Trish and Gerry Kerr have been child sponsors since they got married, nearly 30 years ago. In May 2016 they visited the child they sponsor in Nepal in May 2016, at their own expense. Sujit, now 16, is the third child they sponsored and they have been sponsoring him for seven years. Through child sponsorship Trish and Gerry have taught their own children about the world, as well as funding the development of some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.
On visiting the village of Dharmanagar, Nepal, Trish and Gerry were delighted not only to meet Sujit and see how he has benefited from being a sponsored child, but also to meet all members of the community who had benefited from child sponsorship. They were particularly struck by the women’s group ActionAid had set-up.
By taking a human rights based approach ActionAid promotes the right to active, free and meaningful participation for all, it addresses discrimination and prioritises vulnerable groups and clarifies links between rights and duties, as well as the relationships between rights-holders (citizens) and duty-bearers (for example police, hospitals and legal systems). Creating local women’s groups and grassroots community groups are a fundamental part of this work.
One woman who Trish and Gerry met from the lowest caste in Nepal had, through training and encouragement by ActionAid and the women’s group, gone on to become an elected member of the local government – she is now advocating to improve the lives of women, children and vulnerable groups in the wider community. This is one of countless examples of real and lasting change made by child sponsors, like Trish and Gerry, around the world.