Our sponsors and donors often hear from our staff and coordinators about the work we are doing around the world through our On the Road Series. But not as frequently do you hear from our sponsored children directly — especially those that live outside of the United States.
We want to share special stories with our supporters from the children in our program around the world — and how their sponsors are making a huge difference in their lives.
We want to share special stories with our supporters from the children in our sponsorship program around the world — and how their sponsors are making a huge difference in their lives.
Michael’s* Story: The Tecpan School in Guatemala
“My name is Michael, and I am in the second grade in school. I love math and literature as I have good teachers. I live in Tecpan, Guatemala, a town located in the highlands of Guatemala, where mostly Mayan people live. In my house I live with my mother and siblings and other family relatives, totaling 13 people, as we support each other as a family.”
We love hearing from our sponsored children about how their sponsors impact their lives.
“The house is a small shack located on a farm. My grandfather is the watchman and was given this place to live. The house is made of wood and mud bricks. It has dirt floors and a roof made from metal sheets.”
“My father died some years back, and we only have my mother to care for us. I feel lucky that my siblings and I have our grandfather to let us stay with them at the watchman house.”
“My siblings and I never attended school until we met the sisters at Tecpan School. They help our mother to register us at school and share the importance of education for all of us. My mother works as a day laundress and makes the equivalent of about 3-3.50 dollars a day when she works.”
“My brother also helps by selling newspapers on the streets of Tecpan. I really want to learn and go to school, so I was excited to hear about the Children Incorporated program. I know that with the help of a sponsor, I will be able to attend school and change my life.”
Monica: Pinagpala Children’s Center in the Philippines
“I know that with the help of a sponsor, I will be able to attend school and change my life.”
– Micheal from Guatemala
“I live in a small rural and agricultural town in the Philippines with my parents, four brothers and a baby sister. We have a small, two-room house made with cinder blocks and metal sheet roofing. It is all we can afford. All 7 family members share this home. My mother does not work, and my father is the main supporter of our home. He is a tricycle driver and earns about 100 to 150 pesos per day (about $3 US dollars).”
“We all help on the upkeep of our house, so I help with the cleaning and with the care of my little sister. I am in the fifth grade and love math. Children Incorporated support is a great help for my family because my parents cannot afford to send me to school, but because of my sponsor I get my school supplies, shoes, clothing and other school needs and fees.”
“We also get so much needed extra food a few times a year when I don’t need anything for school. I am so glad I have the support of the Children Incorporated program. It is my motivation to continue with my education.”
Lana: Pinagpala Children’s Center in the Philippines
Sponsorship support is a great help to families because parents often cannot afford to send their children to school.
“I am Lana. I am in the eighth grade in school, and I like to learn English. I live in a small rural agricultural town in the Philippines. My family includes my parents, three brothers and four sisters. We all live in a small house made with cinder block walls, cement floors and metal sheet roofing. My father is a small day farmer, and my mother takes care of all my siblings and me.”
“We all help around the house, so I have to help my mother with cleaning and sweeping while I am not at school. We also help with the care of the younger siblings. The Children Incorporated program is helping with supporting my education, while the feeding program that I participate in at the center is easing my parents’ burden for my food. I get my uniforms, school supplies and any school fee covered with my sponsor’s help. I am so glad I was selected to participate with the Children Incorporated program.”
James: Msamaria Mwema in Kenya
“My name is James, and I am in the seventh grade in school. I like to go to school. I am an orphan — I lost my mother some time ago, and I never met my father. I don’t have any siblings that I know of, and I live at the boarding home at Msamaria Mwema in Kenya.”
“I love to play soccer with my friends, and I also love rice and beans stew. I help with anything I can at home so that I can safely stay here until I finish my education. I am glad I participate with the Children Incorporated program so that I have the chance to continue my education to the end.”
*Names changed for children’s protection.
How do I sponsor a child internationally?
You can sponsor a child internationally in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, email us at email@example.com or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for an international child that is available for sponsorship.
The city of Tagaytay, where the Pinagpala Children’s Center is located, is on the island of Luzon, where many Filipino families suffer from extreme poverty. To help support the community, in 2000, members of a local church there established the Pinagpala – meaning “Blessed” – Children’s Center to provide educational assistance to local needy children and their families.
The Pinagpala Children’s Center recognizes that providing for the educational needs of impoverished children is an important step in giving them the tools they require to break the cycle of poverty.
