It was just over 17 years ago when Harv Kler started his sponsorship journey with Plan International Australia. Back then Harv had a goal of sponsoring 25 children across the globe – that he achieved within his first three years! Fast-forward to today, and it is clear that Harv’s passion for equality, and for building a better world for all children has only strengthened.
Today Harv sponsors an incredible 114 girls in communities across Africa and Asia, including 48 in his home country of India. As the saying goes, it takes a village, and Harv has been able to achieve this incredible feat through the generous support of his family, friends, and community.
Since 2019, Harv has competed in Sydney’s famous City2Surf marathon, raising money to fund more sponsorships and create meaningful impact for the girls and communities he sponsors. This year he raised an unbelievable $60,000 taking his total fundraising efforts for Plan International Australia to over $190,000! 70 girls are being sponsored through his fundraising from the City2Surf marathon and another 44 by Harv and his wife Manpreet directly.“The difference you can make in the lives of these children by empowering them has a great impact on their lives, in turn impacting societies and in general making the world a better place.”
“Plan is a transformational charity for girls,” share Harv. “The difference you can make in the lives of these children by empowering them has a great impact on their lives, in turn impacting societies and in general making the world a better place.”
Harv and his wife Manpreet have lived in Australia for over 20 years and they find their charity work thoroughly rewarding.“To see the children grow over the years and become adults, to see them doing well in education and deriving the satisfaction of being a part of their life journey and making a difference in their lives is a very humbling and rewarding experience.”
One of Harv’s sponsor children, Bela, has gone on to be a leader in her own community in Orissa, India. Bela is a member of Maramburu, a Plan International-supported children’s club in her village, where she acts as mentor, educating others about adolescent health issues, the negative impacts of child marriage and other child protection issues.
During her time as a mentor, Bela has helped a number of students return to school after they dropped out. She has since graduated from the sponsorship program, and is now enrolled in college.
“I will continue doing this type of work so that every child in our community [can] complete their education,” shares Bela. “I am grateful to Plan India for shaping me in such a way that, every moment I think about the wellbeing of children in my village.”
Together, Bela and Harv demonstrate the transformative potential of sponsorship for communities. Through Bela we see the power of investing in girls and children, and helping them to become leaders and change-makers within their own communities. And in turn, stories like Bela’s are the fuel that continues to inspire Harv and provides an impetus for his community to support his City2Surf fundraising efforts.
Harv’s new goal is to be able to sponsor over 200 girls in the next few years, and he plans to continue participating in City2Surf to raise money for child sponsorship.
Thank you Harv, and thank you to everyone who has supported Harv during City2Surf. With your support, we are building a better and more equal world for all children.