Today we celebrate the rights of girls and women everywhere. It’s a day to celebrate efforts toward a world where every girl gets a childhood that truly prepares her for a fulfilling and self-sufficient life. Here at Rising Star Outreach, we like to think we are contributing to this honorable cause. On this significant day we thought we would highlight a few of our girls, through the eyes of their sponsors, who are well on their journey toward a wonderful life.

Jessie, while traveling to India with BYU’s College of Nursing, met Velankanni and Sangeetha and her life was changed forever. She writes of her sponsorship experience, “Velankanni was this little spunky ball of energy that grabbed my heart before I knew she’d ever done it. I met her on her first day of school at reading time…  I remember her being so happy to have me there. We played “Chaser” and hide and seek with the other children on the play ground during playtime… Sangeetha was just in UKG when we arrived. It was her first time being away from home. She was scared.  I remember the moment she wrapped me around her little finger. It was at reading time as well. I held her and rocked her on the balcony of the hostel and she just nuzzled her little head into my neck and played with my hair.

I hear about how she is doing in school, and apparently she isn’t the shy little one I met there a year ago. She’s vibrant and growing so quickly… Overall sponsoring my kids makes me happy. I love hearing from them. It reminds me of India, of the experience of a lifetime, and of the many things I learned while I stayed there. India taught me how to love unconditionally – but also how to receive love. Sure, when I sponsor my kids, I’m helping to provide them with a promising future. But it all honesty, as cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I benefit the most.”

When Lorraine learned about the taboo of leprosy in India she wanted to do something to help.  She was pleased when she learned that she could sponsor a child and give the gift of education. In her own words she says, “I looked at many images of children who were looking for a sponsor. I wish I could have sponsored them all. My eyes rested on Karpagavalli because she looked like an older child and I tried to imagine some of the things that she must have been facing in her young life at that age. I felt impressed to start sponsoring her straight away… so she could have a chance.” Karpagavalli has now graduated from 12th Standard with high marks on her final exams, and is studying to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology at Saranaphan College of Engineering. She’s off and running!

Learn more about International Day of the Girl Child here

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