My name is Pâmella Cordeiro. I am 23 years old. I am a first-year cadet at The Salvation Army Training College in Brazil.

Once, I was a sponsored child, through The Salvation Army’s Overseas Child Sponsorship program.

Child-SponsorshipI was born in a community called “Fishermen’s Village,” in Cubatão, São Paulo, where drug trafficking caused poverty for many families. When I was 6 years old, I started to attend The Salvation Army project, which provided an after-school program with education and music activities. For many children, the only meal they had each day was the one they received at the project.

I was fortunate. I had sponsors who were Christian people from a prayer group. I have never met them, but I am sure their prayers contributed to my development. I received a scholarship for an English course for six years. Recently, I graduated from the university with a degree in education. This was a victory for me since the majority of the young people in my community do not even finish high school.

I have experienced the power of prayer and now I commit myself to pray for other children who are in a similar situation to what I was in.

As an employee at the project, I was able to have another view of sponsorship. Many children who attend the project have broken families, leaving them without a mother or father figure, or both in some cases. When they receive letters and gifts from sponsors, they feel loved and somehow valued. This motivates them to dream of a future different from that of their parents, and to believe in their potential.

Today, I can sow dreams, as seeds were planted in my life some time ago. With my testimony, I can encourage others to contribute for the development of children.