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June and a Little Girl From Africa



In February of 1995, June and Stan jointly through an organization called "Compassion International", sponsored a young girl from the poor section of Nairobi, Kenya, Africa.


Time Zone differences between Fridley-Minneapolis-St. Paul and Kenya, Africa is seven (7) Time Zones away in Standard Time...When it is 9 AM Central Standard time in Fridley-Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, it is 7 hours later in Kenya, Africa or 4 PM in the afternoon in Kenya, Africa...3 PM in the afternoon here means it is 10 PM in the evening in Kenya, Africa...when I am on "facebook" with Sheilla for example, and I am talking with her at 6 PM my time, (Central Time) it is already late at night or 1 AM the next morning for Sheilla in Kenya...This is something important for me to keep in mind.


Note: Compassion International was founded by Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952. (The year that June and I were married.) Compassion began providing Korean war orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

Today, Compassion International helps more than 1 million children in 26 countries....(It is now described in terms of "Millions" (2018)

Compassion is a Christian religious based organization that is presently celebrating their 64th anniversary (2016) of bringing children up from poverty.

Compassion's motto is "Releasing Children From Poverty in Jesus Name." They are a Charter Member of ECFA. (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability)

June and I first learned of the "Compassion" program through our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Pastor David Glesne the senior Pastor and his wife Mona were and are currently involved in sponsoring a child under this program.


The first little girl that we sponsored was Joyce Wambui. Although June and our monthly contribution was/is a modest amount by American standards, the impact in the Nairobi economy is quite significant. In Kenya the average per capita yearly income is only $370. Christmas and Birthday gifts are also provided in addition to the monthly support...Joyce's sponsorship was from 1995 - 2002.


 Joyce Wambui

(Joyce Wambui - 2001)


The amount of money contributed monthly provides a nutritional weekly meal, health check-ups and medical care, provides textbooks, school supplies and trained teachers. Certain clothing is also provided. June and I would also send periodic letters of encouragement to Joyce.

After 7 + years (1995-2002) of continuous sponsor ship, June and I were advised that Joyce had successfully completed the education program. Joyce, who was in Primary school in 1995, had completed primary school and vocational school and has a trade as a dressmaker. The letters June initially received from Joyce were difficult to read as her English was rather stumbling and disjointed. While her present English is not perfect, it is easily readable.

With the notice of the completion of the sponsorship of Joyce, June and I also received an emotional, thoughtful and touching final letter from Joyce. Some excerpts are:


"This is to thank you…for contributions towards my entire life. I have appreciated your long-term commitment to educate me. I received school uniform; shoes, fees and home clothes through your support…May God bless you for your concern and love to me. Thank you for your uncountable gifts you ever sent to me and letters…There is nothing I can give in return for all you have done to me – only to wish you Gods blessing an protection and the same compassionate heart to remain in you to assist others. God bless you. I will pray for you and I will never forget you. I will miss your sweet letters. We shall have to meet if it is not on this world then the land above. God bless you.  –  Joyce Wambui"


The sponsorship of Joyce covered the years of 1995 to 2002.  (7+ years) This was the period of primary school through vocational school where Joyce graduated as a dressmaker.

It was in January of 1998 that June was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. June and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in 2002, the same year that Joyce graduated from the program.


SHEILLA AWUOR - Age 6 - 2002


June and Stan signed on to sponsor another little girl from Kenya. (October 2002) This girls name was Sheilla Awuor. Sheilla was a little 6-year-old child from the hills of Kibera Slums in Kenya. Her birthday was Monday August 26th, 1996.

Sheilla is a part of the Kibera Church of God Child Development Center. In February 2006, Sheilla was transferred to the PCEA Silanga Church Child Development Center.

"Sheilla lives with her father and her mother. She is responsible for carrying water, caring for children and helping in the kitchen.

Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother is sometimes employed as a laborer. there are 4 children in the family. Playing ball games, hide and seek and running are sheilla's favorite activities. She regularly attends Sunday School. She is in primary school."

"Sheilla lives on the plains of Silanga, home to approximately 340,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls and corrugated iron roofs.

