Sponsor a Child FAQ
In order for you to enjoy a correspondence with your sponsored child and begin a journey that, we suspect, will change both of your lives forever, sponsorship should be at least a one year commitment. We hope you will sponsor your child until he/she completes secondary school or, in the case of a special needs sponsorship where your sponsored child is unable to attend school, at least until age 18.
If you cannot commit to a year+ as a sponsor, however, you can still make a gift to support children in our sponsorship program and their communities by making a gift to the Child Sponsorship Gap Fund.
How long will my sponsorship last?
We hope you will sponsor your child until he/she completes secondary school. Since many children begin school later or miss years if they are unable to pay for materials prior to sponsorship, we allow students to stay in the program if they are progressing academically until they are 24.
To make a greater impact, WHI focuses on specific communities and partner schools. Sometimes a child’s family moves out of the area we are serving or stops attending school for a variety of reasons. You will be notified if your child moves or otherwise becomes ineligible for the program. If this happens, we will provide an opportunity for you to sponsor another child in need.
SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD SPONSORSHIP: If your sponsored child is unable to attend school, we hope you will continue your sponsorship until the child reaches the age of 18.
Am I sponsoring a real child?
Yes, you are sponsoring a real child who will write you and whom you can get to know. It’s one of the reasons we encourage sponsorships to last through graduation – because you will have the opportunity to get to know them through the years and be a special part of their life story.
Child sponsorships are one-to-one; the only exception to this is through the special needs sponsorship with Enable the Children, where a child may have a second sponsor given the higher costs of care with therapy and special equipment.
WHI is committed to protecting children from exploitation. To better protect children’s privacy, sponsorship communication will only use a child’s first name and will not include references to the child’s community name. As a reminder, direct, unmonitored contact online with a sponsored child or their family is discouraged. You can continue to encourage your child by sending a card or email to the child sponsorship team.
How are my sponsorship contributions used?
We know each gift given to World Hope International (WHI) is a sacrifice and we are committed to using that gift to transform the lives of children in need. Child sponsorship impacts children through the opportunity for quality education. We have learned, though, that it is not enough to send a child to school. WHI addresses the holistic needs of children and communities.
Each country and community where we operate is faced with various needs and barriers for a child to receive an education. In some countries, free education may be provided, but a child may be too sick or hungry to learn. In other countries, a school system may be too dysfunctional and lack the quality teaching and supplies needed for a child to learn. Likewise, many communities may not understand the long-term value of sending their children to school and the barrier faced is a mentality that devalues education. WHI’s success is measured not only by whether the child is attending school, but also the impact the overall programming has on the specific region’s food security, decrease in sickness, change in mentality towards education, increased education level of teachers, and availability of school supplies.
SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD SPONSORSHIP: Your sponsorship gift is uniquely used to provide a caseworker who will help facilitate a family plan to improve your sponsored child’s life. This plan often includes physical or occupational therapy and specialized equipment made by local carpenters and tailors. If your sponsored child is able to attend school, your sponsorship helps with the cost of school fees, supplies, and a uniform.
COVID-19: Due to lock downs and school closures across the world, many sponsors have wondered what is happening in their sponsored child’s community. All of our partner schools reopened between July – November 2020. Hand washing stations, soap, and prevention information have all been distributed and our team will continue to support communities in removing their unique barriers to a quality education. Therapy in clinics and the delivery of special equipment for special needs children has also resumed.
How does WHI ensure financial accountability?
Financial accountability is of primary importance for WHI. We monitor each of our programs and take corrective actions when necessary to ensure funds are used appropriately. You can read more about our affiliations and certifications here.
Will I receive a bill each month?
How can I correspond with my sponsored child?
There are three ways you can regularly send letters to your sponsored child:
- Mail a Letter!
Simply mail your card or letter to World Hope International, 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 301, Alexandria, VA 22314. Please include your child’s name and ID number!
- Send an Email!
Save a stamp and send your letter via email to ChildSponsorship@wordhope.org. We’ll print and mail it for you!
- Complete the Online Form!
We’ve developed online forms to help you draft your letters to your sponsored child. Go here and complete as much or as little as you’d like. We’ll transform your responses into a letter and send it to your sponsored child!
To ensure protection for both you and the sponsored child, all correspondence must flow through the Child Sponsorship office at the following address: 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 301, Alexandria, VA 22314. Please include your child’s ID on the card or letter. As a reminder, direct, unomonitored communication with your sponsored child or their family is discouraged.
If your child speaks a language other than English, your letter will be translated into the child’s primary language. You may also send your correspondence via email to ChildSponsorship@wordhope.org or use the online form by clicking here.
What should I write about?
How will my sponsored child communicate with me?
You should receive an update twice a year. Younger children who cannot write may draw a picture. You will also receive an updated photo every year.
SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD SPONSORSHIP: Each year you will receive an annual therapy update and photo. If your sponsored child is able to write a letter or draw a picture, you will receive these treasures as well.
Can I send extra funds for special gifts to my sponsored child?
Celebrating special days in your sponsored child’s life is a wonderful way to further encourage and extend love to children impacted by child sponsorship through WHI.
We encourage sponsors to consider a special financial gift for Christmas and Birthdays. The suggested gift is between $10 and $25. Funds received are pooled for annual celebrations for all children impacted by child sponsorship. You can also celebrate your child’s birthday by sending a special card or letter! Your words are powerful in their lives.
Annual celebrations per school may range in cost from $200 – $500 depending on the country and the size and scope of the school (i.e., if a meal is included in the party, if there are prizes and gifts, etc). You can donate a whole party at Christmas if you want to – just specify that in the comments of the donation form!
How do I give a Christmas gift?
Donate at any point in the year! Please note in the comment section “Christmas gift for a sponsored child(ren).” Funds are pooled for celebrations for all children at each site. This way no child is left out!
May I send a package?
No. Unfortunately, high import fees and various restrictions by some governments prevent us from forwarding packages. You may consider including flat items in your letters or cards. Age appropriate bookmarks, scripture cards, and stickers are very popular among sponsored children.
Can I visit my sponsored child in person?
Yes! Meeting your sponsored child will be an unforgettable experience for both parties! Every measure is taken to protect the children that we serve. There are special requirements that must be met before you can visit your sponsored child and it can only be done under WHI’s permission and supervision. If you have an interest in meeting your sponsored child, we will work to connect you with a WHI Short-Term Missions Trip in that country. If you will be personally traveling to the country, apart from WHI, we require that you facilitate the meeting of your sponsored child through our program office.
How is COVID-19 affecting my sponsored child?
Due to lock downs and school closures across the world, many sponsors have wondered what is happening in their sponsored child’s community. All of our partner schools reopened between July – November 2020. Hand washing stations, soap, and prevention information have all been distributed and our team will continue to support communities in removing their unique barriers to a quality education.