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Sponsor reunites with his sponsored child in Paraguay

POSTED July 26, 2018

Sponsor reunites with his sponsored child in Paraguay

A recap of CCFC’s Rise and Shine Facebook Live series

By Niko Moniz, facilities services coordinator & Rise and Shine host

Sponsor with Sponsored child

This episode of our YouTube Rise and Shine series features child sponsor Sir Sean Madsen. The former guest promised he would return to the show after visiting his sponsored child, Marcos, in Paraguay for the second time. And, he is back. This time we sat down with him (and his guide dog, Sammy) in his hometown of Port Perry, Ont.

Here’s what you’ll see in this episode:

Sean compares his two visits to meet his sponsored child

(Watch below at 01:39 minutes)

“When one does something for the second time it’s not quite the same experience, it tends to be a little bit of a letdown. In this case it certainly wasn’t,” he said.

Sean talks about how his second trip was just as impactful and miraculous as his first. He talks about visiting Marcos’ school and even has a story to tell about the shirt he wore.

What’s new with Marcos? (Watch below at 02:21 minutes)

Marcos is taking English lessons. In fact, they hope the next time Sean visits they won’t need an interpreter.

The ruff stuff: the guide dog’s trip (Watch below at 04:19 minutes)

Sean’s guide dog, Sammy, is even more famous in Paraguay than he was the first time. The local news got hold of the story and filmed the pair entering a restaurant in a country where there are no seeing-eye dogs.

Stay tuned to the end of the show (below) for a highlight package of Sean’s trip.

See you next time!

Sir Sean returns with tales from his trip to Paraguay || RISE AND SHINE S02 E03 

Niko Moniz, Rise and Shine host:

Good morning everyone. As you can see, we’re filming live on location here in Port Perry, at the waterfront.

It’s too nice of a day to be inside, so I said see you later to the office, and we’re out here filming, because today we have a special guest coming on for the second time now, Sir Sean Madsen and his wonderful guide dog, Sammy.

They just came back from Paraguay, like they were just telling us they were going on the last episode that he was on.

Now that he’s back, he’s gonna tell us all about his trip, how his sponsored child Marcos is doing — and I know you’re all wondering, is Sammy still the most popular dog and most famous dog in all of Paraguay?

You’ve got to tune in to find out, I’m not giving you the answer right now. Other than that, don’t forget subscribe to our channel, and enjoy the show.


Welcome to this month’s episode of Rise and Shine. As you can tell, we’re not at the office today, we’re out here in Port Perry filming on the waterfront here so we could talk to Sir Sean Madsen and his wonderful guide dog Sammy.

They just came back from Paraguay, and they’re here to let us know all about their trip. Sean, how are you?

Sean Madsen:

We are very pleased to be part of this program and to, again, help CCFC (Children Believe) get its message out that children are in need of sponsorship and what sponsorship does to help them.


You did say you were going back to Paraguay, and we said we had to have you back on once you came back.

So, now you went to Paraguay for the second time. You’re back. How was the trip this time compared to your first trip?


That was the most surprising thing about it, because often when one does something for the second time, it’s not quite the same experience. It tends to be a little bit of a letdown but in this case, it certainly wasn’t. It felt as, if I can use the word, miraculous as the first trip was.


So, Sean, everyone wants to know how is Marcos doing?


Well, he’s now in Grade 7, and I got to visit his school. I met his teacher, I met his classmates. He is still doing very well, in terms of his academics. But it was a surprise to me to learn that he’s just beginning to learn English.


That’s great, I know before you had to speak with a translator, but if there’s ever plans for a third trip, hopefully by then you will be able to communicate without a translator.


Well, that’s the goal; that’s what he says, yes.


Are you guys still writing back and forth? I know you said Marcos is a writer — just like yourself — on the last show, so is that still happening?


Again, it was so surprising that I just happened to be matched up with somebody who is a writer like me. Yes, that correspondence is certainly continuing.


When you were down in Paraguay, obviously with Marcos and his family, I believe there’s a story behind that shirt you have on. Is there not?


