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More About You: Meet Aura’s House Supporter, Dorothee Clinton

28 March 2012 No Comment
Dorothee Clinton, of Brooklyn, New York is an Aura’s House supporter who sponsors nine children through Children International and has raised funds for special projects here on Aura’s House. She currently is fundraising for her sponsored child, Ada to get repairs to her family’s roof as well as school supplies. Thanks Dorothee, for taking the time to answer our questions.

Ada is one of Dorothee's sponsored children

1) When did you first start sponsoring children through Children International?

I started sponsoring on my own when I was 17.


2) What made you decide to become a sponsor?
Several years before I started sponsoring on my own, my mother had decided to sponsor through CI. She did a lot of research and wanted to make sure her money was going where she was being told it would go, and she wanted to really impact a child’s life (a very natural feeling for her as she’s a teacher). When I was 17, I was getting ready to head off to college. I know I would no longer be able to live vicariously through my mother’s sponsorships, and I thought it would be a good way of teaching me to continue be careful with my money, and also to encourage me to put others before myself. So just before I left (literally the month before) , I went on to the CI website and committed to my first child Ella. (Ella was lucky enough to be featured on here before she graduated from the program in December!) It was a really great decision, and it impacted my life in a lot of ways that I never would have foreseen. It taught me a lot about what I really value in life.


3) How many children do you sponsor and what countries are they from?

I currently sponsor 9 amazing children!Sohail (13) from India, Francy (12) from Columbia, Sayonika (11) from India, Marfel (9) from Philippines, Habiba (8) from India, Dulce (8) from Mexico, Ana (8) from Philippines, Ada (8) from Honduras, and Cristian (3) from Ecuador.Marfel had a wonderful IGP fundraiser here last summer to help her mom sell duck eggs. I’ve already heard that it’s going well and that it’s already covering their daily expenses which is just great! Ada has a fundraiser currently going on for her and her sister to get educational supplies, as well as to have their roof redone as it leaks badly during the rainy season.

 


4) What do you dream of for your sponsored children?

I think that CI is important because it gives children opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise, and that’s mostly what I dream of. I know that each journey is individual and that circumstances aren’t going to allow every child to become the next president, but I think every child should have the opportunity to become the best version of themselves. How can they do this? – through feeling safe, being healthy, and most especially getting a good education. My dream would be that all of my children are able to remain healthy, that they have a safe place to live, and that they are able to complete their educations and gain steady employment (or have the capability to if they want in the future).

The bonds I forge with the kids though often slides into worries about the opportunities for their siblings and parents as well. I know that I’m technically sponsoring one child, and that I cannot feasibly help the whole family to the same extent, but it really does feel like their family has become my family and I want to find ways in which the whole family can rise to a healthier and safer level – one that hopefully leads to a permanent higher level of success.

When I do fundraisers it’s always for this reason. I think that a lot of the homes are not very safe and pose health hazards. I know in India tutoring is often considered a necessity to kids in school, and I make that a priority when providing for my sponsored kids there. And I also think Income Generation Projects can truly change lives. When they work, they really work, and the family will have a sustained increase in income that will help them cover any other area of their life that needs some extra aid.I know though, that the biggest difference is truly from the “basic” sponsorship. These children and their families would have no reasonable access to healthcare or dental and many of my kids needed it.

Two of my kids had notable malnutrition and one of my kids had to have 7 teeth pulled (fortunately they were baby teeth). I’ve also had kids that were only able to attend school because of CI – sometimes they helped with school fees, and other times they were able to convince an overcrowded school to allow in one more student. There are even more behind the scenes activities that help the children that I know I’m not aware of. I just love seeing them grow, and to have all these opportunities. Now I mostly just try to encourage them – and sit back and enjoy the ride!

5) What would you say to people who are on the fence about sponsoring to make them feel good about sponsorship?

I think sponsorship is such a personal decision that I try not to really push anyone into it. I know that a person who comes to the conclusion on their own is more likely to stick through with it until the end. What I do (and I’ll be honest, I’d do it anyway) is that I share my kids with anyone who seems interested. I have folders on each of my children. Inside each folder I have envelopes with photos, letters, reports, etc. I let them browse and ask questions. It really let’s them see how real it is, and they read the words in the letters and they see how much it means to the kids as well. Essentially I let the kids speak for themselves and more often then not that’s really all it takes.

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