The Pinagpala Children’s Center recognizes that providing for the educational needs of impoverished children is an important step in giving them the tools they require to break the cycle of poverty; and thanks to support from Children Incorporated, the center not only supports children with basic needs, but it also helps families through various skills training programs and educational activities.
Our Hope In Action Fund in action
Initially just a one-story structure, the Pinagpala Children’s Center received support from Children Incorporated’s Hope In Action Fund to construct a second story. As a result, the center’s programs were expanded to further support children, families, and the community beyond our sponsorship program. On a recent visit to the Philippines, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, visited the center to see the completed second floor of the building. He also spoke with our volunteer coordinator there about how the new floor is being utilized.
Currently, the new addition is being used for feeding children in mornings and afternoons; for after-school tutoring in the evenings; and during the day, for hosting a small daycare center for parents who work during the day. The center’s partnership with Children Incorporated has been instrumental in not only educating our sponsored and unsponsored children, but also in helping to progress the overall development of the community in which they live as a whole.
One program teaches parents how to recycle old materials to make rags and garments to sell.
Plenty of achievements
What Luis found on his visit greatly exceeded his expectations. As he continued to talk with our volunteer coordinator, he was informed that the administrators at the Pinagpala Children’s Center have also started income-generating programs for the parents of children enrolled in our program. One such program teaches parents how to recycle old materials to make rags and garments to sell. There is also a small organic vegetable garden at the center where parents can learn gardening skills to grow produce to sell to other families in the community, as well as an income-generating project where pigs are raised for later sale.
The center also recognizes the need for supporting the locality with a community-based rehabilitation and drug addiction program to help young addicts break their drug habits. The local police chief there has even become involved with it, teaching workshops and hosting seminars to emphasize to the community the importance of not getting involved in drugs.
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN THE PHILIPPINES?
You can sponsor a child in the Philippines in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.
The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records.
Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation and access to healthcare and potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. The large port city of Tacloban, where the Visayans Community Center at Bliss is located, is no exception to these maladies.
One of the worst storms in a hundred years
We are grateful that we were able to help Filipino families after the typhoon, thanks to our amazing donors, and we continue to be proud of what the Visayans Community Center at Bliss offers to children beyond sponsorship today.
At the Bliss housing project in Sagkahan – a community established by the Filipino government for Tacloban’s poor – only fifteen percent of residents actually own the land on which they live. Most inhabit concrete dwellings; but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo, and boards. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss supports children living in poverty.
Founded by the local group Volunteer for the Visayans, the center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare, and promoting education. The center was especially important to children and their families in the wake of the devastation inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan – one of the worst storms to hit the area in 100 years – which struck the Philippines in November of 2013. In the aftermath, Children Incorporated was able to support families in their efforts to rebuild their homes, thanks to donations to our Hope In Action Fund, while still providing basic needs to children through our sponsorship program.
The letter below from one of our sponsored children whose family received help after the typhoon depicts just how important it was for that community to receive help during its recovery:
“Dear Children Incorporated,
I am writing to say thank you for all the things that we received from you. We encountered a big tragedy, a super typhoon named Haiyan. After the typhoon, we couldn’t do anything; we were just doing our best to get by and to help ourselves so that we could stay healthy and be strong. We are thankful for you – because Children Incorporated helped us through the Hope In Action Fund. It helped a lot for all my personal needs, like shoes, pants, and other clothes. After my personal needs were met, we bought some other things, like materials for our house – plywood, nails, and other materials that were used to fix our house. Thank you for caring enough to help us!
Helping families beyond sponsorship
At the center, children receive support after school and on the weekends.
We are grateful that we were able to help Filipino families after the typhoon, thanks to our amazing donors, and we continue to be proud of what the Visayans Community Center at Bliss offers to children beyond sponsorship today. Not only do children there receive basic needs, thanks to their sponsors, but the center also provides medical check-ups and medicine through volunteer doctors, as well as local medical volunteers. The center also offers tutoring for children every Saturday – particularly for students who are identified as having difficulty with school lessons, and who therefore need extra attention. These one-on-one tutoring sessions are conducted by older sponsored and formerly-sponsored children who are in high school and college.
The center also provides swimming and guitar lessons for children, and its staff conduct school and home visits to track students’ progress, and to ensure that children and families have good relationships with teachers. Children also participate in various craft-making activities and games, as well as in neighborhood clean-ups. Administrators offer special seminars and workshops, which help to equip children for day-to-day challenges, and teach them to prepare for disasters. Parents are also encouraged to attend monthly meetings at the center to discuss the children in the program, and to receive updates and learn about concerns school staff may have.
