On the Bright Side - Salvation Army Canada

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    On the Bright Side

    The Salvation Army's Brighter Futures children's sponsorship program offers hope and transforms lives. September 11, 2014 by Major Donna Barthau
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    Feature
    Haamid was born blind, to a poor mother in a poor country. With no other source of income, they made their living begging on the streets. When The Salvation Army told Haamid's mother about a school where he could live and study, she was hesitant but eventually agreed that he could attend. The Integrated Children's Centre in Savar, Bangladesh, is a primary school for children in the community, as well as a residential program for blind boys and orphaned or vulnerable girls, like Nirani. Nirani's family couldn't afford school fees, and she had little hope of ever learning to read or write.

    Today, Haamid is nine years old, happy and confident, preparing for a future of independence and dignity. Nirani just passed the government's secondary school examinations with an A+. Haamid and Nirani are two of thousands of vulnerable children who have been helped by The Salvation Army's Brighter Futures program, a community-based approach to children's sponsorship.

    Sponsorship funding provides access to education by assisting with school fees, books, uniforms and other essential equipment. Through daycare, early childhood education and after-school programs, children have a safe environment while their parents are working. Orphaned, disabled and poor children are given a place to live, learn and grow in children's homes, with medical treatment and special attention to their social and spiritual care. Sponsorship funding also offers the opportunity for life and skills training by providing materials and equipment.

    Long-term Impact

    Moses, a quiet teen from Kenya, was born with severe clubfoot. Through help from a Salvation Army centre, a visiting surgeon operated on his feet and he learned carpentry. At his graduation ceremony, Moses walked up to receive his trade certificate and now has the skills he needs to help his family.

    Grace, a Salvation Army officer in Indonesia, grew up in a children's home where she received food and clothing, education and health care, encouragement and spiritual support. Along with her officer husband, she now helps other vulnerable children as the director of a children's home.

    In Brazil, parents came to plead with The Salvation Army to provide social protection and educational assistance for their children and teens. What started as a small Sunday school is now an active community program that provides health and educational support, skills training and social protection from drugs, gangs, violence, prostitution and trafficking. Parents meet monthly and teens are finishing high school and finding jobs.

    Children assisted by the sponsorship program have become successful teachers, nurses, doctors, trade specialists, lawyers, government officials and even presidents. Through your support, The Salvation Army Brighter Futures children's sponsorship program is making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children, families and communities around the world.

    Give children a brighter future. Become a sponsorship donor. You don't need to belong to The Salvation Army, you just need a desire to help. You can donate on your own or with your family, church/corps or business. Sponsorship is $300 per year and can be paid annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. You can send a cheque or arrange automatic withdrawals. Visit www.saworldmissions.ca or call 416-422-6224 to join our sponsorship program.

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