A lecturer was excited and humbled to visit a South American child she sponsors.
Kay Andrews, of Rothwell, visited seven-year-old Devora, a child she sponsors in Guatemala through charity ActionAid.
Ms Andrews said: “Arriving in the village I was introduced to men and women who lead the community.
“Hovering in the background was a little girl wearing traditional Mayan dress. This was Devora.
“It was both exciting and humbling to be in the village. I was immediately struck by the realisation that such small amounts of money by UK standards can make such a significant difference.”
The lecturer began sponsoring Devora and the Mayan community in which she lives two years ago after much research.
She made the 5,320-mile trip after hearing back from Devora.
Ms Andrews opted for the charity because it helps entire communities rather than individuals.
She said: “They weren’t a charity that just parachutes in aid and injects cash into developing countries, but instead works closely with local charities and listens carefully to the village needs.”
Ms Andrews began supporting her community through ActionAid’s child sponsorship programme, which costs as little as 50p a day.
Communities agree to be part of the sponsorship programme for many years and the villagers plan projects that improves all of their lives.
The children play a part too by writing and drawing pictures for their overseas sponsors. They also love to receive postcards from their sponsors.
Ms Andrews said: “It really is a global community effort. If you are already a child sponsor and visit you should be prepared to be welcomed with such friendship and kindness that is almost embarrassing.
“But leave your preconceptions about life and people at home and go with an open mind.”