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Have a question about sponsoring a child with Save the Children? Chances are someone else has asked a similar question.
That’s why we’ve put together some our most frequently asked questions about Child Sponsorship. If you still haven't found what you’re looking for, please contact our Support Relations team on 1800 76 00 11 or email us at email@example.com.
Why should I sponsor a child with Save the Children?
When you sponsor a child with Save the Children, you will do more than help children survive. You provide children with the ability to create a better future for themselves and their community. Our sponsorship programs draw on our 90 years of experience working to improve the lives of children.
Save the Children Australia is one of 30 members of Save the Children International – the world’s leading independent organisation for children. We work together to share expertise, coordinate activities and pool resources, which means we can extend our reach and impact for children. Each year, we support millions of the most vulnerable children and young people in 120 countries around the world.
How will my sponsorship contributions be used?
When you sponsor a child, you also support their entire community to overcome disadvantage. Together with the contributions of other sponsors, you will invest in long-term, community-based programs designed to bring about sustainable improvements in child survival, well-being and development. This means that any child in a sponsorship community - including those who may never have the opportunity to have a sponsor of their own - can benefit from your support.
You’ll also help our team of experts to build the skills of children, parents and community leaders to create lasting change for future generations.
What types of programs are sponsored children involved in?
Save the Children’s sponsorship programs provide children with the best start to life – supporting them from birth into primary school and into adulthood. While we work to address the specific needs of an individual community, we focus on four core areas:
Early Childhood Care and Development programs provide children with the chance to develop, learn and grow during their critical early years. As well as healthcare and child protection initiatives, we provide early education opportunities which help build strong foundations for success and positive outcomes when they reach the formal school system.
Education programs help school-aged children access a quality education. We build and establish schools, train teachers and ensure children have access to educational materials that help them reach their full potential.
Health and Nutrition programs help address specific health and nutrition issues that keep children out of school and impair their ability to learn. We work with students to adopt healthy practices which will assist their overall well-being and help them reach their learning potential.
Adolescent Development programs provide young people with life skills and training to assist them to positively contribute to the well-being of their community. We tailor information sessions to meet the specific needs of adolescents and offer structured learning opportunities for those not in school.
Our experience has taught us that to achieve lasting positive outcomes for large numbers of children, we must change the world they live in. That’s why working with communities is an integral part of our sponsorship operations and programs. We work with families, communities, government and non-government stakeholders – empowering them to create lasting change.
What can I expect to receive from Save the Children as a sponsor?
When you first sign up, we will send you a Welcome Kit with a photograph of your sponsored child, as well as detailed information about their personal life and community. The Kit also includes a card for you to fill out and send to your sponsored child – helping you introduce yourself and start building a relationship.
Each year, you will also receive updates about your child’s progress and a recent photo of them. The updates will help you learn more about their life and the difference you’re making in their community.
You can write to and receive correspondence from your sponsored child at any time. We will also send you regular newsletters to keep you informed about our work and the impact we’re making together for children around the world.
How long does sponsorship last?
Sponsorship is a voluntary, ongoing contribution that assists disadvantaged children and communities. Regular donations provide a stable source of income to fund programs that achieve sustainable improvements in child survival, well-being and development.
Save the Children’s sponsorship programs are structured to work with a community for an average of eight to 10 years. You may start sponsoring a child during the early stages of our work in their community or towards the end.
If there comes a time when your sponsored child’s community no longer needs our assistance, we will notify you as soon as possible and hope that you will continue to help other children. Ultimately, it is up to you how long you decide to be part of our sponsorship program.
In what countries can I sponsor a child?
We currently offer sponsorship for children in Ethiopia, Malawi, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Will I sponsor an actual child?
Yes. When you sign up as a sponsor, you will be given the opportunity to choose a child (by country, gender and/or age) and to communicate with them. This allows you to build a relationship with your sponsored child and personally share the positive changes you are making in their life. You will also support and inspire an entire community to overcome disadvantage.
Can a child have more than one sponsor?
No, once you begin sponsoring a child they can no longer be chosen by someone else.
How are children chosen for sponsorship?
Save the Children have country offices and local staff in all of our sponsorship areas. Each child is identified and offered the opportunity to participate in our sponsorship programs in consultation with their family or caregiver. It is up to the child if they want to be involved with the sponsorship program. When a child receives a sponsor, they are notified by our local staff.
Can I write to my sponsored child?
Yes, of course! Correspondence can be one of the greatest joys of sponsorship. Sponsored children enjoy receiving letters and getting to know more about their sponsor. Many former sponsored children tell us that letters became a wonderful treasure and source of encouragement they read time after time. In fact, many children keep these letters throughout their lifetimes!
We encourage you to correspond with your sponsored child as often as you like. However, we do recommend that you allow at least three months between letters to ensure enough time for it to be delivered and your sponsored child to respond.
Can my family write to my sponsored child?
As you are looking to build a connection, it is best that only one person corresponds with the child. If you would like multiple people to be part of the experience, we recommend you write a letter on behalf of your family, or even have your child/grandchild do it.
What do I need to include in letters to my child?
All letters should include your Supporter ID, the name of your sponsor child and their Child ID on both the outside and inside of the item. If you are missing any of this information, please contact our Supporter Relations team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 1800 76 00 11.
Please mail all correspondence to your sponsored child to: Child Sponsorship letters, Save the Children Australia, Locked Bag 5000, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.
How long does it take to receive a reply from my child?
