"I lacked a father figure in my house, and that's what I found in my tutors at the project,” shares Marcela. “They cared for me very much and always treated me very well. I can say I had a happy childhood, thanks to Compassion.”
At the center, Marcela cherished the attention, the lessons and the support she received. For the first time, she owned new school supplies, shoes and a school uniform after years of inheriting her older sisters’ belongings.
"I received not only economic support but also emotional, educational and spiritual [help]. At the center, the tutors strengthened my faith. They were always there for me, helping in every way,” she says.
Marcela was an outstanding student throughout school. She even represented Bolivia in an international Physics and Astronomy Olympics competition. When she enrolled in university to study chemical engineering, she expected to continue her success. However, problems at home plunged her into depression, and she dropped out.
Marcela lived immersed in that depression for two years, but the center staff remained by her side. "Thinking about the Compassion center, what comes to mind is the depression I went through, and how they sustained me. All their words and encouragement helped me to move forward. Thanks to God and my tutors' help, I decided to fight for my dreams. I learned that faith, effort, perseverance and studies can take you anywhere.”
Marcela applied to a prestigious scholarship abroad and obtained one in Korea, where she now studies biomechanics. With renewed confidence, she is full of dreams that she looks forward to accomplishing. "Now I want to help other people who are going through depression,” she says. “Without the program, I wouldn't have that seed they planted to help others, and I want to give what I received.”
We hope you’ve been inspired by these incredible Compassion alumni. Never forget that however you invest in the lives of children — it matters. Change is a process and sometimes moves slowly. But children are worth it, and the seeds that you plant will certainly someday bear fruit.