Let us take you through Gurjit’s child sponsorship journey and her child visit last week.
It was a typical Sunday in Australia when I visited a Gurdwara Sahib(Sikh Temple). On my way back, I noticed a small poster on the bulletin board that said ‘educate a child’ – that was the beginning of my journey with SAF and Rajbeer in January of 2021.
Ever since, I have been reading beautiful letters from my sponsor child, Rajbeer. I had decided that I must meet the child to strengthen this bond. As planning my entire vacation to India, I was equally excited to work with SAF’s team in planning my child visit.
It was January 28th, 4 am, when I got up to prepare for the day I had been planning for months. After a couple hours of driving, my family and I reached SAF’s office in Ludhiana(Panjab). Amar Singh greeted me, the project officer assigned to my visit. He jumped in the passenger seat to give directions to my relative who was driving us. And so the trip began for a long 4.5-hour road journey surrounded by tall lush trees of Himachal Pradesh. We reached Paonta Sahib by 1 pm. I had never visited Paonta Sahib Gurdwara – revisiting the history of Sri Guru Gobind Singh’s place of stay was a refreshing start, along with some good old Langar. Paonta Sahibs location, chosen by the Guru and the Khalsa, has some incredible vibes.
It was finally time to meet Rajbeer Singh, the little singh I had been waiting to see for a long time. I was overjoyed to see the child in my SAF photos come alive and stand in front of me. Many people had told me not to trust these child sponsorship organizations, but somehow, I had faith in SAF and kept making those monthly donations. We had brought along a box full of clothes for him, and he was excitedly opening the package. There were military-style pyjamas, and he said, ‘i needed this, this is it, this is what I always wanted.’ Tears came down my eyes, and I looked at my young cousin; she also had wet eyes.
This day-long trip was fourteen hours long, but it did not feel tiring. Perhaps meeting the child and seeing how much we have left my family with pure humility and gratitude. It was one of the best memories of my vacation, and my entire family will be taking these sweet memories back to Australia.
My support for the boy and faith in SAF’s program has only strengthened, and I think I’ll be sticking around with SAF for many more years to come. I am forever grateful to be able to support this young boy with only a small fraction of a dollar.