*Name changed for child’s protection.
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN THE PHILIPPINES?
You can sponsor a child in the Philippines in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at email@example.com; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in the Philippines that is available for sponsorship.
At Children Incorporated, we believe that education is a way out of poverty for children, both in the United States and globally. Many barriers stand in the way of children receiving an education, from unaffordable school fees and a lack of basic facilities, to discrimination and low-quality instruction. These are often compounded by some cultural practices such as early marriage, as well as by the general preference of boys over girls, both of which make education out of reach for many girls. Around the world, threats of natural disasters and civil conflicts also disrupt many children’s education.
Global child education facts
– Children from the poorest households are 3 times less likely to attend school than children from the richest households
– 57 million children around the world are not attending school — and the majority of these young people are girls
– For each additional year of primary school attendance, a female worker’s wages increase 10 to 20%, on average
– Educated mothers tend to send their children to school, helping to break the cycle of poverty
– Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names
– 40% of children living in poverty aren’t prepared to receive schooling at the primary level
Students who come from low-income families are 7 times more likely to drop out of school than those from families with higher incomes
National child education facts
– Poverty’s effects on the psychological and emotional states of children contribute to both student interest in school and overall happiness
– Children living in poverty have a higher rate of absenteeism or leave school altogether because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members
– Students who come from low-income families are 7 times more likely to drop out of school than those from families with higher incomes
– In 2015, approximately 10% of children had parents who didn’t complete high school; 27% lived in households with single mothers; 8% lived in single father households; and 20% came from families living in poverty
– In 2013, the school dropout rate for students in the nation was at 8% for African American youth, 7% for Hispanic youth – both of which are higher than the dropout rate for Caucasian youth (4%)
What Children Incorporated does to support children’s education
Children Incorporated provides resources to children in need in the United States and abroad because we passionately believe that children everywhere deserve education, hope, and opportunity. Through our sponsorship program, we provide basic necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, and educational support to children living in poverty. These essentials, so often taken for granted, are vital to a child’s growth and success in school.
How you can help
You can help a child living in poverty to receive an education in a few different ways. One way is through our child sponsorship program. Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and school tuition payments. This vital support allows impoverished, vulnerable children to develop to their full potential – physically, emotionally, and socially. Sponsors positively impact the lives of the children they sponsor through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well-being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.
Our policy has always been to consider the needs of each sponsored child on an individual basis. We work closely with our volunteer coordinators at our project sites, who are familiar with each individual circumstance and the needs of every child in their care. Sponsorship donations are sent to our projects – orphanages, homes, community centers, and schools – at the beginning of each month in the form of subsidy stipends. Our on-site volunteer coordinators use these funds to purchase basic and education-related items for children in our program, to ensure that they have what they need to do their very best and succeed in school.
You can also help children in need by donating to one of our special funds. Our special funds offer a variety of giving options for sponsors who wish to further their support, as well as for donors who wish to make a difference without making a commitment.
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD with Children Incorporated?
You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.
We work in India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and the Philippines. We affiliate with twelve projects in India, five in Sri Lanka, three in the Philippines, and seventeen in South Korea. Your support of children in these countries helps to provide them with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items. We also fund feeding programs, the construction of schools and dormitories, as well as help children through our Higher Education Fund; and we support unsponsored children through our Shared Hope Fund.
Information about the countries in Asia where we work
Asia is full of beauty, but it also has its fair share of political, social, and economic issues that are keeping children from obtaining the basic needs they deserve, and from receiving a good education. As such, we want to highlight information about each of the Asian countries in which we work, to show you not only what the countries have to offer with regard to culture, landscape, and a rich history, but also what they lack in infrastructure – the reasons for which we affiliate with projects in each of these nations, in order to support their children in need.
Your support of children in these countries helps to provide them with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items.
From the snowcapped Himalayas to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years; the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called its fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India comprises a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures. Its wealth of natural resources and vibrant culture, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of its citizens live.