The most commonly spoken language is Kiswahili. The regional diet consists of maize, beans, bananas, fish,  bread, beef, rice and potatoes.

Common health problems in this area include malaria, diarrhea, typhoid fever and AIDS.

Most adults in Silanga are unemployed but some work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $30 per month. This community is said to have needs of improved sanitation, street lights and scholastic materials."


sheila Awor

(Sheilla Awuor - age 6 - 2002)


Sheilla was in primary school where she continued under June's and my sponsorship...June and I started sponsoring Sheilla after Joyce's graduation in 2002. In the years 2003-2004, Alzheimer's starting taking over more and more of June's life. It was early in the year 2005 that June required the full time care of a facility that specialized in caring for Alzheimer's residents. I started to gradually assume the full duties of the sponsorship for Joyce in the year 2002 as June traveled more deeply into the shadows of this terrible disease.

Note: On October 23rd, 2008 June passed away from complications of Alzheimer's while a resident in the Alzheimer's wing (Villa) of the Benedictine Health Care Center at Innsbruck, New Brighton, Minnesota. After almost 12 weary and exhausting years of battling Alzheimer's, God finally took June home. When June left this world, I lost the love and light of my life.

I have continued the sponsorship of Sheilla in June's name and in June's behalf as a joint sponsorship in June's memory.  I received regular letters from Sheila to which I tried to make an immediate response. I enclosed an occasional picture of June and myself. I have tried to explain what has happened to June, while at the same time giving an assurance that our sponsorship would continue. I also tried to encourage her in her school work. I have noticed that Sheilla's command of the English language had also taken great strides with much improvement over the past few years.


Sheila Awuor

(Sheilla Awuor - age 16 - 2012)


Stan's Update on Sheilla...(April 2017).I would hope that this young lady would have dreams that we  were able to help her fulfill... I have told her that June and I started out with nothing and yet we had an unbelievable life.

I have encouraged her to "shoot for the moon"...she is already talking about going to the nearby university and is so appreciative of what June and I are and have been doing for her...counting her own local language, she is also studying French and her English is coming along just fine...(22 September 2016)

I received the Spring 2017th edition of "Compassion" Magazine...special mention was made of June and my efforts to permit this young lady to realize her dreams...the following was noted about Sheilla:


"Because of your support, Sheilla is already impacting her family and her community. And who knows, one day she might even change all of Kenya"



(Sheilla Awuor - Age 21 - 2018)


We have sponsored Sheilla since 2002 - our sponsorship ended in 2018. It is hard to let go!



Map of Kenya, Africa




June and Stan are now (May, 2018) sponsoring a 3rd new little girl from Africa...her name is Iradukunda Sabina, age 6, from Rwanda, Africa. She is in First Grade. (Born in 2012)...This will be our third (3rd) little girl.

Iradukunda's other family members are described by her mother Murwanashyaka Felecien) who was born in 1966 as: Bazubagira Emelita born in 1983, Niyigena Forodonata born in 2006, Imanishimwe Pacifique born in 2009, Niyomufasha Diane born in 2015.



(Iradukunda Sabina -- Age 6)



Iradukunda's ...favorites are described as:

1.  Color is Blue

2.  Food as Rice and Beans

3.  Favorite Game as "A Ball"

4.  Favorite Toy as "A Ball" 

5.  Her favorite School Subject as English

6.  Her Favorite bible verse is: PSALMS 23:6..."Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (KJV)


Iradukunda lives in a Village rather than in a Town..



(Rwanda, Africa Map)


Rwanda is located in Central/Eastern Africa and is bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the West, Uganda to the North, Tanzania to the East and Burundi to the South.

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries on the African Mainland. It is located a few degrees South of the Equator.

Rwanda is located in the African Great Lakes Region with numerous Lakes throughout the country.  It is dominated by Mountains to the West.

The Climate is Sub-tropical with 2 Rainy Seasons and 2 Dry Seasons every year.


Stan's Note: As of March 2020, approximately 19,500 persons have visited this story about "Little Girls" from Africa and the Compassion International site..


