Child sponser travels to Paraguay

A GRANDMOTHER travelled 6,000 miles to Paraguay to meet the child she has sponsored for almost a decade for the first time.Denise Potter, 51, and her partner John Lewis, spent almost five months in Paraguay as part of a trip to meet 14-year-old Gladys and to teach English in schools in the area.

A GRANDMOTHER travelled 6,000 miles to Paraguay to meet the child she has sponsored for almost a decade for the first time.

Denise Potter, 51, and her partner John Lewis, spent almost five months in Paraguay as part of a trip to meet 14-year-old Gladys and to teach English in schools in the area.

Ms Potter, of Platters Close, Ipswich, has sponsored the teenager for the past nine years through children's charity Plan and has built up a friendship through letters, photos and reports sent by the organisation.

The mother of two, who has two grandsons, decided to visit Paraguay to see for herself the difference her sponsorship had made to Gladys and her community.


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"Gladys was waiting to greet us along with the principle of the school. The children put a singing and dancing display on for us and presented us with sombreos," she said.

"At first Gladys was a bit reserved, obviously one of the problems was the language barrier, but Plan field staff Augusto and Julio were very helpful and translated for us.

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"Next we went to Gladys' house and they cooked us a nice meal. The principal at the school had previously explained how Plan works within the community.

"At Gladys' house we saw a new water tap provided by Plan and we visited another school where new toilet blocks had been built with Plan's help," she added.

Ms Potter, who works as a customer service co-ordinator at Ipswich shipping company Geest, decided to become a sponsor to help people who do not have the same access to education, health and other things many take for granted.

The sponsorship costs from just £12 a month and contributions do not go directly to individual children.

Instead they are used to fund community development projects across the world so thousands of children can have better education, improved health care, access to clean water and opportunities to learn skills.

The charity, which works in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, has 100,000 sponsors throughout the UK and more than a million sponsored children worldwide.

For every one child sponsored at least nine other people benefit allowing the charity to reach 10million people across the world.

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