Cambodia – January 12 2024 Supporter spotlight: Melissa Sponsoring a child not only makes a meaningful difference for the child, but for you, too! We asked Melissa—a supporter who cares about children, just like you do—to share why she decided to sponsor a child and her advice for anyone considering it. What made you want to sponsor a child/village with SOS Children’s Villages? I visited Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2006 on a solo backpacking trip, where I met four little girls who completely changed my life. I've never wanted children of my own, but after my interaction with those girls—they were maybe seven or eight years old—and also with two young women working in the sex industry, I came back from Cambodia determined to do whatever I could to help young girls in Siem Riep get an education. At that time, SOS Children's Villages was the only trustworthy NGO with a presence in Siem Reap that I found, and I immediately signed up to sponsor a girl there. Now I’m sponsoring a second child. How does it make you feel to know that you are positively impacting a child’s life? There is nothing better than knowing you are giving a child a better life, and that the difference you are making in that child's life impacts their children, and their children, and will continue to ripple outward indefinitely. After meeting my sponsored child for the first time, when she was around 11 years old, I left the children’s village and cried. They were tears of joy and tears of relief—knowing I had been able to make a difference as a result of my trip there in 2006. I also felt so much gratitude toward SOS Children’s Villages for creating such a beautiful and loving environment for her to grow up in, and a sense of peace came over me that I had not expected. What would you say to someone who is considering sponsoring a child? Many of us don't realize how fortunate we are until we visit another country and witness the children living in poverty there. That we can give these children hope, provide them with food and shelter, with an education and a better life, for such a small amount of money... makes sponsorship feasible for just about anyone. I've visited SOS Children's Villages in Siem Reap, Cambodia twice, and each time, I was blown away by what a beautiful, loving environment they have built there for these children. Providing more of the world's children with a safe, stable and nurturing environment to grow up in is in all of our best interests. And being able to communicate with that child, and in my case meet them in person twice, has been so powerful. Sponsor a child today to start changing their life… and yours!