In the beginning of April, Cris who embraced the UPG Portugal volunteering “adventure” with all her strengths gave us her heartfelt testimony today revealing her experience as a UPG Portugal Sponsor.
“In 2013 when I first sponsored Mariana under the UPG Portugal Sponsoring programme I was far from imagining that I would meet her so soon! The first picture I saw of her showed me a sweet girl, with short hair and a shy smile who immediately won me over. Throughout these two years I received Easter and Christmas postcards, and I was also kept up to date with Mariana’s school results which made me feel hugely proud to know she was happy and continuing her studies. When I arrived at Santa Luísa de Marillac School, in Mozambique, to start my work as a UPG Portugal volunteer in the beginning of April, I immediately asked about Mariana… When she arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes… She had the same shy face, but now she is a beautiful young lady, who is taller than me! All I was able to say was “I am your Sponsor”! …Mariana smiled and gave me a strong hug. Marina is 15 years old, and she’s in the 8th grade. The teachers say she’s committed and hard working. Like her sponsor she loves Portuguese and English, and her dream is to be a Portuguese and English Teacher. At home and in school she helps with the cooking and cleaning.
Every day we see each other, and spend some time together after lunch. Each day that goes by Marina smiles and shares a little bit more of herself. It is thanks to ALG and UPG sponsoring programme that Mariana has had access to education and to balanced meals that help her continuing her studies. More importantly, UPG Portugal also gave us the huge joy of creating such strong ties between us despite the distance. Thank you UPG Portugal and ALG!”