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An African village built in Brent Cross

An African village built in Brent Cross

International children’s charity World Vision is bringing to life the story of a poor African girl in Brent Cross shopping centre from Monday 9 September.

The charity, which helps children in almost 100 countries across the world, is creating an African village in the shopping centre. The village shows what it is like for a teenage girl growing up in poverty, without clean water, nutritious food and most importantly, access to education.

The Village of Hope offers shoppers a glimpse into the life of 13-year-old Isata and her family who live in a remote village in Sierra Leone, in West Africa. A thatched hut depicts the family’s reality just over a decade ago, while the second one shows how much their life has changed through sponsorship from World Vision.

Before becoming a sponsored child, Isata’s life was hard. “My brother dropped out of school because we couldn’t afford it and he went to work in the fields to bring money in,” Isata explains. “I always loved school, but I was sad about [the] state of my uniform. I couldn’t concentrate as I was tired from the chores and not much food. 

She continues “If I had any wish, I wish I could build schools for all the children in Sierra Leone.”

Thanks to the World Vision’s sponsorship, Isata can now drink clean water, go to school and live a fruitful life. She and her family moved to a tin-roofed house near a borehole. Isata’s mum has started a palm oil business and can now afford enough food and pay for school and medical fees.

Graeme Newton, Director of Public Engagement at World Vision UK says: “World Vision sponsors are transforming childhoods every day. Through your generosity, you can also make a huge difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children, who need support to stay in school and protection from domestic work, child labour and forced marriage. 

“Child sponsorship not only empowers the child; it empowers their community.”

The launch comes during World Vision’s #1,000Girls latest campaign to find sponsors for 1000 girls. The campaign comes at a critical time for girls who are fighting terrible odds to give themselves a better future. World Vision is hoping to find sponsors in the Brent Cross region to stand with these young girls.

The Village of Hope will be in Brent Cross until Sunday 6 October.

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