25th + Year of Compassion International Sponsorship(2020)

June and Stan are now working on their 25th + Year of Sponsorship  in the Compassion Program...(1995-2020)...and their 3rd little girl. (Stan's Note: Because of Stan's Age and health Situation, the Berg Compassion International involvement has switched to a yearly monetary Charity instead of personal involvement with specific children as has been the case with most of the 25 Years.


Although the children that June and I have sponsored have all been African children, the organization is world wide and you can find opportunities for sponsorship in all major countries ..


 Reader's Comments

 Pam O'Halloran - Sedona, Arizona - (23 July 2012): "Loved the story, Stan. I sponsered children from India for years. Still have all of their letters. It was always wonderful to learn of their success. Thanks for sharing!"

Janice Kennedy - Coon Rapids, Minnesota - (23 July 2012):  "Tom and I sponsor a little boy from Kenya and a little girl from India thru C.I. It's a wonderful organization!"

Christine Wilhelmy Noland - Little Canada, Minnesota - (23 July 2012): "I sponsor 3 girls overseas via Compassion Int. 1 in Bangladesh (she's 9 now). 1 in Kenya (14) and one in Uganda (19). I started 8 years ago and I enjoy every letter I receive and enjoy writing them. I know people that have gone thru other agencies, and they cannot come CLOSE to my awesome experience with Compassion. I get 1-2 letters a month from Rina in Bangladesh."

Connie L. Malm Anderson - Trego, Wisconsin - (24 July 2012) : "WOW. Wish we had the funds to do this..Stan you certainly are a...A cople of years ago I found information on NANCY'S NOTIONS web site about making little dress's for the girls in Africa...I share this info with a sewing buddy of mine..she really went to town and made several of these dresses and sent along...I was only able to made a few at the time, but this posting of yours has inspired me to make more..I also found info and pattern to make shorts for the young men. I would like to gather some friends from church and get them sewing always prayers are with you...and with your Sheila...."

Robin Stewart Stone - Charlotte, North Carolina - (24 July 2012): "Love the letters, Stan! So glad they finally got rain, but hate to hear about the terrorists. Is sad reading about the children over there....wish we could help them all...Sounds like they're doing good! If only there were more jobs or the family could move where work is. Thanks for sharing!"

Heaven Raja Heaven - Tunis, Tunisia - (27 July 2012):"Good work what are you doing for children, it's wonderful, God help you..."
Adrienne Francoise Miller - Alexandria, Virginia - (2 October 2012): "Thanks for posting this, Stan. People often aren't aware how hard life is in other parts of the world, and that we should all do what we can to help them. I hope Sheila is alright."
Jennifer Dabney  - Pomona, California  - (29 May 2013):"It's wonderful to see what an influence you and June have across the world. Thank you for sharing the girls' lives with us..."
Lisa Porter Power  - Imperial Beach, California - (29 May 2013): "I enjoyed reading this link on your website. We have so much to be thankful for here. It pains me to read that she lives in fear, and humbles me to read of her courage."
Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc. - Canada - (3 June 2013): "Always nice to work towards a meaningful cause! Congratulations to you for your hard work.  -Amelia White, Events Coordinator"
Judith Brownstein  - Youngstown, Ohio - (26 July 2014): "I love June more and more."
Karen Briemeister  - Fridley, Minnesota - (26 July 2014): "Thank you for the update on Sheila.  I still picture her as the six year old she was in the photo you distributed at GriefShare, so it was a surprise to see that she's now a 16 year old young woman.  What a blessing it's been for her that you and June demonstrated God's love by helping her to get an education.  I will pray for protection over her. 
Jane Jackman   - Ringwood, United Kingdom - (23 September 2016): Lovely story Stanton. I'm sure June and you are a great inspiration to Sheila".
Jan Tink - Ampthill, United  Kingdom - (23 September 2016): "Must bring you much joy to know how you and June have helped and are helping this young lady, God bless

Charolette Hill Horne - Jonesboro, Arkansas - (23 September 2016): " Beautiful story, such a heartwarming story of love. Thanks for sharing."
Vee McGannon   -  Hartley, Kent, United Kingdom - (24 September 2016): "Stanton that's amazing x such life/ love/hope you and June have given this lovely young lady."


June's Passing

June 1994

After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and into June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on:

 "June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"