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Eastbourne bookseller's huge journey for Rwandan friend
7:00pm Saturday 16th March 2013 in News
A bookseller has travelled more than 5,500 miles from her home in Sussex to meet the five-year-old she sponsors through a charity.
Julia Galvin, a keen gardener, visited Deborah in Rwanda and was able to see the family's garden as well as finding out about charity Plan's work in the region.
The 60-year-old, from Eastbourne, said: “We were about to leave when I remembered that I hadn't seen their garden, horticulture is a big interest of mine.
"We did a quick walkabout and saw the cow for an older sister's wedding the following weekend, and the banana trees behind the house."
Money donated to Plan through sponsorship benefits whole families and communities, rather than individual children.
Sponsors receive regular updates and photographs from their sponsored child and keep in touch by writing letters back.
Julia spent time in Rwanda learning about the education, health and livelihood projects Plan is working on to help villagers, before exchanging gifts with Deborah and her family.
Julia added: "Handing out balloons to the children reminded me of my own children when even a little thing like a balloon was precious. It was a big surprise to be given in return a beautiful lidded basket full of delicious little local peanuts.
"I was really delighted to have this opportunity to visit Deborah and her community and to see the ways in which Plan quietly supports their way of life and enables them to help themselves.
"Having those memories means a lot. The people are real to me now, and I look forward to receiving more reports on the community and Deborah as she grows up."
Plan UK has more than 100,000 sponsors in the UK, generating £24 million a year, and supporting one million children worldwide.
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