About Sri Lanka
The island nation of Sri Lanka is located just east of India’s southern tip. It has been known by many names over the centuries, but it fittingly derives its current name from the Sinhalese words meaning “resplendent island”. Indeed, amidst its tropical rainforests, coastal plains, and Central Highlands in the south, Sri Lanka boasts the highest biodiversity density in Asia, with roughly a quarter of its thousands of species of plant and animal life existing nowhere else on the planet. Prehistoric settlements suggest that humans have called this land home for thousands of years. Its strategic location and deep ports made it an important part of the ancient Silk Road, and it served as a significant tactical ground during World War II. Today, even in the wake of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonization, Sri Lanka maintains its rich and ancient cultural heritage, comprising diverse ethnic groups, languages, and religions. Despite its many advancements, internal ethnic tensions remain active in Sri Lanka. In 1983, they culminated into twenty-six years of insurgencies and civil war, which, along with reports of widespread abuse of civil rights and corruption – not to mention the devastating tsunami of 2004 – left the nation reeling. Despite a recovering economy, Sri Lanka is still plagued by widespread poverty and its devastating effects.
About South Korea
Comprising the lower half of a mountainous peninsula in East Asia, South Korea is truly a nation of contrasts. Although it emerged as an autonomous country in the aftermath of World War II, its rich culture and heritage reach back thousands of years. Today, this populous nation, with a population density ten times higher than the global average, is renowned for its advancements in technology. However, more than half a century after the Korean Armistice Agreement, South Korea is still haunted by ghosts of its turbulent past. The Korean War (1950-1953) devastated South Korea, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives – both military and civilian – and leaving thousands of children orphaned.
About the Philippines
The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records. Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation, access to potable water, and access to healthcare are daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity.
Most Frequently-asked Questions About Sponsoring a Child in Asia
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 Asia.
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.
What is the role of a 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.
How long can I sponsor a child in Asia?
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, though 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.
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.
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 address the unique and individual needs of each child so that his or her specific needs are addressed.
The child-focused approach to fighting poverty is distinctly different from the 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.
Will I receive updated information about my sponsored child in Asia?
Yes. You will receive updated information and updated photos, though 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.
May I send packages to my sponsored child in Asia?
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. 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.
May I write to the child I sponsor?
Yes! Corresponding with your sponsored child can be a delightful experience. Your sponsored child is encouraged to write to you as well.
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.
Is it possible to visit my sponsored child in Asia?
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.
Are there reviews of child sponsorship organizations?
Yes. Before you choose an organization with which to sponsor a child, we highly recommend that you visit these websites to gain a better understanding of charity backgrounds and performances: 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:
What are the best child sponsorship organizations for sponsoring a child in Asia?
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 nonprofit organizations before you make any donations.
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.
How much does child sponsorship cost?
Our sponsorship rate is $30 per month, and may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
Will my sponsorship help a child go to school?
Yes – absolutely! We pride ourselves on our focus on providing educational resources for children.
Are there non-religious sponsorship organizations?
Yes, there are many great charitable organizations, both religious and non-religious, that provide assistance to children in Asia. Children Incorporated is a non-religious charitable organization.
Christmas is a special time of year for children all over the world. Children of all ages dream of what they might get under the tree on Christmas morning, hoping for a new toy or game to play. But for many of our sponsored and unsponsored kids, getting Christmas gifts is something that sometimes doesn’t happen.
We are so thankful that we were able to give these children a special holiday, when they would’ve otherwise gone without any gifts at all.
When families are living in poverty, they are often unable to save money throughout the year for Christmas gifts for their children; instead, there are always bills to pay, food items to buy, or school fees to consider. There is not enough money to pay for everything and save at the same time. Thankfully, the children enrolled in our program have their sponsors and our volunteer coordinators to ensure that they receive new clothes, school supplies, food, educational games and toys – and sometimes even presents during the holidays – all things they would otherwise go without.
This is true for the kids at our projects all over the world – in the United States and abroad, including in the Philippines. The Visayans Community Center at Bliss is at the Bliss Housing Project in Sagkahan – a community established by the Filipino government for the poor of the city of Tacloban. Just fifteen percent of the residents there actually owns the land on which they live.
Most families inhabit concrete dwellings; but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo, and cast-off boards. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss serves as a beacon of hope. Founded by the local group Volunteer for the Visayans, the center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare, and promoting education.
Our Volunteer Coordinator there, Helena, bought clothing, as well as groceries and grains, this past Christmas, thanks to donations from the children’s sponsors, to ensure that the kids in our program had a special Christmas. We are so thankful that we were able to give these children a special holiday, when they would’ve otherwise gone without any gifts at all.
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN THE PHILIPPINES?
You can sponsor a child in the Philippines in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at email@example.com; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in the Philippines who is available for sponsorship.