Mark Dronjak, Child Sponsor since 1997
It didn’t seem right not to leave a bequest. We live such fortunate lives here in New Zealand. We have the chance to do good and to know that every bit – whether it seems small or great – makes a difference.
Think of a bequest as a lifetime’s investment in doing good. I’ve sponsored a child for many years – first in Brazil and now in Vietnam. These are lifelong bonds and they come from our ability to make change. They don’t just end when the sponsorship ends and they shouldn’t just end when we’re not here anymore.
My wife and I visited the child we sponsor in Vietnam, last year, and we saw that nothing is wasted: everything that is needed to improve the community is being used sustainably. People work hard to make these improvements and they do everything they can with the funding they get. We saw it for ourselves and it confirmed the decision we’d made.
We know that our funds will be invested responsibly by ChildFund and we know that we’ll continue to make a difference, many years into the future. At the end of the day, it was an easy decision to make.
Shona Jennings, ChildFund New Zealand's Director of Impact
‘I love New Zealand a million times!!’
Every time I think about the old man who said this to me, I can’t help but smile. We were dancing actually – in the middle of the day, in the middle of the wilderness, in a place far, far away (Kenya!). His whole village had gathered to express their gratitude for the clean water facility ChildFund donors had built. I’m still inspired by the integrity of that moment!
As Director of Impact here at ChildFund, this memory comes to mind (along with the smile) with every new ChildFund project achievement I’m privileged to witness.
I joined ChildFund in 2011 and in the years since, I’ve had the honour of visiting all of the communities in which we work. That memory – the man whose children and community were provided safe drinking water – is special. Being able to deliver lasting change for children is why I have chosen to leave a bequest to ChildFund in my will. I know and trust that my donation will be used to deliver positive change for children. I know and trust that our partners - in countries like Kenya - will oversee projects that help children grow into confident and competent inquirers. This is the legacy I wish to leave: a world in which all children are given the chance to thrive.
To those considering the legacy that you will leave, I encourage you too to make a bequest for children, for good.
Reverend Warner, ChildFund supporter since 2009
Mine is a romantic story. In 2009, I was one of a small group of teachers who flew to Zambia from New Zealand. We were part of a teaching-exchange programme that had been organised by ChildFund. This was unlike anything I had experienced before: three weeks teaching in rural Zambia.
On checking into my lodge, I discovered that the room had no running water. I strolled over to the reception, and there she was – this beautiful woman. As these things do, the conversation turned to talk of ourselves and learning that I was a Chaplain, Mervis invited me to attend Church with her. We arrived early the next morning and sat in the front pews before the first hymn commenced. You should have heard her sing. Mervis’ voice filled the Church. A voice so wonderful it didn’t need to be accompanied by instruments. I knew then that God had brought us together. I think we both knew.
The time passed all too quickly and although it wasn’t easy for me to return to New Zealand without Mervis, we had faith. It was three months before she was able to join me here. We were married within weeks in a moving ceremony and the years since have been simply joyful. My Mervis and I are now the parents of four beautiful children.
I often think of my time in Zambia. I think of the students I taught and I reflect on their diligence. When you walk for hours to get to school, you want to learn. I think of the people I met in Zambia. I also think of how lucky we are to live here in New Zealand: my wife, my children and I.
We have some incredible opportunities here. Not just to live good lives but to do real good. In recent weeks, I’ve been thinking about the future and the legacy I will leave. Leaving a bequest is one way in which I can make a difference. It’s a way for me to be sure that those who need my help the most will receive it. Not just today, but years into the future. It’s a way for my story to continue forevermore.