An 88-year-old grandmother made an emotional journey to Haiti to meet the eight-year-old boy she has sponsored for the past two years.
Ada Foggo said she was able to bond with little Colin Djamens in person while she stayed at the compound run by Bermuda’s Feed My Lambs Ministry in Montrouis.
She said: “It felt like it was my own little children when they were young. I really love the little boy — and his mama, we both hugged and everything.
“I was trying to talk to him, but he didn’t speak my language and I didn’t speak his. That made it kind of awkward, but we got along good.”
Ms Foggo, from St George’s, was one of about 20 volunteers who travelled to the French-speaking Caribbean island this month to help the Bermudian charity.
She said: “I enjoyed the trip because I met my little sponsored boy. He was beautiful and a bright little sight.”
But she added that seeing the conditions in Haiti — the poorest country in the western hemisphere — had reinforced her decision to sponsor Colin.
“It’s terrible. Bermuda is paradise compared to that, to the parts that I saw.
“Going out from the airport to where we went was terrible — broken-down shacks, people standing all over the road begging.
“You wouldn’t think it would be like that, in today’s world anyway. It’s not for today’s world.”
Ms Foggo said she sponsors Colin “so he can grow up and be somebody and help his people — that’s what I would like for him to do”. She pays towards his schooling and transport to school.
Ms Foggo explained: “They say he had missed school because he couldn’t get there that often.”
She also wants to sponsor some English lessons for Colin so that they can have “a little conversation” when she goes back. Ms Foggo said she always wanted to go to Haiti if the opportunity came up. When it did, her son agreed that it was a good idea.
She added: “We just went to the compound. It was very nice. All the children were so loving.
“I wish I had enough money so I could sponsor some more but I want to give this little boy the opportunity to really go far, so I’m just going to stay with him for now anyway.”
She brought Colin football boots and a ball, and said: “His face lit up like a Christmas tree.
“And then him and the other guy that lives there were kicking this ball and this little guy was really having a good time. He really liked that ball.”
Linda Adderley, of Feed My Lambs, said Ms Foggo’s decision to come on the trip inspired her.
She added: “It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you have love, you can give it.
“What’s also awesome is that love has no language barrier. The requirements are that you have to be alive and willing. That’s it.”