Former World Vision sponsored child Hyromi Samuel Keita is visiting Northland next month to talk about the programme that changed his life forever.
Mr Keita was born into a poor village in Mali, West Africa, with no school, health clinic or access to clean water. Mali is considered one of the 25 poorest countries in the world with a life expectancy of 53 years.
As a child, he often suffered from sickness due to the lack of access to clean water and nutritious food. To get an education he walked about 12km a day to attend school in another village. His life changed when he became sponsored through World Vision. He and his community began to receive better access to education, safe water, nutritious food, and healthcare, and Mr Keita and his siblings were able to go to a school that was built in their village, ending their daily 12km journey.
He worked hard at school and was the first student in his village to graduate with a university degree, holding a bachelor's degree in English and German (the official language of Mali is French).
As an adult, Mr Keita's passion is to see the lives of other children transformed as his was, so he works for World Vision Mali. He is speaking at four Northland locations: The Salvation Army, Whangarei, April 11; Kerikeri Baptist Church, April 13; Whangarei Anglican, April 14 and Dargaville Baptist Community Church, April, 15, all from 7pm.