Child Sponsorship FAQ

When it comes to sponsoring a child, it's important to do your research and get answers to your child sponsorship questions.

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked child sponsorship questions and provided answers to help you.

Helping you find answers to all your child sponsorship questions is important to us. Please let us know if you have a question that is not included on this page, and we'd be happy to answer it!

If I must discontinue my child sponsorship, what happens to the child I'm helping?

If you need to discontinue your child sponsorship, we will immediately look for a new sponsor for your child and continue the child's sponsorship support without interruption. You can discontinue your child sponsorship at any time.

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How long should my child sponsorship last?

Our Child Sponsorship Program offers you the opportunity to stay with a child for a number of years, usually through the school year in which the child reaches the age of 18 to 22 (varies by country).

While we hope that you will be able to continue your support of your sponsored child until he or she completes the program, we recognize that circumstances sometimes change. You may discontinue your child sponsorship at any time.

Please understand that a sponsored child's circumstances may change, too. For example, sometimes families move beyond the reach of our program and children no longer have the opportunity to participate.

We will inform you as quickly as possible if any such circumstance affects the child you sponsor, and we'll offer you the opportunity to support another child in need of your help.

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How much does it cost to sponsor a child?

If you choose to sponsor a child, the cost is only R380 per month.

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May I send gifts to my child?

Yes. We encourage you to give additional monetary gifts for special occasions, to address specific needs, or simply as an act of love. These gifts are another effective way for you to reinforce your care and commitment to your sponsored child.

Local child development center workers purchase gifts on your behalf and make certain that these funds are used appropriately.

You may also send a gift to your sponsored child's family. With your monetary gift, the child development center staff will buy items your sponsored child's family needs, such as new beds, livestock and food supplies. We will work closely with the family to determine the greatest need and then purchase items accordingly.

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Will I be the only person sponsoring the child I'm helping?

Yes. The child you're helping has just one sponsor: you. That's why your prayers, letters and support mean so much to your sponsored child. Even if you choose to sponsor a child as a family or a group (for example, a youth group or a Sunday school class), the child you help will still be relating to your family or group as his or her only sponsor. No other group or individual will also sponsor the child you help.

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What specific benefits will the child I sponsor receive?

  • The opportunity to receive an education:

    In some cases, this means providing the cost of school fees, clothing and supplies. In other cases, it means providing tutoring, help with homework, encouragement and, if necessary, participation in a literacy program outside the classroom. Your sponsorship will allow one special child to stay in school longer if formal schooling is an option and get the most out of his or her education.

  • The opportunity to be healthy:

    The health of the child you sponsor will be monitored and care will be provided as needed. Children are taught about hygiene and how to maintain personal health. In addition, and according to their needs, many of the children we assist receive supplementary food.

  • The opportunity to develop self-confidence and social skills:

    The child you sponsor will be part of a church-based program where Christian adults offer love, guidance, personal attention, guided recreation and safety.

  • The opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus:

    Most important, your sponsorship provides the child you sponsor with regular Bible training and encouragement through a local church committed to Christ and the children in its community.

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How important is prayer in Compassion sponsorship?

Prayer is a critical. Your sponsored child is in need and vulnerable.

Your prayers for the health, safety, education and spiritual development of your child are critical. Sponsored children are greatly encouraged when they hear that their sponsors are praying for them.

Remember that the child you sponsor will likely pray for you, too. Often, a sponsored child's family and church join in prayer with the child on behalf of a sponsor. As you share your own family and personal concerns with the child you support, you'll probably discover that he or she is consistently praying for you.

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Who is a Compassion sponsor?

A sponsor is someone like you who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in need. As a sponsor, you enable your sponsored child to participate in a church-based program that offers life-changing benefits including help with:

  • education
  • health care
  • social skills development
  • Christian training

And more than this, you can help your sponsored child develop a sense of confidence and self-worth with the love you express through letters and prayers.

As a sponsor, you are assured that there is a real connection between you and the specific child you support. The child you sponsor will know your name, write to you and benefit directly from your monthly sponsorship.

Your relationship with your sponsored child makes you a very important person who has a significant role in his or her development. You stand alongside parents, pastors, teachers, family and friends who are taking an active role in encouraging and developing the child.

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As a sponsor, how else can I learn about the child I am helping?

In addition to letters from your sponsored child, we will send you periodic updates about your child's progress and newsletters about situations in your child's country that affect child development and our program there. You'll have a better understanding of your sponsored child's culture and life. It's quite likely that your vision of God's kingdom will expand.