There certainly is. Marcos’ mother made this by hand, and, as you can see, it fits, which is good, because she didn’t have a model to work from. So maybe she just looked at a picture of me that I had sent to Marcos and guessed what size it would be.


Now, she made that the whole shirt by hand?


She did, yes.


That’s crazy, it’s a very nice shirt. And now – while you were down in Paraguay, when you visited Marcos’ school, they gave you a certificate.


They did, yes.


Now, what is the certificate about?


It’s to welcome me as an honoured visitor to their school.

And, in fact, when I arrived at the school, his classmates were all standing outside in a line, holding up posters saying things like, “Welcome to our school, you are an honoured guest. Thank you for sponsoring Marcos.” I believe there was a picture taken of that.


Oh really? Yeah, that’s really heartwarming. Now one question that I made sure I ask, because I know everyone wants to know, how did Sammy do this time in Paraguay?


Well, of course he’s famous there.


First guide dog ever in Paraguay, if I remember it correctly.


So amongst the things that occurred while we were there, they don’t have a guide dog law, like we do here. So, everywhere we went, one had to ask permission for him to go, including a restaurant that we went to for lunch one day.

It was considered to be so newsworthy that a television crew showed up and did a live filming of Sammy and I walking into the restaurant.

The idea behind that was to let the people of Paraguay know that someday the blind people there might have the option of having a guide dog and, if so, the guide dog could take them wherever they needed to go.


Now, in the first interview I had with you after your first trip, you said the first time you met Marcos, it was almost like you guys have known each other your whole lives. There was an immediate connection.

Was it the same connection the second time you went down there? Like you never missed a beat? Or was there a little hesitation?


No, of course. As I said, he’s just starting to learn English. So we had a few words and the first thing he said to me was: “Me, you, English.” So I knew he was beginning to learn English.


So he’s starting now, very good, good for him.


I think he understands more words than he was able to say.


That’s always good then? Well, that’s great. So I’m glad you have had such a great trip again to Paraguay. Make sure that whenever you go again, make sure you come back to Rise and Shine, so we can interview you and find out how your next trip goes.


Well, I hope this will help let sponsors know just how important their contribution is to their sponsored child.

I know most people don’t have the opportunity to visit. Maybe they don’t have the time because their jobs and so forth.

But I can say having been there and having met my sponsored child, I know what a difference it makes, and I know that the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (Children Believe) is working very, very hard to ensure that every sponsored child has the maximum opportunity to reach their potential.


Well, Sean, it’s hot outside. I’m not gonna keep you anymore. I could tell Sammy’s getting a little anxious down there.

Thank you so much for coming on the show again. We hope to talk to you soon, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

That’s it for our show today. Hope you guys enjoyed the interview.

If you have any questions at all, let us know, we’ll get back to you. Leave them in the comments.

Make sure you leave a like. Don’t forget, as always, subscribe to our channel to never miss another episode of Rise and Shine again, plus a lot of other great content on there. That’s it for me.

Now, we’re gonna wrap up the show with a highlight package from Sean’s recent trip to Paraguay.

That’s it guys, enjoy the rest of your day. Enjoy this gorgeous summer, and have a great day.



You’re big.

When I became a sponsor, it never occurred to me that the child I was sponsoring would become a friend.

It’s because of his letters that he wrote to me that I wanted to meet him.

Obviously, we’ve just come to know more and more about each other.

I’m just overwhelmed to be here. I don’t even know what word to use.
I’m getting old, I’m gonna not be here as long as he is, but I feel like I’m leaving a legacy behind, because I know that he’s going to do something good with his life.

I know I was a part of that, and it makes me feel happy that when I’m gone, somebody will remember.

I realize that not everybody can come to visit and bring gifts like I’m able to do, but if they could help the family out a little more with maybe a gift at Christmas or something, I think it would mean a lot.

Some people don’t have very much. I know from my visits here, and my correspondence with Marcos, that everything you do for them is so much appreciated.

They hardly know how to say thank you.

Sponsorship enables a child that wouldn’t have the resources otherwise to be the best they can be — to have hope in their lives, that they can become an asset to society.

And I know Marcos is going to do that, but I’d like to see as many other children as possible have that opportunity.

-Music plays as credits roll-

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

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