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Village of Hope

Empowering children in Sierra Leone:  World Vision’s interactive exhibition

A glimpse into the life of a girl who dreams of building schools for every child in her country

Leading children’s charity, World Vision is bringing its award-winning interactive installation to Market Place, Bolton. The exhibition – Village of Hope – opens its doors to visitors at the centre from Monday 6th January – Sunday 23rd February 2020, during Market Place opening hours.

The unique experience offers shoppers a glimpse into the life of 13-year-old Isata and her family, before and after the support of World Vision. One hut depicts the family’s reality almost two decades ago, while the second one shows how much their life has changed.

Helping a child like Isata 

With over 400 girls sponsored, visitors can join the #1000Girls movement by sponsoring a girl. Child sponsorship gives girls vital support to stay in school and protects them from back-breaking work, domestic service and forced marriage.

This year 12 million girls will be married against their will and 31 million will be out of school. Less than two in five countries provide girls and boys with equal access to education.

The sponsorship will empower the child and their community by giving them life-changing support such as the provision of nutritious food, clean water, healthcare, education and income generation schemes.

There is also an opportunity to browse the range of truly life-changing Must Have Gifts. From mosquito nets and water treatment kits, to livestock, these special one-off gifts will go a long way in transforming lives in some of the world’s poorest communities.

How sponsorship changed Isata’s life

Before becoming a sponsored child, Isata’s life was hard. She and her family lived in a remote village where even fetching water – which was often dirty – meant walking for half an hour. Their thatched hut would flood during rainy seasons, making everyone fall ill.

As Isata’s parents wanted a better future for their five children, they resorted to taking out loans and even begging to afford school fees for them. Because of their living conditions as well as lack of clean water, Isata and her family would often get sick with colds, diarrhoea and malaria.

“My brother dropped out of school because we couldn’t afford it and he went to work in the fields to bring money in,” Isata explains. “I always loved school, but I was sad about [the] state of my uniform. I couldn’t concentrate as I was tired from the chores and not much food.

“If I had any wish, I wish I could build more schools for all the children in Sierra Leone,” she continues.

Thanks to the World Vision’s sponsorship, Isata can now drink clean water, go to school and live a fruitful life. She is now able to thrive, not just survive. The girl and her family moved to a tin-roofed house near a borehole. They can now afford enough food and pay for school fees and medical bills. Isata’s mum has also started a palm oil business.