'I got tricked into sponsoring a child.'

Em Rusciano






I got tricked into sponsoring an African child. Legit.

Maybe ‘tricked’ isn’t the right word so much as, a hot Irish dude came to my door and caught me in a weakened state. And I was powerless to say no.

You’ve all been there right? Defences are low and impulse purchases are made – I know every under-eye cream I own was acquired under those circumstances. In this instance, I bought a kid.

So to speak.

I’ve recently started back at full-ish time work (Mamamia Today, live on your radio 6pm-7pm week nights on the Southern Cross radio network. Same one as Hamish and Andy, whatever…not a big deal.)

I’d just returned home from work, successfully peeled off my clothing and was in the process of putting on my adult onesie when the doorbell rang…

I assumed it was my husband and children returning home from getting our evening meal, so I approached the door in a cavalier manner. I flung it open expecting to see my family but instead I was greeted by Russell Crow circa Gladiator meets Ryan Gosling circa now. He was all sandy haired, squinty eyed and square jawed. I was momentarily taken back. Who was this person? Why was he at my door? What would he look like with his top off? Wait? What?

And then he spoke…

We imagine Em’s Irishman looked a little like Jonathan Rhys Myers.


“Hello thar, moi name es Putrick (of course it was) and I wuz wunderin’ if you cared to help the little uns dying of starvation and puverty in Afreca.”

Okay, I promise to stop typing in an Irish accent, if you promise to put one on in your head every time you read Patrick’s lines, deal? Deal!


At this juncture I became ACUTELY aware that I was standing there in half a onsie and not much else. So I did what any self-respecting woman would have done. I sucked my stomach in, sexily buttoned up my arse flap (shut up I know how to do buttons up in a sexy fashion, I do… Oh GOD I DON’T) and hoped my bra wasn’t too stained.

Em: “Um, errr… Yes… I care about children. I have children, so obviously I care about children. All children. Children”.

Patrick (Do the voice please): “Great. Well I’d like to tell you about the work we do for communities in Africa, but you should know that in the amount of time it will take for me to do that, 10 of the children on our lists will HAVE DIED”.

Awkward pause. Yes. He actually said that.

Bloody hell. I didn’t see that one coming, how did we get there? I was sucking in wobbly bits and he was being all Colin Farrell-ish and now I had 10 fatalities on my hands. I don’t want you to think I am taking the plight of struggling African communities lightly, it’s just on that Tuesday night in my Melbourne Suburban home I wasn’t ready to take on solving it, or even thinking about it, to be honest.

Guilt, fear and panic set in. So accordingly, my brain checked out.

Em: “Oh, really. Jesus H Christ, 10 you say? That’s awful. Are you Irish?”

What?! I thought I’d change tact, distract him from the delivery of more bad news because I was at my threshold.

Patric: “Yes! Have you been there?”

What I did next, I have no explanation for.

Em: “Yes. A FEW times actually, it’s quite lovely.” I should point out to you all that I have never been to Ireland ONCE. Not ever, even once. The extent of my knowledge of Ireland comes from watching “The Commitments” as a kid and attending St Patrick’s day as an adult.


Whhhhhhy Em? Why? If he asked for details I was screwed.

Patrick: “Where did you stay?”

Shit, shit double shit..

Em Rusciano (AKA Angelina Jolie)

Em: “Dublin.” (That is where “The Commitments” was set.)

Patrick: “Did you like it there?”

Em: “Yes… It was very… Green and Cold… Quite working class too.” BRILLIANT Em, brilliant. I can’t believe I left out leprechauns and four leaf clovers to be honest.

Partrick: “Where did you stay in Dublin?”

Em: “At a pub in town, (don’t do it Em, don’t say it. Don’t say Guin…) It served Guinness of course… (IDIOT, what are you doing? Shut the door and go nap it out lady. You have clearly lost your mind.)

Patrick: “Oh, ok. So are you interested in sponsoring one of our kids? It only costs…”

Em: “Yes. Sure. I’ll take two of them. What do you need from me?”

And just like that I became Angelina Jolie.

I don’t know why I lied about having visited Ireland, I don’t know why I couldn’t just say no thank you as I already sponsor a child with another organisation and that I had given her village a goat for Christmas – I just didn’t.

I was weak. I was hungry. I was vain.

However I now sponsor 2 African children and ipso facto I am a good and saintly person.

Oh alright, one was by accident but I still get the karma points right?


Em Rusciano is the host of Mamamia Today on Austereo (which you should be tuning into at 6pm every weekday because it’s ace) and regularly appears on Network Ten’s ’The Project’. You should follow her on Twitter here and take a look at her website here.

Have you ever been talked into making a purchase or a donation, when you didn’t intend to?

If you would like to sponsor a child – it’s a great thing to do! World Vision work with community groups and local governments to improve the long term wellbeing of children and families living in developing nations. You can find out more about sponsoring a child here.