Good morning! Happy Sponsored Kids Friday and hope everyone has had a good week this week! First things first, let’s meet a new kid! Say hello to Ndeye Fatou! Remember, World Vision never lists the surnames for these kids on their profiles, so if you see 2 names – that’s what the child goes by, just like “Sarah Beth” or “John Paul”. Ndeye Fatou is from Tattaguine, Senegal. The nearest city is Mbour, home to 233,000 on the coast of western Senegal. She is 13 now, loves dolls, and enjoys reading in school. She has 6 siblings and has been sponsored by World Vision for 6 years. Fun fact: her photo is actually from this month!
Second, I also want to introduce you to a parent from Senegal. A few days ago, I was able to share some cool stats about VisionFund, World Vision’s microfinance division, with our internal team. On the newsletter where I got that info, they introduced us to this lovely mother from Senegal – Fatou. I wanted to introduce you to her, too, so you could hear her story and get a new perspective on who all we sponsor. Remember, every time we sponsor a child, their whole family is positively affected.
Meet Fatou! Fatou is 35 years old and the mother of ELEVEN children. How does Fatou support all 11 kids? She sells things at a market in Tamba, Senegal. Early in the morning, Fatou will purchase fruit, like mangoes, in her village. She then transports those mangoes to the market in Tamba and sells them for a small profit. It’s not unusual for customers to haggle over prices in the market – but do they know that she needs every cent to provide for her kids? Fatou’s husband works, too. He’s a professional driver, but that doesn’t provide much either.
The result of this small household income is that their family of 13 literally can’t fit in their house. Two beds are laid out each night under a makeshift awning just outside the house. Like many families there, they also have no electricity. Right now, when Fatou goes to the market, the older children cook and take care of the younger ones. The 4 oldest kids had to drop out of school to support the family, but 6 of Fatou’s children are still in school. Like many girls in rural Senegal, Fatou was married young to release her family of the financial burden of caring for her. At 15, instead of getting an education, spending time with friends, and dreaming of her future, Fatou got married. Now, Fatou wants more opportunity for her children. And that’s where World Vision comes in. Last year, Fatou received 3 small loans from VisionFund.
- One to support small trade.
- One to invest in growing groundnuts and purchasing them for resale.
- One to buy bricks to renovate her shop at the Tamba market.
Loans like these can make the impossible a little more attainable and make a world of difference for a small business in a market. Fatou and her husband work so hard and take out these loans not just to feed their children now, but to give them a chance at a brighter future, outside of the confines of poverty. Fatou said she wanted to see all of her children go to school and get good jobs and hopefully support their family in the future. Here are some quotes from 2 of her children:
Seventeen-year old Jeneba is still in school and says, “Our mother works very hard. We see her struggling a lot to provide a better life for us. We are going to do our best to pay her back in the future.”
Fourteen-year old Mariama wants to be a doctor. “We’ve seen our mother struggle to support us—going to the market, coming home late in the evening, making food and taking care of all the children. There is no one to help her. I do not want to get married very young. I want to study”, she says, adding that they want their mother to hold onto these jobs for now, and that soon, they would be able to support her.
Today, in every task we do, Abenity is going to keep Fatou and Ndeye Fatou at the forefront of our minds. We hope you’ll keep them in your prayers, too!