Reporting by Arcenio Matimbe, ChildFund Mozambique
Over the course of January’s 31 days, we’re making a blog stop in each country where we serve children, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and donors. Today, we visit Mozambique for a birthday celebration.
Mozambique is one of the least developed countries in the world, with 70 percent of the population living below the poverty line. With most rural families relying on subsistence farming for a livelihood, it’s rare for Mozambique children to receive treats.
Before Genito was matched with a ChildFund sponsor in 2009, he admits that he didn’t know about birthday celebrations.
But when his U.S. sponsor began to send him cards, stickers and other small gifts, he soon caught on that a birthday was meant to be a happy occasion.
Now he knows when his birthday is and how to mark the day. “I like to celebrate my birthday. My sponsor always sends me gifts, and on this day I eat cake, biscuits and soft drink,” he exclaims.
At Genito’s home there is a broken freezer where he pastes the stickers received from his sponsor. The front panel is now a menagerie.
How to celebrate birthdays is just one of the things, Genito has learned from his sponsor in the last few years. “I like my sponsor because she teaches me to grow as a good boy.”
It’s encouragement that Genito carries with him every day of the year. “I love you my sponsor,” he says, flashing a shy smile.