How sponsoring a child has inspired pupils at Westfield Academy | ActionAid UK

Following an inspiring ‘Diversity Week’, Year 7 students from Westfield Academy have been busy raising funds to sponsor an 8-year-old girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo. A group of them got together to talk about the experience so far:

Children from Westfield Academy who are sponsoring a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Westfield Academy pupils who are sponsoring a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Learning about the Democratic Republic of Congo

“I’d heard of the Democratic Republic of Congo before, but really I had no idea what was going on there until we started sponsoring Sifa,” Nick explains.

“There are no educational opportunities,” Olivia continues. “And they struggle to get enough food and water.”

Most of the students were unaware of the desperate political situation too: “It must be horrible to grow up in a place with war all around you and guns firing randomly,” Oliver says.

A chance to help children around the world

Westfield Academy pupils holding a photo of Sifa, the child they sponsor in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The students are proud to be sponsoring a child in DRC and it has given them a real insight into the lives of children less fortunate than themselves.

“We take school for granted,” Caitlin says. “But there it is a privilege. They have to pay to go to school and then when they are old enough to work, they have to leave.”

Jess compares Sifa’s experiences to life in England: “Here, you see 3-year-old children walking around with iPads. In the DRC everything is so different, the economy is different. It’s like a different world.”

Olivia explains why she thinks child sponsorship is a good thing: “It’s fun for us to be involved and we have learnt about another country. But also, it’s good to do something for someone less fortunate, to help give them more opportunities in their life.”

Sharing lives and making a new friend

The students have been writing to Sifa and including examples of their work, photos and pictures they have drawn. Now they’re planning what they would like to do next, including raising additional funds to pay for Sifa’s sponsorship in years to come and possibly to pay for sponsorship of more children in other countries as well.

They’re keen to encourage other schools to sponsor a child. “I’m really glad that I am part of this. It would be amazing if other schools could join in too, so that we can give more opportunities to more children,” Nick says.