Child sponsorship....what are your thoughts?(9 Posts)
Years ago I did some consultancy work with World Vision. They were all - to a man and woman - wonderful, generous, kind, committed, intelligent people.
Cut forward several years, and I now have x3 DCs (5 and under), and am keen that we foster a culture of charitable awareness in this household. Child sponsorship seems a great thing to do, as it's so easy for my children to identify with. BUT. I'm aware there are some ethical issues with it - does it foster an us/them attitude? Is it too patronising? So if not child sponsorship, what?
Interested to hear your thoughts.
Busycee, sorry nobody replied to your question - because that is exactly what I was wondering myself! My dds school do the Operation Christmas Child shoe box thing, and she absolutely loved doing that but I have become a bit concerned about that charity in particular and also the fact that in general it is quite expensive to pack a box ( we must have spent £20 at least) and it doesn't really do very much good I would say. So I was wondering about sponsoring a child, that dD would feel the same sort of human connection ( she is only 7) and we would do some tangible good in an actual child's life. But I am worried, like you, about whether this is a bit patronising and more about us feeling good about ourselves than really doing good. What decision did you come to in the end? And which charity? After finding out more about the motives of Samaritans Purse, I am inclined away from any with a religious affiliation! is there anybody else out there who has sponsored a child, or decided against it?
I've sponsored a child for 6 years. It is through a Christian charity though so I don't know if that helps you. The charity is called Compassion.
I've found it to be a great experience. I think it is about £25 a month, which goes to a Compassion project in the child's village that then provides education, medical care and other practical needs for the sponsored children who can stay in the project until they are 21.
We send letters back and forth, more frequently now that we can do it by email and I get to send her photos and other paper based gifts.
I've loved how her letters have changed over the years from scribbled pictures to full on paragraphs! I would definitely recommend it.
This page lists all the main sponsorship charities, plus some much smaller ones
We've sponsored through ActionAid since DS1 was born. It's been variable, as obviously the help tends to be needed in unstable areas, and they've twice had to tell us that 'our' child's family was no longer in the area, with no further detail known, and once that they could no longer operate in the sponsored area as it was too dangerous. So we have three photos of toddlers or young children we were just starting to get to know a little, before the contact was cut. We still keep up the donation but it now goes to general aid in the area.
For the past few years we've sponsored through Plan, and that has been great - they make it very easy to stay in touch, suggest what you might like to send and even give you the envelope! This time the same child has stayed in contact for some years. Just had a note from her saying she finds it 'strange and good' (possibly lost in translation) to know that people think about her in another country.
I have sponsored a boy through Plan for about 4 years now. He's just turned 11 and like Lancelottie, we correspond fairly frequently.
I think it makes poverty/different lives very real to your children if they have a connection with a real live child. We get photos of him every year too and the money we send helps his whole community and means our sponsored child can stay in school.
Hello all - thanks for replying. Good to hear your experiences, they're helpful - we'll have a conflab and make a decision
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