Ly-Ly is a 24-year-old Kiwi living in Wellington. Before sponsoring the children, Ly-Ly went on a holiday to Bogota, Colombia, where she spent time with some wealthy friends and stayed in high-security apartments. Although she enjoyed her time and loved the country, poverty was prevalent. She saw the way some people were living and wanted to do something about it.

So she decided to sponsor three beautiful girls in Bolivia and Colombia, Hellen, Kemelin and Jhuliana. Ly-Ly speaks Spanish and so is able to write to them in their own language. In September, she travelled to South America to meet them for the first time. When she got there, she couldn’t believe what a difference the sponsorship was making.

Seven-year-old Hellen from Colombia lives with her mum and sister. Because of her sponsorship, Hellen can go to school, receive health care treatments and her school tutor checks up on her family to see how they’re doing. Hellen and her mother were so grateful to Ly-Ly and when she said goodbye, Hellen didn’t want her to leave.

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Ly-Ly with seven-year-old Hellen from Colombia

Kemelin, Ly-Ly’s second sponsored child is 18 and also from Colombia. Her parents are separated and she lives with her dad. Her mother and brother live two hours away. Her mum has health issues and cannot work, her brother is unemployed and her dad only works part-time. Because of Ly-Ly, she is able to study Social Sciences at University. Her sponsorship provides her with all the equipment she needs, a computer, books and stationery. Without this, she wouldn’t be able to study.

Jhuliana, her third sponsored child is six-years-old from Bolivia. The sponsorship helps to provide supplemental food and helps with her education. Ly-Ly said she took Julianna to the mall for the first time.

“We went to Time Zone and played air hockey. Initially, she didn’t know what it was but when we played it, she didn’t want to stop. Everyone was so grateful, it was very humbling.”

Now, Colombia has a special place in Ly-Ly’s heart. She continues to write to them in Spanish and wants to volunteer for Tearfund so she can share her story with others.

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Jhuliana and Ly-Ly

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