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Sponsoring a child(12 Posts)
I've been thinking about sponsoring a child where you send letters to them as opposed to a generic charity donation. My husband and I used to sponsor a child through World Vision a long time ago, but in the wake of the behaviour of some of our UK and international charities I've paused before going ahead. Specifically I'm thinking of the cases of exploitation and abuse of the very children they are supposed to protect, plus questionable rubber related and men are women practices in their HQs/corporate teams.
I was wondering if anyone has any opinions on this? Are there organisations that have remained true to the values of protecting women and children who allow you to sponsor a child?
Thanks in advance.
I sponsor children, and haven't heard anything bad about the organisations, but I can't vouch for them 100%. There will always be corruption and abuses of power even if the vast majority of people in an organisation are completely decent.
The organisations I sponsor with are:
ActionAid. They are the most political (left-wing). They got some stick on here not long ago because one of their employees told someone they don't believe in biological sex. Since then I've been reading more of their material and I can tell you that doesn't represent ActionAid. They're well aware of how girls are disadvantaged because of their biology.
Plan International. Another secular organisation that puts a lot of focus on girls' rights. Again I haven't seen any sparkle-type ideology from them.
SOS Children's Villages. You'd probably be one of many sponsors for the child. These are children who can't live with their parents, so are part of a family in a village with an 'SOS mom'.
World Vision. A Christian charity who are a bit on the 'hard sell' side. They seem okay but have the highest turnover in the sense that you'll sponsor a child for a bit, then out of the blue you'll get a letter saying 'so-and-so has left the project, please meet so-and-so'.
Compassion. An evangelical Christian charity and the most old school. All the rest, you actually sponsor the project, not the child. But Compassion uses the old model which means your money goes directly to the child and their family. You can also sponsor them through college, and you can give fairly large monetary gifts apart from the monthly donations.
All of these charities are good in their own way. When people ask I tend to recommend Plan as having a good reputation and being politically aware and committed to social change, but also secular.
I also avoid large corporate charities.
I'm sorry to say that ActionAid don't know what a woman or girl is, thankfully Plan Int do.
I support this small charity:
Lumos and another small charity:
Though I don't think you can sponsor a child with them but they do help children in various ways - due to their size they are not be able to offer the sponsor a child schemes. Sorry if that's not helpful. Others will be along for more suggestions soon.
There's also www.standby.me/ but I have no first hand experience supporting them.
Thank you so much this is really helpful. Part of my wanting to do this is so my two young kids can send and receive letters and be aware of the child's life, to help them see how others in the world live. So the more direct a relationship the better, however I was wondering if the World Vision old skool method actually were in any way problematic. It may not be!
I realise this isn't strictly a feminist issue however i value the judgement of the women here plus I'm very keen to not fund an anti-women/girls mindset that has taken over other NGOs.
It's great that you're giving your kids this opportunity. For correspondence, Plan, Compassion and ActionAid are the best, although the letters from ActionAid don't sound like they were written with much input from the child. SOS kids aren't asked to write to sponsors (probably because they can have as many as ten). World Vision is spotty. Sometimes you might get letters that sound like they're from a different child, and there aren't many clues that they're reading your letters. I guess it depends on the project.
We sponsor with compassion. It is Christian, so not to everyone’s views. I’ve been very impressed with how long the children stay with the project, the out of school clubs and the wider family support. You can send gifts but the monthly payment covers attending the group and the individual support that comes with it.
I do the Butterfly Tree in Zambia thebutterflytree.org.uk They are quite small and don't do letters, but you can read their blog on their website.
We have sponsored with SOS children’s villages for years now.
We get a letter from the home once a year and that describes the home and what all the kids get up to (also explains the local situations - is having to move home several times because of war). The children are housed together with a ‘mum’ and are part of the local community - and the houses are pretty worldwide (I was surprised to see some in Canada and central Europe for some reason - but kids in need are international aren’t they?)
I chose them because they weren’t a religious group, nor one that got involved in politics. They home children who can’t live at home - so either they don’t have a family or their family just can’t look after them.
They ask you don’t send gifts but you can send money to the child’s home for them to buy something for the house so that they all benefit.
Thanks so much everyone - I've gone with Plan, but will look to do something with SOS Villages next year. They sound like a great organisation.
Ah thanks - they are good. I used to deal with then and they are a good crowd in the office too.
Goal for The Gambia- really tiny charity that make an absolutely massive difference. As a family we have been to ‘holiday’ there and spent time hanging out. I WhatsApp the family I sponsor and we can write anytime. It’s only £7 a month to sponsor a child and it really does make such a huge difference. They’ve built schools, nurseries and hospitals. Also wholly supportive of the women and children, as a Muslim country they can be often overlooked.
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