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The connection between two friends is often indescribable. It just feels right whenever you’re together.
When I met Alysha, I was an awkward 9-year-old in third grade. We bonded over a butterfly with a broken wing during recess. It was already a goner, so we stayed with the little guy until it died. Then we gave it a proper burial and marked its grave — located in the field, as far away from the school as possible. I can still pinpoint exactly where on school grounds we were that day — the day we became best friends.
Even though our hectic lives make it hard to see each other, I still consider her one of my dearest friends. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a week or a year. The two of us pick right back up where we left off. I can’t imagine life without her.
Our field reporters headed out in their communities to find friendship stories from CI kids, staff and volunteers. Check them out!
Lesly (12, at left): Once, she put a marker on my head, and I didn’t realize it. I saw children looking at me and laughing. When I realized, I took it off, and we laughed a lot.
Aurora (11, at right): I would help her in everything she needed and stand up for her because she is very shy.
Monisha (7, at left): I like Sneha’s smile — it’s so nice and bright!
Sneha (9, at right): Here at the center, when we come to watch movies each week at the library, she sometimes brings a sweet or biscuits for me.
Rubel (15, at left): Antoni’s best quality is that he listens to my advice when I offer it, and I also take his. That's why we're friends.
Antoni (18, at right): In the event he doesn’t accomplish anything — say, he’s dropped out of school, he’s not working or isn’t making enough money — I would offer him a job at any of my companies and trust him enough to allow him to be my business partner.
Lisette (15, at left): I would do many things to make her happy, to make her smile. Crazy things like talking funny or like a cow or something like that!
Nayeli (14, at right): Because she’s like a sister to me. I've known her for many years, and I love her as my own sister.
Jemima (9, at left): I help Jenny whenever she has problems, by listening to her, motivating her and keeping her strong.
Jenny (12, at right): We love learning new things together and that is why we joined Aflatoun. We both like attending the sessions here at the community center. This way, we get to spend more time together having fun.
Debnath (21, at left): He makes me smile even in the worst of times, when I am really angry and upset about something.
Milan (24, at right): The first day we met, we argued — actually fought over the color of the blankets we got at a Christmas distribution and had to be shooed away from the premises. Then I met him on the football field and realized what a great player he was. He just would not allow me to score!
Miriam (19, at left): When there was an earthquake, she volunteered to organize donations at a collection center. That is her best quality — she is kind and has a good heart.
Nathaly (19, at right): We take the same bus to college. One day, she sat next to me. She was the first to speak, but rather than say, “Hello,” she said, “Are you in Children International?!”
Yannik (at left): We are friends because even when we’re not saying anything, we can simply look at each other and tell how each of us is doing. It’s because we know each other’s joys and sorrows. She knows what my dreams are.
Sarah (at right): She is an extremely honest person; you can always count on her. It doesn’t matter if you've made mistakes, she doesn’t judge you. Yannik always looks on the bright side of things.
Sara (7, at left): When we went on a school trip to Munda Wanga (a botanical garden and zoo). When we were scared of an animal, we clung to each other and laughed about it afterwards. It was nice and we had fun together.
Gloria (7, at right): Because we like each other and get along well. We also share things like food.
Leticia (at left): When she’s in the province to visit her family, I’ll ask her to come back here 'cause I miss her. I love that she’s so strong. She’s been a widow for some time, but she’s still so strong and faithful.
Susana (at right): My dream is that, when we earn enough money, we’d take a vacation together. It doesn’t need to be far from here. I just want to go swimming with her, take time to bond — time for ourselves.
Ashley (16, at left): We enjoyed watching the children have fun in Aflatoun training.
Evelyn (14, at right): Help and provide her support and let her know she can count on me for whatever she needs.
Gilbert (17, at left): When we became champions of the speech choir contest. It was our first time being active in the youth program.
Don (17, at right): Same for me. I thought, “It looks like I am going to be happy with what I’m doing at CI.” I wanted it to last. I wanted to expand what I learn here. I realized there is a bigger world waiting for me. I will always keep looking for ways to learn — which I get here. I believe that learning never stops.
Katherin (9, at left): Many things, because friends have to be together in good times and bad times. If one day I see her sad, I will try to make her feel better.
Mirza (10, at right): One day I was hungry. I didn’t have money and had not brought a snack. I met at playtime with Katherin, and she gave me half of her snack.
Lorwena (at left): Volunteer’s Day 2014. We were so happy because we were dressed beautifully and treated like royalty. It was the day we realized how important our role is in the community.
Maria Cecilia (middle): When we went to a resort for a swim at the volunteer appreciation event. We enjoyed it so much. We were so happy, I cannot forget it.
Jaquiline (at right): I can’t forget when we went to the island to help the CI volunteers there. It was the first time we rode on a boat. And we got to explore the island on a motorcycle. We were tired, but the adventure and the opportunity to help others made us so happy. Our friendship became much stronger after that.
The 15-year-old says the relationship she’s built in her letters with her sponsor, Lawrence, has created a bond that will last forever. Dina is thankful for having such a generous person to share in her growing up and development.
“I feel so happy and proud of my sponsors. They are good people,” Dina shares. “They tell me nice things, and they care about me. Sometimes, I feel sad because I want to spend more time with them, but we communicate through the letters.”