How is education changing young people’s lives?

POSTED May 9, 2019

How is education changing young people’s lives?

Meet a teen who benefited from sponsorship and is now looking forward to medical school

 By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay


Sebastian knows the value of a good education. The 19-year-old, who grew up in a Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) sponsored community, is preparing for his future, dreaming of the possibilities.

“I believe, with a good education, I will be able to help my family get ahead. Acquiring knowledge helps you develop so you can help people who need it most,” he says.

Sebastian understands how much a community can benefit from education, too. “It’s necessary in every way,” he says, explaining how it’s needed to achieve better social welfare, economic growth, democratic progress, social mobility, employment, cultural health and opportunities for young people. “It is also important for the promotion of science, technology and innovation,” he adds.

The young adult remembers when CCFC began working in his town and the impact it had on their education. The community benefited from safe spaces to gather for training workshops about issues such as hygienic food preparation as well as how to plan for emergencies, among other topics.

Local children also benefited from school kits, early childhood development programs and more. “[It’s] made children and adolescents aware of their right to education,” he recalls.

Sebastian is proof of that. The determined teen is studying to become an “extraordinary” surgeon so he can help reduce preventable deaths and improve people’s quality of life. “This is the greatest contribution I can give my community,” he says. “I hope that in a few years, I can be part of the staff of doctors who attend the community centre’s health days.”

The student is also proud of what he learned about himself while participating in CCFC programs: “My [fear of speaking] in public disappeared,” he shares. “[The experience] helped me personally; I was developing friendships — not only with my peers but also with national authorities.”

In fact, Sebastian was an active member of his local youth committee where he worked with peers to improve the national system, which protects child rights. The group lobbied for a representative of the government’s Municipality Council of Children and Adolescents Rights to come to their community. With that, they were able to get help keeping the community clean and well lit.

“I dream of a country where [quality] education and access to health is [possible] for all people — that the rights of every person are respected,” says the teen.

Sebastian is leaving behind childhood as he heads bright-eyed into adulthood, but he’ll never forget how Canadian donors helped him and his community. “Sponsors’ contribution is of great importance to all families,” he says, noting how school supplies are helping so many children access education — just as he did.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.