A Peterhead man has recently returned from a trip to the Philippines where he met the child he is sponsoring.
David Haggath (69), who is a part-time volunteer at the town’s Fishermen’s Mission, travelled to the country to meet with Ivanne, whom he has supported for a year through child development charity, Compassion UK.
David travelled to the Philippines as part of a group from the town’s Apex Church, Peterhead.
He wanted to use the opportunity to visit seven year- old Ivanne.
David said: “Meeting Ivanne was unbelievable. I kept looking at him and shaking my head, thinking ‘This is a real boy, not just a photograph anymore.’
“He was very excited on the day, he enjoyed showing me his basketball skills. I was also really impressed by the project staff and Ivanne’s caseworker used to be sponsored child himself.”
Ivanne lives in the mountainous community of Trancoville, which lies approximately 300 kilometres North of the country’s capital.
Homes in his neighbourhood are typically constructed of cement and have tin roofs. Ivanne lives with his grandparents, two of their children and two siblings, since his parents are unable to care for him. Adults in Ivanne’s area typically earn around £15 per week.
David continued: “The house was tiny but it was tidy and cared for. It was not the kind of place even a small family would live in the UK.
“There was very little space and it struck me how fortunate we are.
“I saw how much the sponsorship had changed his outlook. He told me he used to be anxious about whether he could attend school. Now he doesn’t need to worry about being able to afford uniform or school equipment, he even dreams of becoming a policeman one day.”
Even though primary school in the Philippines is free for children who are Ivanne’s age, poor infrastructure, lack or educational resources and qualified teaching staff mean that quality education is not always guaranteed.
David’s sponsorship of £25 a month enables Ivanne to bepart of his local Compassion project where he receives nutritious meals, emotional support,medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.
“I have seen how sponsoring just one boy has brought a life-changing hope to his life – that’s priceless.” added David.
Since returning to the UK, David and his wife, Pauleen, are planning to sponsor another child with the charity.