Pictured above: Charles, pictured left, a member of the African Vision of Hope Child Sponsorship and Rescue Team, talks to the father of an African Vision of Hope student about his family’s struggles. This father is building a hut for their family out of mud and sticks.
Charles knows what it is like to live every day full of uncertainty. He and his younger brother were raised by a single mother who sold vegetables but only made enough for them to have one meal a day. “We always ate right before going to bed so the hunger pains would not keep us awake,” remembers Charles. His mother lost her job and they were thrown out of their home, so they went to stay with his grandmother. She was sick and they had no money for medicine, and when Charles was 12 years old his grandmother passed away.
In 2011, Charles heard about a school that did not charge any fees called African Vision of Hope. He applied and was accepted into the 6th grade and given a place in the boarding house. “I had grown up watching my friends go to school but could never afford to go myself. Now it was my turn.”
Charles graduated from African Vision of Hope in 2017, a day he remembers well. “When Bob [Bertels, husband to CEO Judi Bertels] asked me how I felt about graduating, I told him I actually felt sad because I was leaving the boarding house and the only family I had ever known. He told me “God will find a way for you,” and I have always clung to those words.”
Pictured: Charles and Bob Bertels at the 2017 graduation ceremony.
“When I look at my graduation photo I feel like it was a dream. I came to this school not knowing how to read and write, and now I am living out my passion of helping fellow orphans and vulnerable children. I have been rescued, so it is my turn to rescue them. When I see them I feel so sad. I love my job so much, and when you love your job you do it with passion. I understand what the children we serve are going through because that was my story too.”
Pictured: Charles sitting down with a boy who has come to the African Vision of Hope office to beg for a place in school.
African Vision of Hope is fortunate to have Charles on the Sponsorship and Rescue team. If you sponsor a child, Charles is one of the staff members who helps take photos of students, collects letters, and keeps track of enrollment. He is working hard to keep you in contact with your sponsored child! Not a sponsor? Become one today!