To send and receive a letter may take a number of months. Translation and the postal system where your sponsored child lives may cause delays. Please also keep in mind that depending on the time of year, children may have be on school holidays and harder to reach. We assure you that your patience will be worth the wait when you receive a reply!
Where do I address mail for my sponsored child?
Please address all letters and child sponsorship correspondence to: Child Sponsorship letters, Save the Children Australia, 33 Lincoln Square South, Carlton, 3053, Victoria
Can I email my sponsored child?
Yes, we are more than happy for you to email your sponsored child. Please include your Donor ID, sponsored child’s name and their Child ID in the body of the email and send to email@example.com. Email messages still take time to translate and deliver, but the process is faster than with postal mail. Your sponsored child’s reply will be sent by postal mail.
What should I write to my sponsored child?
As many children in our programs are developing their reading and writing skills, short and thoughtful messages are best. To help you get to know your sponsored child better, we suggest you ask them about their daily life, interests, family and friends. They will be excited to learn more about you as well, so sharing similar information is the easiest way to build a relationship. Your messages are a precious reminder that someone outside their community cares about them and their future.
Please note: For the protection of you and your sponsored child, please do not include your address, email or phone number in your letters and emails or ask your sponsored child to provide their contact details.
Can I send my sponsored child a gift?
Modest gifts that fit into a small envelope may be sent to your sponsored child. Recommended gifts include hair ribbons, combs, postcards, stickers, stationery and photos. However, please be aware that individual gifts can be lost in unreliable postal systems and gifts we deem inappropriate will not be forwarded to your sponsored child.
Please don’t send any cash, cheques or money orders. If you wish to give an additional gift to help your sponsored child’s community, please contact our Supporter Relations team on 1800 76 00 11.
Can I visit my sponsored child?
One of the great delights of being a Save the Children sponsor is having the chance to visit your sponsored child — to meet face to face, interact in person and further strengthen the bond you've formed.
Of course, your visit will also give you the opportunity to see your sponsorship contributions in action. You'll be able to visit — and maybe participate in — sponsorship-funded programs in your child's community and meet local Save the Children staff. Please be aware that all child sponsors will need to complete an application form and undergo background checks prior to their visit. If you would like more information about organising a trip, please email our Supporter Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I connect with my sponsor child via social media?
To protect children and sponsors, we do not permit communication of any type that is not facilitated by Save the Children. For this reason, we do not allow sponsors to interact with children online through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram, etc.
This is essential to the safety of children and to your own safety as a sponsor.
Breaches of our social media guidelines outlined above are taken very seriously and may result in termination of sponsorship.
How is Save the Children protecting sponsored children from harm?
Ensuring vulnerable children are protected, to the best of our ability, wherever they are is critical to Save the Children’s work. With more than 90 years working to protect children, we have extensive experience and expertise in designing strategies to keep children safe. We are committed to ensuring that we design and implement Child Sponsorship programs that create safe environments where children are protected and can not only survive, but also succeed in life.
We take our responsibilities for protecting and promoting the rights of children very seriously. We employ strategies to create and maintain an environment free from any form of abuse and exploitation, and promote the implementation of our Child Protection Policy. We are confident that our sponsors will join us in upholding this policy so that together we can do our best to ensure that the children we help remain safe. While the vast majority of individuals have good intentions, we trust that child sponsors understand that we must safeguard against the few who do not.
In our efforts to keep children safe, we monitor the letters and gifts sent to sponsored children. To protect the privacy of all parties, we do not allow children and sponsors to exchange contact information (phone number, email addresses, addresses etc), last names, or connect on social media. All correspondence must be sent through our field offices.
Every sponsor planning to visit their sponsored child is required to complete an application form, release form and a background check. All visits to sponsorship areas must be coordinated by the Country Office and are fully supervised; visits are never to the child’s home or school. Unannounced visits to our Country Offices are unacceptable.
How long does Save the Children work in a community?
On average, Save the Children works with a community for eight to 10 years. This period of time allows us to assess the individual needs of the community and implement stable programs that help achieve long-term impact. With a primary goal to ensure sustainability in the areas that we work, we build skills and community knowledge, so that they can continue to support future generations. This model allows us to move on to help other children overcome disadvantage, while knowing that our work will continue to benefit the community we leave.
How much is Child Sponsorship?
Sponsorship starts at $40 per month. So for less than a $1.50 a day, you’ll help provide children with the necessities for a healthy and successful start to their life – nutrition, early childhood and adolescent development, education and school health. If you are able to contribute more each month, you will help improve the lives of more children.
How can I make my sponsorship payments?
Automatic monthly deductions from a credit card or bank account are the easiest and most efficient way to make your sponsorship contribution. Deductions will be scheduled from your nominated account on either the 1st or 15th of each month, depending on your preference. Monthly payment information must be supplied during sign-up to sponsorship.
If you wish to make other payment arrangements or if you have any further questions, please contact our Supporter Relations team on 1800 76 00 11 or send us a message.
How do I change my payment details? Can I change from a monthly to an annual or quarterly payment?
Yes, you can change your payment details by contacting our Supporter Relations team on 1800 76 00 11. You can also send us a message.
Will I receive a tax receipt for my sponsorship donations?
In July each year, we send sponsors an official tax receipt for all of the donations they have made to Save the Children during the previous financial year. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.
Can I cancel my sponsorship? What will happen?
Sponsorship is a voluntary, ongoing contribution to Save the Children’s work. There is no contract involved, and a sponsor can cancel at any time, for any reason. However, as our programs are designed to last an average of eight to 10 years and provide a unique opportunity to build a relationship with a child, we encourage sponsors to view their support as a long-term commitment.