Janvie Story: Giving Voice to Children

 

Abandoned by his parents at age 6, Janvie was no stranger to hardship. “It left a hole in my heart,” he shares. “But I didn’t have the luxury of dwelling on it.” He was left with his grandparents, who struggled to provide for his needs. The family had to live under the shade of a mango tree instead of a proper house at one point. As the only young person in the household, Janvie had to pull his weight and work in the fields instead of going to school.

But challenging circumstances cannot hold back a child who is determined to rise above his situation. “I told myself that I’m not going to make this temporary situation my permanent life,” Janvie recalls. After a year with his grandparents, Janvie heard that World Vision was starting a child sponsorship program in their area. He jumped at the chance and secretly signed himself up with World Vision, even as his grandmother wavered. Becoming a part of World Vision was the turning point their family needed.

Through child sponsorship, Janvie was able to go to school and dream big. He began to thrive and started showing leadership skills even at a young age. He was active in his local church and community, leading Bible studies and representing his school at child congress events. He soon found his passion – advocating for children’s rights.

Having a child sponsor empowered Janvie to see beyond the life he inherited, and become a positive influence in the world. Janvie now speaks at various events as a children’s rights advocate, even appearing on the World Economic Forum in 2017 – all because someone invested in his life when he was seven years old. “The opportunities I had were because of my sponsor’s decision to support me,” Janvie shares. “Without her, I may still be living in poverty.”

Janvie’s experience with World Vision reminds us of how we can make a difference in one child’s life. “All my experiences shaped who I am today, but it was child sponsorship that enabled me to find my voice,” he concludes. And sometimes, that one voice can change the course of history.