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How can I communicate with the child I sponsor?

Once you've become a sponsor, you may write to the child you sponsor as often as you like. When you write, your sponsored child will benefit from knowing that someone in addition to his or her family really cares. Your words of encouragement will make a big difference to your child.

Correspondence between sponsors and the children they support is truly developmental. The more you write the child you sponsor, the more he or she will reap the benefits of your relationship.

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Will my child write to me?

Your child will write to you at least twice a year — and up to six times per year depending on the frequency of your letters. A teacher or staff person will help children who have yet to learn how to read and write.

As you share your own family and personal concerns with the child you support, you'll probably discover that he or she is consistently praying for you.

As your exchange of letters with the child you sponsor grows over the years, you can build a scrapbook of letters and photos from your child. Your scrapbook will serve as a constant reminder of the relationship you've developed with the child you're helping and of how you've contributed to his or her growth.

You will also be receiving annual correspondence from local leaders, such as a church pastor or staff member, to help you learn even more about your sponsored child.

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What is Compassion South Africa?

Compassion South Africa is an initiative of Compassion Italy in support of Hillsong Colour Conference 2018.

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What makes Compassion stand out among other child care organizations?

  • A focus on child development: Our program targets the needs of individual children first.
  • Working exclusively through local churches: We want sponsored children to view the benefits of child sponsorship as an expression of God's love for them. We also want to equip the Body of Christ in the countries where we work with effective child development ministries so that church leaders and members around the world can become effective child advocates in their communities.
  • A goal of child discipleship: We believe the most loving thing we can do for children is to introduce them to Jesus Christ. Here's why:
  1. When children discover their worth to God, their self-esteem blossoms.
  2. Children who recognize their roles as disciples are a strategic part of today's Church.
  3. Children discipled in the Word and ways of God become our most potent weapon against tomorrow's poverty because they are tomorrow's Church.

Our goal, then, is to take a child from the brink of survival to abundant life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

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In which countries do you work?

Currently we work in 25 countries, divided into four areas:

  • Africa: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.
  • Central America and the Caribbean: the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.
  • South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
  • Asia: Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

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How did Compassion begin?

Our history can be traced through more than 40 countries over 60 years.

In 1952, evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson was preaching in Korea. Moved by the plight of Korean War orphans, Swanson established a program through which caring people could provide food, shelter, education, medical care and Christian training for those orphans. Rev. Swanson's program became the basis for what is now Compassion International.

Compassion's Christian commitment has never wavered. We are keenly aware of the part we can play in fulfilling the Great Commission. All of our employees are committed followers of Jesus Christ, dedicated to developing children worldwide — and we are working exclusively through local churches.

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Is Compassion affiliated with any church or denomination?

We work with local church partners representing more than 65 denominations.

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What is the partnership with Hillsong Church?

Compassion is an independent, non-denominational organisation and is not exclusively affiliated to any one church.

We have a strong partnership with Hillsong Church, as we do with many churches around the world.

Like these churches, we believe that the Christian Church is uniquely placed and tasked with caring for those living in poverty, particularly children.

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How does Compassion ensure that my support actually benefits the child I sponsor?

We work exclusively through local churches to assist children. Because child development centers tend to average about 180 children, the local staff can become personally acquainted with each sponsored child and his or her unique needs.

We conducts audit regularly to make sure funds are properly received, tracked and managed. Every financial process — from local child development centers to the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs (USA) — is regularly audited both internally and externally.

But it's not enough to ensure that funds are reaching your child's development center and being spent on planned activities. Like you, we want to be sure that real development is taking place in the life of every sponsored child. We work hard to monitor and evaluate each local center in terms of program effectiveness and long-term impact — right down to the individual child. Any time we see an irregularity, we take immediate and appropriate action.

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What percentage of expenditures are spent on program activities?

Throughout the years, we have consistently averaged more than 80 percent of total expenditures applied to program activities, with less than 20 percent being used for fundraising and administration.

We use conservative accounting methods that do not inflate our effectiveness in this regard. That's why we earn the very highest ratings from independent agencies that look into the financial management of nonprofit organizations.

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© Copyright Compassion 2018 - Since 1952 we are passionate about empowering all children to overcome the obstacles poverty puts in their way. We focus on one child at a time, linking them with one sponsor who releases them from poverty.
Compassion South Africa is served by Compassion Italy