A COUPLE from Wimborne who travelled to Tanzania have spoken of the “emotional” moment they met the child they have been sponsoring for years.

Kevin Coupland and his wife Marian visited the East African country in November 2018.

The couple travelled to Kisiriri, in Tanzania’s Iramba district, to meet Paulina who have they supported through international charity, World Vision.

Kevin said: “Meeting the child my wife and I have been sponsoring for years was awe-inspiring and the most rewarding experience I can remember.”

He added: “Meeting Paulina and her family was an emotional moment. The girl was very shy, unlike her brother Humphrey and sister Ester. We also met the girl’s parents, Paulina’s mother, Aines, sells bananas at a local market and her father, Amos, is a carpenter.

During the visit, the couple gave Paulina a book with the letters they had exchanged with her since the sponsorship started, as well as photos of their family. They also gave her and her family a selection of gifts, including a hat. They also sang songs and watched Paddington 2.

Kevin added: “Our time with the family was short but filled with emotions.”

During their week in Tanzania, the couple had the opportunity to visit some World Vision programmes, supported by sponsors’ money.

Last year Kevin raised £1,500 in sponsorship, which was used to support a project that provides beekeepers with modern hives. He also saw irrigation and nutrition projects that provide communities with clean water and staple foods, such as maize and spices that people use to make flour to sell.

Kevin said: “My week in Tanzania was memorable. Not only was I able to meet the girl I have been regularly writing to for years, but I also saw how much can be achieved with the right funding.”

“Through sponsorships, communities receive the means to become self-sufficient. Children are empowered and no longer miss out on their education, becoming able to fulfil their dreams.”