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To want to sponsor a child?

55 replies

quizzywizz · 29/05/2013 16:09

I really want to sponsor a child through a site like Compassion where you can write to them and they write back and there is only you sponsoring the child.

It is £21 per month and a child is sponsored to about 18 / 22 I think.

I really want to do it and am drawn towards it but, after mentioning it to friends / parents, pretty much everyone was against it. Pointing out that if I sponsored a 6 year old I could be paying for at least 12 years = £3024. Unless the monthly amount goes up in which case it would be more.

They just keep saying that there is no point sponsoring a child that is nothing to you, there are children in the UK that need help, I am not well off / well paid, and that money doesn't get to the child.

Choosing which child might be tricky as there are some lovely little children on the site! I can't explain why I am so drawn to the idea so I am not managing to defend my view point very well. I think that sponsoring a child changes their life and gives them opportunities that they wouldn't otherwise have.

OP posts:

TheChaoGoesMu · 29/05/2013 16:13

Its a good thing to do. You don't need to defend it to anyone. I've sponsered a child for years, never thought to tot up the cost.


WorraLiberty · 29/05/2013 16:14

Why are you telling people your personal business? Confused

If you want to do it then do it

It's your money.


Leviticus · 29/05/2013 16:16

Do it and ignore the naysayers. It's an excellent use of money.


stepawayfromthescreen · 29/05/2013 16:16

I've sponsored a child in Mali for 7 years. I've never added up the cost and it's very weird that your friends would do that! I've never had anything other than positive reaction.
I sponsor through Plan.


cozietoesie · 29/05/2013 16:17

As long as you're content with it being a Christian evangelical ministry then go ahead - it's your money.


stepawayfromthescreen · 29/05/2013 16:18

when I did my research years ago, the general opinion was that Plan is the best charity to sponsor through as there's no religious angle, no evangelism, no bribery


PoppyAmex · 29/05/2013 16:21

Sounds like a lovely idea, but I remember reading a few sensible sounding arguments against sponsoring individual, specific children;

Apparently it can be very divisive in small villages (and even between brothers and sisters), especially if there are other children who haven't been sponsored, it doesn't benefit the community etc.

Here is an article that covers it.


Sunnywithshowers · 29/05/2013 16:22

YANBU. I sponsor a child through Plan International, and so have other people in my family. I think it's a great idea.


PoppyAmex · 29/05/2013 16:23

Sorry, that sounded a bit negative, but I just meant it might be worth reading the pros and cons before making a decision.


stepawayfromthescreen · 29/05/2013 16:27

Poppy, that article is from 1989 and there are so many holes and glaring omissions in it, I wouldn't know where to start.


TheImpracticalCat · 29/05/2013 16:32

My parents used to sponsor a young boy, I can't remember which charity they went through but it was a heavily Christian one. The charity used to send them a photo of him each school year in his school uniform, with his books and things that my parents had helped to buy him, and it was all very lovely. Then one year my parents showed me the letter and it was a different boy in the photo - when I asked what happened to the first boy, they said he'd decided he didn't want to go to church any more so the charity had taken away his sponsorship. :(

So I wouldn't personally go for a religious organisation just because that seemed a bit unfair to me - surely the point of charity is to be altruistic, not to expect something in return (like church attendance) - but in other ways it was really good because a portion of the sponsor money went to things for the boy himself, like school fees and uniform, but some of it also went towards things that would benefit the entire community, like building wells. Anyway, the discussion is irrelevant because it's your money and you don't have to justify your decisions to anyone else!


whatsthatcomingoverthehill · 29/05/2013 16:32

We sponsor a couple of kids through world vision, which is a christian charity, but the help they give is unconditional. As far as I understand, the money goes to the work of the charity in the community, rather than say, giving food to one brother whilst another goes without. The updates are once or twice a year, and I think you can send a birthday card, so it's not like you have huge involvement with the child. It is helpful to have that focus on your giving though, so it doesn't feel like you are just giving to a big program (even though in reality that's probably what it is!)


PoppyAmex · 29/05/2013 16:33

Like I said, I vaguely remember reading a few things about it and tbh I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to international charity as I give locally, but my point still stands which was:

OP doesn't seem to know a lot about it and it would be worth it to research before committing.

