. The joy was contagious, and we were blessed to be a part of it all.

In the evenings our team spent time traveling to the remote homes of orphaned and at-risk children being considered for Village2Village Project sponsorship. Seeing the living conditions was distressing and it was heart wrenching to learn their stories. Days later when the children and their guardians came to the V2V site to join the group, we watched these fragile children transform. Healthy meals and a chance to play and sing with all the other children brought them to life. We happily watched as new friendships formed.
It was a stark reminder that each of our sponsored children’s lives began with a heart wrenching story… but with the love, education, and medical support that sponsors provide, along with the special gifts and letters, each child gets a chance to rewrite their story.

I am thrilled to say we have come full circle. Our daughter, Jocelyn, is sponsor to Aguyo Anna Grace. Our son, Ryan, is sponsor to Opio James. My husband and I now sponsor a little girl named Igonu Florence. And, after all these years of exchanging letters, Inebe Esther and I are exchanging texts and emails as we work together with Village2Village Project.

Village2Village Project is a nonprofit that is truly changing lives.

Role:  Donor