Sponsors participate in changing the lives of children who have lost parental care. SOS Children’s Villages provide a child with a stable and safe foster parent who lives with them in the children’s village community. The child can grow up with their sisters and brothers in a home that is supported by the surrounding community. Satu Räsänen, a Fazer employee, has sponsored Eliza* from Zambia since 2010. Sponsoring a child is rewarding, even when the child lives far away.

“I got the idea of sponsoring a child when I had the opportunity to visit the SOS Children’s Village in Espoo with my colleagues. I realised how important the work in the SOS Children’s Villages was and definitely wanted to contribute to supporting that work. It was easy to become a sponsor through the SOS Children’s Villages website.  

In the summer of 2010, we received a letter that delighted our entire family. We had been assigned a sponsor child in Zambia! The envelope contained a note from the sponsor contact in Finland, as well as information about our sponsor child, her background, village and the country where she is living. We were really pleased to receive a photo of this sweet seven-year-old girl, Eliza. 

Eliza is a real godchild to us. Among other things, we’ve sent small arts and crafts packages as birthday and Christmas presents to Zambia. Every year, we also receive post from the SOS Children’s Village in Lusaka telling us how our sponsor child is doing. The letter at the end of the year includes a photo of the child and often a card which Eliza has made with her own hands. I think the most wonderful one came a few years ago. The card said in a child’s delicate handwriting: “Mrs Rasanen, I love you.” 

Eliza has grown up to be a young woman who dreams of studying at university. In addition to the 25-euro monthly fee, we donate 50 euros a year to Eliza’s gift account until she turns 18. She will receive these funds once she moves from the Children’s Village to a home of her own. The funds will be spent in a controlled way either on study or starting a home or her own business.  

Some of the sponsorship fee is allocated to SOS Children’s Village’s development projects in Africa, which aim to fight poverty, help parents take better care of their children and prevent families breaking up. The aid is thus multiplied. 

Being a sponsor is great. In addition to getting to see Eliza’s life develop, we’ve learned about the operation of the SOS Children’s Village in Lusaka, and we’ve heard how the other children are doing. As a country, Zambia has begun to interest us in a very different way. Who knows, maybe one year we’ll go to Lusaka on holiday!” 

*The name of the sponsor child has been changed.