Tadley couple 'humbled' by sponsor visit

Basingstoke Gazette: Keith and Pat Dixon with their sponsor child Dickson Keith and Pat Dixon with their sponsor child Dickson

A TADLEY couple felt humbled when they met the family of a boy they have been sponsoring in Tanzania.

Keith and Pat Dixon visited the country just before Christmas to see their son Matt, 35, who works in the region. They were fortunate enough to meet up with seven-year-old Dickson Chengula, whom they have been supporting.

Mr Dixon, 64, said: “Poverty is so often faceless, but meeting Dickson was a reminder that behind the statistics are real children and families.

“The family was so touched that we’d travelled all the way to visit them. It was humbling to see how a small donation we make each month can totally transform a life.”

The couple have been supporting Dickson through child development charity Compassion UK for around a year, sending £21 a month to support him and allow him to go to school.

Mr Dixon, of The Glen, Pamber Heath, said: “Dickson and his parents, grandparents, and siblings live in a mud hut.

“We left there feeling like millionaires. He was a very nice boy and it was lovely that we were able to make the trip.

“We brought them some gifts and in return they tried to give us their only chicken...we had to persuade them that we wouldn’t be able to take it through customs!”

Life expectancy in Tanzania is just 53 and more than 58 per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day.

Ian Hamilton, chief executive officer of Compassion, said: “Compassion offers a very practical and meaningful way for people to make a difference to the life of a child in poverty.”

For more information about sponsoring a child in poverty, visit compassion.org.

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