Meeting the child she sponsors was so special for Sue

Sue Tinney, 67, and Laurent, 11, with his gifts of Olympic t-shirt and England baseball cap.
Sue Tinney, 67, and Laurent, 11, with his gifts of Olympic t-shirt and England baseball cap.
From left: PO Adam Hilton,  Father Christmas, Captain Peter Towell, CPO Chris 'Paddy' Gilkes and Malcolm Dent

Engineers spread Christmas joy

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FOR five years, generous Sue Tinney had given money to support a boy in Africa she had never met.

And Sue, 67, was overcome with emotion when she finally got to meet 11-year-old Laurent in Senegal.

Sue travelled to the south of the country to meet the youngster, whom she sponsors through the charity World Vision.

The international charity works across third world countries improving the lives of children.

Sue, of Orchard Road, Havant, said: ‘I went out there for a week and it was packed with events, and everything was very overwhelming.

‘I got to meet Laurent, which was amazing.

‘He showed me around his village and introduced me to his friends and family.

‘We exchanged gifts and he gave me a big bag of nuts that his family had grown. I gave him a cap, some baseball equipment, pens and paper.

‘It was a touching moment.’

While in Senegal, Sue met village councillors and saw what other projects had been set up in the area.

She added: ‘I visited schools and a healthcare centre to see the work that they are doing on HIV and Aids.

‘In the week I was there, we did a lot of things and it was really overwhelming.

‘When you travel to these types of countries, you see how little they have.

‘The simple things like adding water to oats to make breakfast takes two seconds for us but for them it takes much longer.’

It was Sue’s husband, Sam, who suggested they sponsor a child in 2004 when he heard about World Vision on a radio show.

Laurent is the second child the pair have sponsored.

Sue added: ‘It is such a fulfilling thing to do.

‘It works out as less than 75p per day and yet you are making such a big difference to them.’

As well as being a sponsor, Sue is an ambassador for the charity too. She volunteers to speak to the community about World Vision.