Here at Children Incorporated, we know that sponsoring a child in need is extraordinarily rewarding, so we want to provide you with a guide to walk you through the process.
In order to make your decision as easy as possible, here you will find the answers to sixteen of the most common questions we receive about sponsoring a child in Africa.
1. What is sponsorship?
The sponsorship relationship enables an individual sponsor to help support a child in need by means of monthly contributions. Monthly sponsorship donations go towards providing basic necessities such as school supplies and tuition fees, food, clothing, and access to healthcare, among other services, so that a child living in poverty has the opportunity to overcome the barriers that keep them from attending school, getting an education, and succeeding in life.
2. What is the role of the sponsor?
A sponsor’s friendship and encouragement are priceless to a child in such circumstances. Indeed, many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial support they receive from them. There is an opportunity to build a relationship between sponsor and child that can be quite profound.
3. How long can I sponsor a child in Africa?
Many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial support they receive from them. There is an opportunity to build a relationship between sponsor and child that can be quite profound.
Typically, sponsorship lasts until a child turns eighteen years old, graduates from high school, or moves out of our service area. Due to the transient state of many families and the difficult circumstances of the regions where they reside, we cannot predict or guarantee how long a child will remain in our sponsorship program, although every effort is made to provide services to children for as long as possible.
When a child leaves the sponsorship program, another child is selected for you to sponsor that is equally in need, in the hope that you will accept the new sponsorship.
4. Who implements or administers the child sponsorship program?
Our program is implemented by on-site volunteer coordinators who are typically administrators at the projects with which we affiliate. Our coordinators have direct access to the children they serve at their schools, homes, orphanages, or community centers – and sometimes even on a daily basis. As such, they are familiar with the immediate needs and family circumstances of each individual child in their care.
5. Who most directly benefits from my financial support?
When you sponsor a child, the beneficiary of your support is your individual sponsored child. The families of children in our sponsorship program receive additional or indirect benefits from their child’s sponsorship, but our focus is the one child. Sponsorship is intended to work directly with each child on a unique and individual level so that his or her specific needs are addressed.
The child-focused approach to fighting poverty is distinctly different from a broader, community development approach. By changing the life of one child, you are giving him or her the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, which can eventually lead to the transformation of an entire community – and even a nation.
6.WILL I RECEIVE UPDATED INFORMATION ABOUT MY SPONSORED CHILD IN AFRICA?
Yes. You will receive updated information and an updated photo, although the frequency may vary depending upon the child’s location. The typical progress report includes information about the child’s grade level in school, hobbies, and interests.
7. May I send packages to my sponsored child in Africa?
Due to high customs duties and the likelihood of loss, it is not recommended that you send packages to projects outside of the United States, as their receipt cannot be guaranteed. Most child sponsorship organizations cannot guarantee that your sponsored child will receive the package. If you would like to send an additional gift, it is recommended that you send a monetary gift to our headquarters in North Chesterfield, Virginia.
8. May I write to the child I sponsor?
Yes! Corresponding with your sponsored child can be a delightful experience. Your child is also encouraged to write to you as well.
9. What should I write about?
The children enjoy learning about the lives of their sponsors. Writing about your own family (children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc.) is always a good place to start. The children also like to learn about your part of the world, what you do for a living, your hobbies and interests, and about any pets you may have.
10. Is it possible to visit my sponsored child in Africa?
It is possible to visit sponsored children; however, it is not guaranteed that all of the projects with which we affiliate are open to sponsor visits. Circumstances vary from area to area.
11. Are there reviews of child sponsorship organizations?
Yes, before you choose the organization you choose to sponsor with, we highly recommend you visit these websites to gain a better understanding of the charity’s background and performance: Charity Navigator, GuideStar, Give.org and Charity Watch.
Children Incorporated is very proud of our reputation and reviews that recognize the work we are doing for children. Visit the following links to see our ratings:
- Charity Navigator Four Star Charity
- GuideStar Gold
- Better Business Bureau
- Charity Watch
12. What are the best child sponsorship organizations for sponsoring a child in Africa?
Well, we are obviously a little biased about this question; but as we mentioned above, we highly recommend that you visit the various websites that provide assessments and ratings of non-profit organizations before you make any donation.
13. What are the pros and cons of sponsoring a child?
The pros: you get to make a fundamental difference in the life of a child in need, and the effects of your sponsorship can last a lifetime. There are no real cons to sponsoring a child, but as you follow the progress of your sponsored child, you may at times feel that you wish could do more. There are no real cons to sponsoring a child, but at times, as you follow your sponsor child you may feel that you wish could do more.
14. How much does a child sponsorship cost?
Our sponsorship rate is $30 per month, and may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
15. Will my sponsorship help a child go to school?
Yes – absolutely! We pride ourselves on our focus on providing educational resources for children.
16. Are there non-religious sponsorship organizations?
Yes, there are many great charitable organizations, both religious and non-religious, that provide assistance to children in Africa. Children Incorporated is a non-religious charitable organization.