You’ve decided to release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name. It’s a fantastic decision; one that will change a child’s life and impact yours, too.

When it comes to choosing a child to sponsor, we’re often asked “How am I meant to choose?” Faced with hundreds of photos of children in need, the decision can feel overwhelming. If you need some guidance, here are seven ways you could choose your new sponsored child.

1. Longest-waiting child

Sadly, some children living below the poverty line wait hundreds of days before they’re sponsored. By choosing to sponsor a longest-waiting child, you can end their wait at last. On our Sponsor a Child page, the number of days a child has been waiting is displayed in red next to their photo.

How-to-choose-a-sponsor-child For example, Luiz has waited 260 days for a sponsor.

Children from certain countries are not sponsored as quickly as others. For Australian sponsors, children from Central and South America are usually less popular than those from Asia and Africa (perhaps because Asia is much closer to us). In particular, teenage boys from Ecuador and Bolivia can face a long wait.

2. Teenagers

Teenagers tend to wait longer for a sponsor than younger children. When a teenager is available for sponsorship, it is almost always because their previous sponsor has needed to cancel their sponsorship—a heartbreaking situation. It depends on the individual child, but sponsoring a teenager can mean you receive more detailed letters and build a letter-writing rapport with them more quickly than a younger child due to increased literacy skills.

For a vulnerable teenager, your letters of support and encouragement can make a huge difference in their life. Your letters provide emotional and spiritual support, but also offer an opportunity for your sponsored child to practice their reading and writing skills.

3. By birthday

Did you know you can choose a child who has the same birthday as you? Sharing a birthday means you’ll have something in common with them right from the start. Visit our Sponsor a Child page and you can filter by birth date to find your birthday twin.

4. Your child’s age

Sponsoring a child who is the same age as one of your own children can make for an extra special relationship. Not only will your child learn more about poverty and God’s heart for the poor, but they can build a relationship through letter writing as they grow up together. Families have told us their sponsored child has become a ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ to their child. Just enter your child’s age into the ‘age range’ on our sponsorship page.

5. Children with high vulnerabilities

The children in Compassion’s sponsorship program are among the poorest children in the world. But there are children within our program who are even more vulnerable than most.

If you have a heart for these children, you could sponsor a child who lives in a HIV-affected area, has special needs, or has been orphaned. To do so, give us a call on 1300 22 44 53 or send an email to so we can help arrange this.

6. By location

Many Aussies sponsor a child in one of Australia’s neighbouring countries. Sponsoring in Indonesia, the Philippines or Thailand are great options because the travel time is relatively short and you can nab cheap flights. This can make it easier for you to visit your sponsored child one day! You can search by country on our Sponsor a Child page.

7. An issue you care deeply about

Poverty can make children vulnerable to unthinkable situations. Each country has specific dangers and challenges facing children living in poverty. If you are interested in philanthropy and there is an issue you are particularly passionate about, you could sponsor a child from a country experiencing that issue.

Through our Child Sponsorship Program, children are surrounded with caring adults who know them and can help intervene in dangerous situations. Here are some examples of threats to children in the countries Compassion works in.

Child marriage

Percentage of women aged 20-24 years old who were first married before they were 18 years old:

Bangladesh (52%), Burkina Faso (52%), Ethiopia (41%), Ethiopia (41%), Nicaragua (41%).

Female Genital Mutilation

Percentage of girls aged 0-14 who have undergone FGM, as reported by their mothers:

Indonesia (49% in Islamic parts of the country), Ethiopia (24%), Burkina Faso (13%), Kenya (3%).


Estimated number of children living with HIV as of 2014:

Kenya (160,000), Uganda (150,000), Tanzania (140,000), Ethiopia (110,000), Rwanda (22,000).

Child labour

Percentage of children 5-14 years old who are involved in child labour:

Burkina Faso (39%), Rwanda (29%), Togo (28%) Guatemala (26%), Kenya (26%), Bolivia (26%), Ghana (22%).


Percentage of secondary-school aged children who attend secondary school:

Ethiopia (13% of boys/18% of girls), Burkina Faso (22% of boys/17% of girls), Rwanda (21% of boys/25% of girls), Uganda (20% of boys/21% of girls), Haiti (33% of boys/39% of girls).

*All statistics are from UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report, 2016.

On the Sponsor a Child page, you can select a country when you search for children.


We hope these tips help make your sponsorship decision a little easier. Whoever you choose to sponsor, your love, support and prayers will help break the cycle of poverty in their life. Thank you!

If you would prefer to give a one-time donation to support children living in poverty, you can give to Critical Needs. When you give a donation to a Critical Need, your gift gives a child living in poverty life-saving support and is also tax deductible. Poverty leaves children without any safety net or protection, so when unforeseen circumstances arise, there is often little hope for recovery. You can give an online donation today and make a significant impact!

To claim a tax deduction at the end of the financial year, all you need to do is keep an eye on your email. Your receipt for your tax return will be emailed to you by our friendly team. Thank you for your generosity—your gifts and donations truly make an impact.

Words by Zoe Noakes; Photos by Ben Adams