Emmendingen, 27th May 2022
“….I want to give children the opportunity to live a good life.”
We met with Arne, one of our sponsors, and asked him a few questions. Arne is 25 years old and a student.Here are a few excerpts from our conversation:
Vision Hope: “How did you find out about the child sponsorship program?”
Arne: In my church community, there is always an engagement with international issues. Lars Schärer [note: board member] reported there one evening and shared about VHI. He also told us about the sponsorship program. I found that very interesting because a few weeks before I had a conversation with friends that it would be cool to sponsor a child abroad. After the conversation with my friends, I thought about it a little bit and then just came this short presentation from Lars and then I thought, I’ll take this as an opportunity to put the thoughts into action as well.”
Vision Hope: “Why did you decide to support a child?”
Arne: “There’s a lot behind it: We are doing so well in Germany. I am a student, and as a student, I would say that I am definitely not rich on average in Germany, and yet I am doing really, really well compared to the majority of the world’s population! Just the fact that I already have everything I need to live, from food to clothes, that I can dress warmly in winter, that I have my own room that I don’t have to share with anyone, … It goes on with that I can go to school for free, go to university for free, a functioning social system, a good health system that covers me when I’m sick.
I think these are things that are often taken for granted in Germany. But when I read the news, I see that many people don’t feel that way. And somehow I can’t, this may sound crass, but I can’t reconcile this with my conscience, that I spend money on a lot of luxury items or spend money on things that I don’t necessarily need to live, and at the same time know that there are many people in the world who don’t even know where they can get their next meal or who don’t have the possibility to go to the hospital when they are sick and buy the simplest medicine.
This is my main motivation why I decided to become a sponsor: With what I have, I don’t want to make the best life possible for myself, but from the wealth and surplus I have, I want to give others the opportunity to live a good life with it.”
Vision Hope: When you look back in a few years, what wishes do you have for the sponsored child?
Arne: I don’t get anything out of the sponsorship, but that is normal. I don’t expect anything in return. But when I read the news, I find that in the vast majority of conflicts and wars that currently exist in the world, the children are usually the ones who suffer. Both acutely in the situation and in the long term. By acute I mean that when there is war and people have to flee, the children are often the least able to cope. But in the long term, I mean the long term consequences of the flight, that social environments have been destroyed, … that education is not possible or the long term consequences of food disasters, if you don’t get enough to eat in childhood. On the one hand, health consequences that become noticeable later in life, but also that the child then has to go to work, for example, to support the family.
Because the children are always the ones who suffer, I hope that by supporting my godchild financially, I will give him the opportunity to live in a stable and secure social environment, to have the chance of education and then in the future, in 10 or 15 years, that he will be able to find a job because he is now more protected and can grow up well, in order to support himself and his family financially and thus break out of this cycle of poverty or the cycle of the consequences of war. I wish my sponsored child, a safe social environment where there is the possibility to just be a child and enjoy childhood, to have friends, the possibility of education, the possibility of health care. Then to make something good out of it in the future!”
The interview was conducted by Hanna Schrodt.
Read here about our child sponsorship program and how you can sponsor a child.