University is a time when many students focus on themselves: their education, new experiences, and overall bettering their future. However, Sydney Rickard, a second year student at St. Thomas University is focusing on bettering someone else’s future aside from her own by becoming a sponsor to Rebeca Ccallatta, a six-year-old girl in Peru.
Rickard came across this opportunity last December when was doing her Christmas shopping at the Regent Mall in Fredericton. While most were buying clothes, technology and the inevitable box of chocolates, a booth set up by Plan International caught her eye. She has always wanted to give back in some way, so she signed up on a whim to sponsor Ccallatta and help fund programs that benefit her and others in the community of Cusco; all of this is possible through her monthly $40 contribution.
“I know that I will have [$40] a month to give… and honestly, I feel like it’s going to help me limit my personal spending because this is a huge responsibility, [I’m] dedicated to this child now. It’s a commitment,” said Rickard.
For many students, money is tight. Rickard believes that if she lived on her own, she wouldn’t be able to afford it. However, because she lives at home, and works part time, it is possible for her.
Sydney Rickard sends off her first postcard to her sponsor child. Photo: Facebook
However, being a sponsor isn’t all about the money, developing a connection with your sponsor child is also part of the experience. She has started writing Ccallatta postcards, and is excited to put together care packages to send to Peru.
“I can’t wait to hear from her,” said Rickard.