From our experience of working with vulnerable children and youth we know that sometimes just a small push or support from another person can change their lives. We select children who experience poverty or social needs and are willing to use support to move forward to achieve their goals.
Why do children need sponsorship to develop their potential?
The children we work with are very vulnerable as they go through difficult situations in their life. Some children had to deal with bullying in an orphanage, some struggled for years with an abusive father. War, poverty and Covid-19 affect children every day, and children already on the margins find it very difficult to cope. Education is affected, and we have seen families try to share one mobile phone between four children who needed to attend class online. Because we know each of our families and children personally, we can use financial support from Sponsors very effectively.
How do we get to know the children?
In Ukraine we usually get to know children via Care in Action projects, and sometimes from Social Services or other organisations who we work with. For example, in our Guardian Angel mentoring and tutoring programme, trained volunteers assist children who live in care institutions or are from very poor families. When a mentor sees that a child is very interested in developing his or her talents then if we find a sponsor we can give the child the additional help they need to thrive.
In Malawi we communicate with teachers at Secondary Schools to find out which students did well in their studies but were expelled because they could not pay the fees. Through our local community connections we verify that the child has both the ability and need for our support.
How do we decide which children to sponsor?
We understand that we need to help children who experience poverty or social needs to grow up to support themselves, so we can make a lasting difference. Therefore, the most crucial thing for us when selecting which disadvantaged children we should help, is the desire of both the child and parents or guardians to improve their lives. We don’t discriminate based on race, religion or gender. We get to know the family and start with short-term cooperation, and only after seeing the results we look for the long-term support of a sponsor.
Can Sponsors write letters or send gifts?
Yes, sponsors can communicate and send gifts via our Administrators. Some children really are interested to hear from their sponsors and ask questions in their letters, and for some children it’s life-changing to know that someone believes they are important and wants them to succeed. We have guidance about cultural sensitivity and proportionate gifts. To protect children and follow best practice, communication should go through our Administrators.
What is the result of our Sponsorship?
Some of the great things that happened as a result of our Sponsorship Program are that teenagers from rural areas entered university and got governmental scholarships which would have been impossible without the extra tutoring. A university degree will help them to find a better job and have a decent life. Another great result is that some children could stay with their families instead of being forced to live in an orphanage just because of poverty. Many teenagers in our Sponsorship Program had the opportunity to discover their talents or improve their skills with activities, courses or tutoring.
Since 2016 we have worked with sponsors to make lasting change for children who were disadvantaged. Some children were sponsored for seven years and went from a childhood without parents and in institutional care to becoming independent young adults who could support themselves. Other children were sponsored for a few months through a crucial time such as preparation for university. Sponsors have told us how much it meant to them to see a child become independent and how much they enjoyed the personal letters they received.
You may like to see our Introduction to Sponsoring a Child...
Would you like to sponsor a child in Ukraine or Malawi? Send us an email to get started today!
Jasmine Lehnis, email@example.com