Fiona Miller and her husband have two children in New Zealand and two children they've never met but support in India and Africa.

Fiona, an Auckland primary school teacher, has been a World Vision sponsor for the past 16 years - and her husband, even longer than that.

When they met in 2002, she said her husband was sponsoring a little boy and she was inspired to quickly sign up.

Since then, she's sponsored three girls, one of which is ongoing. And, she's had two children of her own.


Fiona said she always chose to support girls over boys because from what she witnessed first hand growing up in Zimbabwe, it was always them who suffered the most when something went wrong in the family.

She said it always seemed to be the girls who lost out in terms of education and opportunity.

"I knew that unlike in New Zealand, where there's organisations that can help when a parent dies or when someone loses a job, overseas families have to look after themselves."

Her first sponsor child was Catherine from Zambia.

"I've had the privilege of watching her grow up. I get regular updates from World Vision about her progress at school and what she likes to do.

"So we've started to build that relationship and get to know her and she's got to know us. We send photos and little cards and have an opportunity to connect with her."

Fiona held up another more recent photo of Catherine, now aged 15.

"She has now graduated from the programme and that's a real encouragement to me that she has finished school and she is healthy and ... has a bright future."


Fiona currently sponsors a little girl called Wishes who lives in Malawi.

She brushed off the last decade being too challenging to sponsor a child, with the birth of two children of her own in New Zealand.

Fiona said her children often ask after Wishes and also her husband's sponsor child, Babu, who lives in India. Babu is now nine years old.

She said the experience has taught them, including herself, to appreciate the lives they lead and how important it is to help others less fortunate.

New Zealanders currently support 44,600 children through World Vision, from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Proceeds through sponsorship go towards supplying clean water, education, food, family income, healthcare, child protection, emergency relief and advocacy work.

To donate to the Not for Sale campaign go to World Vision