Mindi Dryer wasn’t sure what to expect, but when she arrived in Sreyneang’s community, she was taken aback by the warm and friendly response.
“The highlight was definitely meeting Sreyneang and her immediate family,” she said. “They were so welcoming and friendly to us as visitors. It was also fun to meet other families and learn more about the roles that everyone has within the community.”v Mindi was visiting her sponsored child, Sreyneang, a young girl from Cambodia.
Although Mindi had sent letters to Sreyneang, she felt a face-to-face meeting would forge a more personal relationship.
“I wanted to connect with my sponsored child and let her know who I was,” she said. “I also wanted to see [her] living conditions. I wanted to see the type of work that Plan was doing in that particular community. I am also lucky enough to be living in Asia, so a visit to Cambodia is a short flight for me.”
Mindi and Sreyneang’s meeting was no accident. Mindi had a lot of international development organizations from which to choose, but in the end she knew that if she became a part of the Plan movement, she’d have the opportunity to experience all of the incredible aspects of sponsorship.
She’d even be able to see – in person – how she is making a meaningful difference.
“I did a lot of research with NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] and found that Plan had a very good reputation,” she said. “I also chose Plan because they allow you to visit your sponsored child. This is very important to me.”
Plan’s long-term commitment to the communities in which it works and the children it works with were important to Mindi as well.
“I chose Plan because they focus on prevention and the emphasis is on building a community, which is more sustainable than helping an individual person,” she said.
“I was very impressed with the variety of projects that Plan is working on,” she added. “They not only provide water services, but education, farming, and much more!”
Mindi is thankful she decided to join the Plan movement and become part of a community that believes in the promise and potential of children like Sreyneang.
Moreover, she is glad she was able to see her contributions in person.
“It was such a rewarding experience to be welcomed by another culture and to be accepted by my sponsored child and her family,” she said. “It's very difficult to explain in words the overwhelmingly happy feeling that I felt on that day. I would encourage all sponsors to see their sponsored child in person to fully understand the impact and experience of what is happening. I will be returning to visit Sreyneang again in the near future.”