The child sponsorship concept we know today is the result of the Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s. Orphaned children were matched with sponsors to receive emergency assistance through ChildFund (the former China’s Children Fund). People like you helped children like Young Wong survive and thrive in a Chinese orphanage.
Young Wong lived in “Children’s Garden,” an orphanage in Hong Kong. He was ten years old when he arrived. His happy memories of Children’s Garden are vivid and his appreciation of his sponsors is just as strong. “I thank all of the sponsors who helped me. I was lucky – I got into the orphanage.”
Young received his elementary and high school education at the orphanage. He even got a job there after graduation. He now lives in the United States where he and his wife sponsor six children through ChildFund.
“I like to give back whenever I can,” he says. “China’s Children Fund gave children an opportunity to grow up and to become human beings. Instead of wasting a life, they can grow up to contribute to society.”
Giving back to society has always been important to him. “I worked in a Chinese restaurant seven days a week – I had no idea of how to go about finding CCF. Then I saw a television commercial about sponsorship and said, ‘that’s the one who gave me the opportunity! That’s the one who sponsored me!’ so I started from there.”
Young and his wife sponsored one child in the beginning. When his own family of two young boys became older, and he became more financially established, they sponsored another child. Then another.
“I said, ‘I’ve got to do my part to help the other children as best I can.’ “
Sponsored children today, Young explains, live in their own homes with their own families. This is quite different from his existence in the orphanage. Though he was close with those who shared his life at Children’s Garden, he didn’t have the benefit of having his family around him.
Sponsoring through ChildFund allows Young to give children the same opportunities he had, if not more. “Nowadays,” he says, “children can live with their family and have better opportunities. Before, we all had fun, but not with our families because we were in an orphanage.”
Helping build healthy families, he says, is the right direction.
Watch Young Wong's video