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A boy sits on a mattress pallet wearing glasses, blue and white shirt and laughing
22 October 2020

Boubacar: Impact of Child Sponsorship

Overcoming poverty and disability to thrive

This is Boubacar, 14. He was born legally blind into extreme poverty only to overcome the many odds stacked against him thanks to involvement of Child Sponsors like you in his community—a small village in southern Senegal.

Boubacar's mother, Fatoumata, was working in the fields when she went into labor to deliver her son.

“I had to stop and give birth in the bush with the animals. I was a little bit afraid and alone. When I delivered him, I put him in the wrap of my clothes, and I brought him home.”

Even though she was alone and had no one to help her, she remembers feeling happy and full of joy that she had given birth to a baby boy.

Boy in white shirt with blue sleeves sits next to older man with orange shirt and hat with study materials
Boubacar receives help writing a letter to his sponsor

In poverty, you don't have what you need to live

“Life in poverty is very difficult. If you don’t have the means, you don’t have what you need to live,” says his mother.

When Boubacar started walking, she noticed that he couldn't see anything. He would stay in one place—sitting at the front of the house or in his room. She worried about his future life. Would he be productive in society or not?

“When he heard his friends playing, he was envious. He used to say: Mum, I want to go and play but I can’t”, she says. “We did not have the means to help him. We could only ask God.”

At age 9, Boubacar was given a second chance in life through his Child Sponsorship.

World Vision Community Facilitator, Tamba, took Boubacar to Dakar, Senegal's capital, for his eye operation.

Right after surgery, Tamba asked: “What can you see?”

Boubacar immediately responded by describing everything he saw, including the trees around them and what he was wearing.

“I was really so overwhelmed. I was so happy, I thought to cry. We saved a child that was almost lost", Tamba said.

“Before World Vision came, there was a lot of diarrhea, children were not well, there was no school – there were lots of things missing.”

Now Boubacar can see

Since Boubacar enrolled in the Child Sponsorship Programme thanks to his sponsor, his quality of life has been enhanced tremendously.

“Now, Boubacar can see, he drinks clean water, he goes to school, he plays with his friends and he can do what he likes!” says Tamba.

Child sponsorship helps the entire community. Child marriage was put to an end as soon as the community understood the importance of children staying in school to gain an education.

Since Child Sponsors like you have partnered with Boubacar’s community, infant mortality, child malnutrition, and diarrhea have almost been eradicated.

“Now, almost all children are enrolled in school," says Tamba

Boubacar's mother shared that when he comes home from school, and from the football ground, he feels confidence in himself.

“I like to learn. I like school because it helps me to think better. When they ask me a question, I do my best to answer all the questions,” says Boubacar

He credits his sponsors as responsible for his “light” and thanks God for them everyday.

Boubacar with his family in a field
Boubacar with his family in a field

“When I grow up, I would like to be a minister of defense. I would like to help my parents in their life and to help World Vision," said Boubacar.

His mother lacks the words to describe how happy and thankful she is for Boubacar's sponsors.

Now that Boubacar can get around on his own and they don't have to line up for water, they have much more time to spend together as a family.

Reflecting, she says, “I used to fear about his life, but now I don’t feel any sadness or shame for him. I see him now and my heart is full of joy.”

“Today he has a fulfilling life and it is a great burden that is taken away from us. We can dare to hope and believe in the future that is ahead of him," says his mother.

For every child you help, 4 more benefit, too.

Boy with glasses and white shirt with blue sleeves looks over book in classroom
Boubacar at a World Vision supported school, sits and reads at his desk

Since Child Sponsors like you have partnered with Boubacar’s community, infant mortality, child malnutrition, and diarrhea have almost been eradicated.

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