This journey of intentionally making a difference for children in our region of the world did not happen overnight. There have been defining moments in mine and my husband's lives as individuals that have led us here. My husband lost his parents at a young age; growing up, we both witnessed poverty outside our doorsteps. We recognised the many forms of vulnerability to children in less favourable situations than our own. Our daughter Anna was born premature at 7 months and was admitted to the neonatal care.
These experiences made us recognise that life is indeed short and fragile and that many people are living in worst off conditions than we are. This shaped how we view the world and our place in it. We understood that wherever and whoever we are, we as people have a capacity to always do more. This is why we so strongly believe in making a difference and investing children lives who are the next generation.
As a family, we are proud World Vision sponsors of three children in Vietnam. When we first became child sponsors we were amazed that our only daughter Anna was so involved in the sponsorship and could understand the concept of caring and remembering another child whom she had never met. Within six months, she had numerous times told us she would like to meet her “brother”. In the next six months our family sponsored two more children also in the same community as our boy. We hoped one day to be able to make a trip to Tua Chua (in Vietnam) to visit our sponsored family members.
As we were planning a move to another country, we finally got our wish and organised a family trip with World Vision to visit our sponsored children in Vietnam. In the process, we wanted to fundraise for something that would truly benefit our three sponsored children and their whole community. This is how we came to fundraise for nutrition clubs in Vietnam with One Goal.
We learnt of One Goal from World Vision Malaysia. It is a new movement in which World Vision in partnership with the Asian Football Confederation and other core partners use football as a tool to address the issue of malnutrition in Asia. As parents, one of the things we prioritize for our toddler daughter is nutrition because of its importance to her health, so it was apt that we did the same for our three kids in Vietnam. One Goal gave us the chance to fundraise for nutrition clubs that would benefit the whole community where our sponsored children lived.
The experience of visiting our sponsored children was life-changing. We will never forget it as long as we live, especially knowing that we can help contribute to the health and nutrition of this community.
Upon our return, our family hosted a luncheon at a cosy cafe for family and friends so we could share with them about the great work of World Vision and One Goal in our sponsored children's community. We asked our friends to please help us fundraise to support the nutrition clubs where mothers learn about nutritious diets and foods to feed their children, and children learn about good nutritious practices.
We were amazed and blown away by the contributions that have come in such a short span of time. We first hoped to raise RM2,010 but within a few days we were at 80% of our goal before we even left for Vietnam! So we raised it to RM5,000 and we managed to raise RM19,487.20 within six weeks for the nutrition clubs.
This experience has been an eye opener -- to have seen with our own eyes the difficult living conditions our sponsored kids and their families are in, and to know the ways in which we can make a real difference through fundraising.
We understand that it is easy for us to sit in the comfort of our homes and do life as we know it and believe that whatever we’re giving and doing makes so much difference. Having been there and meeting our kids, and taken time to reflect on many things, we find ourselves asking “Can I do more?” Needless to say, the answer is evident.
The challenge to us and our encouragement to others is to do just that. Do more. We can make a difference for children.
Love, the Wong family