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NOW CLOSED: Do you give money to charity? Are you interested in discussing issues around sponsoring a child? We've been asked by Plan UK to find MNers willing to discuss this topic.

(35 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Sep-11 13:57:38

We've been asked by Plan UK to find 20 Mumsnetters willing to talk online about giving to charity and about sponsoring a child. We need to find UK based MNers who already give to charity (at least 3 times a year) - possibly already to children's charities or international development charities who are willing to discuss the idea of sponsoring a child (it doesn't matter if you currently do or don't sponsor a child).

If selected to take part, you'll be invited to take part in a discussion in a private area of the site. This will take place between 10th and 14th October. You'd need to respond to some initial questions early in the week and then towards the end of the week we'll add some additional questions which you'd also need to respond to - making your final comments by Sunday 16th October.

Your views will be used by Plan UK to help attract more sponsors. Your comments (not with your nickname) may be used on the Plan UK pages on Mumsnet which are coming soon. All comments are confidential.

As a thank you each participant will be sent a £10 Amazon voucher.

In case you don't know about Plan UK - this is what they say "Plan UK Child Sponsorship: the Plan that changes lives. When sponsoring a child with Plan, you'll become part of a very special plan. A plan that will transform their life and yours. For just 50 pence a day, sponsors share a unique one-to-one connection with a child in one of the developing communities in which we work. Sponsors receive letters and pictures direct from the child they sponsor, plus reports showing exactly how sponsors' donations are improving the lives of children, their families and whole communities"

If you're able and willing to take part please add your details here

Many thanks - MNHQ

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Tue 27-Sep-11 14:06:37

Not sure if we would be eligible. Me and DH sponsor two children in Burma, it is not done with a group, they are the sons of our former home help. We pay for them to be schooled and medical care.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Tue 27-Sep-11 14:07:52

Also, when we lived in Thailand, the school DH worked for sponsored a village. In the village many people were sponsored by individuals. that was organised in Thailand though. I am proud to say we sent our 'girl' to university.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Sep-11 14:29:36

Rip... If you are interested on taking part please complete the form with those details...sounds like you have keen interest in topic.

ToothlesstheDragon Tue 27-Sep-11 14:59:00

i have always considered adopting a child, but never have. I guess I'm always hesitant because i'm quite cynical. I'm never sure if the money i would donate would go to that child and not admin fees or something along those lines.

I do give to charity, when I can. This would amount to over 3 times a year but with 2 children and me being a sahm i usually spend most of our household "disposable" income on them.

At the moment we're not able to give very much at all to charity. Im certainly not able to spend £15 a month right now, but maybe when things are a bit better I would certainly look into it a lot more

clangermum Tue 27-Sep-11 15:59:06

I sponsored a child via Plan UK for years and then was suddenly told the child was no longer in the plan. No explanation given, other than that it was very rare (which made me feel much better....) And in all that time the communication had been really poor - it certainly didn't feel very special. I now sponsor via another organisation.

twotesttickles Tue 27-Sep-11 16:43:14

My village sponsors a school in a third world country. In some respects I think this is better because it benefits the entire community (at both ends).

NotADudeExactly Tue 27-Sep-11 16:52:55

I'm not entirely convinced of the whole child sponsoring thing:

If the money is used to finance village projects etc. the dinor will be uoset that the whole amount wasn't given to the child whose photographs they receivd (as happened in some cases).

On the other hand simply giving money (or child related goods) to the parents does very little to address the underlying issues of poverty in any sustainable manner at all.

Giddly Tue 27-Sep-11 16:56:59

I'm not at all keen on sponsoring a child as it's a poor development model - very expensive to administer and doesn't really allow for long term and sustainable change. However, I do think it's a good educational thing for children - my DD's school sponsors a little girl and they learn about her life, and see her as a real person with hopes and aspirations - not a "victim" which is how people in developing countries are often presented to children.

LittleWhiteWolf Tue 27-Sep-11 17:50:13

I've been interested in sponsoring a child since my daughter was born 2 years ago, but have been overwhelmed by the different plans and put off by some negative views I have heard. I'd definitely be interested in learning more about it.