Anyway, good opportunity to educate myself and will read more about it. In the meantime here's a Guardian link link


exoticfruits · 29/05/2013 16:41

I have done it for years through PLAN and have had 5 different children over the years. I have never totted it up. The money goes to the community but I have a personal relationship with a child-I like to think we both get something out of it.
I use this charity


IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat · 29/05/2013 16:41

I sponsor a girl in Ghana through Plan. I thought that was the best charity as although you have a child to write to, the money goes into a pot for that local area. There have been problems with community divides when the money goes directly to one family, so this way is the best of both.

I don't like the idea of selecting a specific child from an online portfolio though and Plan don't do this. You can specify sex and location only. I sponsored on the back of 'because I'm a girl' campaign, which tries to keep girls in education and is working to prevent forced marriage.


GoodbyePorkPie · 29/05/2013 16:47

Poppy that Guardian article refers to an outdated practice and says that these days the community is sponsored rather than the child, and the 'sponsor a child' format is just a device to personalise the scheme.

I think it's a great idea. When I have more money I will do it. My parents have sponsored a child for years, was lovely 'seeing' them grow up and succeed.


OddBoots · 29/05/2013 16:57

I sponsor a child through compassion and I wish I didn't for the reasons given above about withdrawing if they stop going to church, I wish I'd looked into it more before we started but it would be cruel to stop now we have a child we have been supporting for years.

When he has outgrown or moved on I like the idea of this family sponsorship - I saw it from an advert on MN but I've just done lots of refreshes to try to get it back on my screen but it won't come up.

I also give/loan through (or associate link which gives you a free trial ) and get a lot from knowing how much this helps people become independent.


GoodbyePorkPie · 29/05/2013 16:59

I also give loans through Kiva, they are fantastic. If anyone wants to join please PM me because if I refer you I get a 'free' $25 to loan out to someone.


Pootles2010 · 29/05/2013 17:00

My family have sponsored a little girl from Peru for a while now, as others have said the money goes into a big pot for the village.

Its lovely to see the benefits - they have a proper loo now, she goes to school which her mum didn't, and she's now taller than her mum because her nutrition is so much better.

She's had all her jabs etc, all of which is a direct result of plan 'looking after' the village.


zlist · 29/05/2013 17:01

We sponsor a child through world vision, and have done for about five years now. We are atheists but I'm obviously not concerned about it being a Christian charity. I give to Christian aid too.
It wouldn't occur to me to mention doing this to other people though. Other than writing about it now the only other people who know about it are the ILs. The ILs only know because they were telling us about a wonderful Christian woman from church who sponsors a child and we mentioned that we did too and showed them his picture. The reaction was a bit cats bum face tbh as clearly it has stopped being an exclusively Christian thing to do and that didn't sit well.


cardibach · 29/05/2013 17:01

Do it. I have sponsored two children with Plan. Sadly one of them died, but she was treated at the hospital in Hanoi which would not have been possible without Plan's sponsorship. I then asked to sponsor a child from the same area so that I had some continuity. It has been a great educational experience for DD, too. We hope to visit the area at some point, but it is a bit pricey!
It is done in a way that is not divisive as they aim to get every child in the village sponsored and a portion of the money is for village improvements anyway. You are discouraged from sending gifts except very occasionally to prevent jealousy within the community.


MariefromStMoritz · 29/05/2013 17:02

I am so glad you have started this thread, as this is something we have been wanting to do for years.

Please can someone post details about Plan, as we are not Christian.



PoppyAmex · 29/05/2013 17:02

OddBoots, micro loans are such a fantastic idea and so dignifying too.

Will read more about Kiva, thanks.


Pootles2010 · 29/05/2013 17:04


YBR · 29/05/2013 17:04

I sponsor a child through Compassion, and I think it is a great idea. They don't just help one child but have helped the rest of his family, which he tells me about in his letter. I am confident that the money is spent on running the local project who work with the child, his family and comunity.

Compassion is a Christian organisation, but it is not a condition that the child or their family become Christians.

Obviously it is best if you can commit to sponsoring a child right through, but I'm sure if it's no longer possible arrangements can be made. If you are worried look at their Leadership development scheme or for an older child.

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