A simple act of kindness has changed a woman's life - and she wants to share her story.
Former sponsored child Lillian Nakabiri will be in Massey this Friday to share her life story about growing up in poverty in Uganda as part of a national speaking tour.
Miss Nakabiri grew up in poverty after her mother died when she was a baby and her father was kidnapped and murdered soon after.
She was moved between foster homes until she eventually wound up homeless at age 12.
"I was wandering the streets with nothing to eat.
"I wanted to kill myself, I thought nobody loved me and I would amount to nothing," she says.
But her life changed when she was 13 years old after being sponsored by an Australian woman under TEAR Fund and Compassion International.
Now aged 31, she has gained a bachelor of communications and a masters in international relations and diplomatic studies.
This has enabled her to work for the same project in Uganda that helped her climb out of poverty.
A study by top US economist Bruce Wydick, has determined that sponsored children were more likely to have white collar jobs, be leaders in their communities and had higher reported self-esteem.
Award-winning New Zealand singer-songwriter Juliagrace will join Miss Nakabiri on the tour as well.
TEAR Fund events manager Sharon Raath says the night will be "transformational".
"I think Lilian's heart-warming story is a clear testament of how a simple act of compassion can change the course of one person's life forever."
Miss Nakabiri will speak at 7pm on Friday at Massey Presbyterian Church, 501 Don Ruck Rd, Massey.
Entry to the event is free but donations would be welcome.
Visit tearfund.org.nz or call 0800 800 777 for more information.
- Western Leader
Is there enough support for new migrants once they arrive in New Zealand?