NormaSnorks Tue 27-Sep-11 20:03:55

I have been sponsoring a child/community through World Vision for the last 8 years or so. I donate about £24 a month.
She is the same age as my son (now 11), and the plan was that they would 'grow up together' and we (as a family) would be able to learn about her family's way of life etc and vice versa. I thought it would be useful from an educational perspective, and also help my kids understand how lucky they are not to suffer from hunger, or poor sanitation, or be affected by diseas etc.

All the advertising material about child sponsor led me to believe that I would develop something of a 'relationship' with my child and her family.
Disappointingly this hasn't been the case. I send Christmas and birthday cards with photos and letters. All I get in response is a photo with a checklist type form every year... Height/ Weight; favourite hobbies ("none" hmm); and how she is doing at school ("Satisfactory" hmmhmm). On the back there is a "Here is a picture your child has drawn for you.." Last year there was a square, about 1 cm wide drawn in the middle.

I know it's not about 'getting something back' but I DO feel misled. And it rubs salt into the wounds when the annual magazine features pictures and stories of X, Y & Z sponsors who hold up all the letters/ pictures etc, and have been to visit their child.... sad

DH says I should just cancel it and give the money to a general disaster fund or Oxfam etc, but I do feel a certain responsibility now that I have been doing it for so long. I suppose I secretly hope that perhaps she is enjoying receiving my letters, but just isn't able to reply. hmm

Kasherry Tue 27-Sep-11 20:30:28

Id like to take part but I already sponsor a child in Kenya with Plan UK - happy to give my thoughts if required. Let me know :-)

twotesttickles Tue 27-Sep-11 20:33:35

FWIW my brother who has sponsored several children has met them (he self funded trips to find them) but it only highlighted to him that the child with the sponsorship got to go to school while her seven sisters did not. sad

bluesky Tue 27-Sep-11 20:45:56

Norma, we're the same as you.

We got a circle drawn for us last year!

justaboutstillhere Tue 27-Sep-11 20:51:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NormaSnorks Tue 27-Sep-11 20:59:02

justabout - but I have done the same - sending extra money at birthdays and Christmas...

What do you mean about the 'minium' allowable? I've never seen that.

It's great that it's worked for you, but yet again, hearing your tale just pisses me off angry

The child sponsorship 'package' creates and 'expectation' - if that expectation (fuelled by all the marketing hype) can't be met, then organisations like Plan or World Vision need to think again. If I had been told I would only get a photo checklist once a year, then I wouldn't be disappointed, but as it is, I feel angry - not leadst for my children, who are really interested in finding out more about my sponsored child and her community.

justaboutstillhere Tue 27-Sep-11 21:03:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutstillhere Tue 27-Sep-11 21:04:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justaboutstillhere Tue 27-Sep-11 21:22:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Tue 27-Sep-11 22:24:52

I completed the survey but then you went offline. Please can you confirm if you have my response (posting under different name than the one I registered with - can you still check?)

clangermum Tue 27-Sep-11 22:45:33

Norma - this was very similar to my experience and I too feel they should set the bar lower on what to expect back. I paid for years thinking it was a bit of a con, but felt unable to stop, but was then told I couldn't continue. No idea what happened to the child or wider family.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Sep-11 22:52:37

WoodBetweenTheWorlds - yep the form went through.
All views welcome in the discussion...
Kasherry - please sign up if you haven't already - Plan UK are also very interested in having some MNers as a case study to feature so maybe you'd be interested in that? If you'd rather do that then send me a PM.


ednurse Wed 28-Sep-11 03:37:38

I do not sponsor a child directly buy I donate to three cleft lip and palette charities.
The Smile Train
Operation Smile

They do work in poorer countries helping those who need operations an such.

MrsJamin Wed 28-Sep-11 06:19:26

I love the idea of it but when I sponsored a child 10 or so years ago I was fed up of being 'massaged' so to speak, with lots of glossy full colour magazines etc, I worried how much money went into retaining sponsors.

justaboutstillhere Wed 28-Sep-11 08:21:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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