Maribel just turned 19 years old and her highest wish is to become a Foods Engineer. “It is a difficult career. Many times I was frustrated with practices and exercises”, says her, “but I did not abandoned, I asked, I studied, I read and read again until understand.”

Certainly Maribel had a very challenging first year at the public university but she knows this is a good thing. It is the result of years of support from her family and her ChildFund sponsor.

She was part of Avance Comunitario Program, a ChildFund local partner in La Paz, at the age of 8 Maribel was sponsored by Pascale, a French citizen and friendship was strong since the beginning. “Our communication was always fluid and constant”. A deep and warm relationship was born, full with respect and admiration. “I know my sponsor is a lawyer, she is married and has 3 children. They live in France and love traveling everywhere.”

 

Pascale is always writing Maribel, she sends letters, postcards, pictures, painting notebooks, necklaces, and other small gifts. Maribel saves all of her correspondence in a box. They are like a precious treasure. “She is a fairy godmother for me” says Maribel, “she is very close to my life, and she is part of my family too.” In her letters, Pascale always refers to Maribel as her “Bolivian sun”; in their letters you can instantly know this is a strong and beautiful relationship.

One of Maribel’s biggest wishes is to become a professional, to be able to help her mother. “I love and admire my mother, despite her rheumatism illness she works every day for us, she provides the family.”

“I would love to have my own business; I would love to travel someday. Maybe travel to France and meet Pascale in person. I would really like to thank her for all these years of friendship, support, advices and love”.

Maribel finished high school two years ago, “when I was at the school I loved coming to the Program, almost every days we meet here with my friends. Today I can’t come that much but I know all this effort will make proud all my family and of course Pascale too.”

“It is easy to give up. I have seen other boys or girls missing classes, skipping homework, and finally abandon the Career. Sometimes I feel I can’t continue too, but then I imagine my parents, my sponsor feeling disappointed; and I try it one more time. I know all of them made a big effort for my education. That’s why I am always practicing, solving extra exercises in math, physics or chemistry. I want them to feel proud of me.”