Engulfed by poverty in Lucena, Philippines, I kept asking myself the question: How could anyone find joy in a place like this?.. Read more
of children experience growth stunting as a result of malnutrition
of people live below the poverty line
of people lack access to proper sanitation
Frequently asked questions
Can I send my sponsored child a gift?
Yes! You can give your sponsored child a monetary gift. When you give a gift of money to your sponsored child, the staff from the local child development centre will talk with them and their family and purchase a gift they need. Where possible, gifts are bought within the community to help support the local economy.
You can give:
- Christmas gifts: We recommend giving a minimum of $30 per sponsored child annually to the Christmas Gift Fund. Donations are pooled so that a gift can be purchased for each Compassion assisted child. Ten per cent of donations to Compassion's Christmas Gift Fund is allocated to administration and fundraising.
- Child gifts: A minimum of $20 to a maximum of $150 can be given annually, up to two times per year. We recommend one of these be a birthday gift.
- Birthday gifts: A minimum of $20 to a maximum of $150 can be given annually. We recommend giving two months before the child's birthday occurs, to allow plenty of time for them to receive it by their special day.
- Family gifts: A minimum of $20 to a maximum of $1500 in total can be given annually. These gifts can be given once-off, or up to four times per year to assist your sponsored child's family.
- Child centre gifts: A minimum of $150 to a maximum of $3000 in total can be given annually. These can be given once-off, or up to four times per year, to assist a child development centre to purchase equipment or other items to enhance the quality of the program for the children.
- Final gifts: A one-off gift of up to $3000 may be given during a child's final year in the Child Sponsorship Program. This can help set the child up for the future.
Limits are put on gift amounts due to the cost of currency exchanges, handling and possible jealousy or theft. You can include these gifts with your automatic payments. Apart from Christmas gifts, 100 per cent of your monetary donation is given to your sponsored child and family in goods or services.
For many families living in abject poverty, receiving a gift from their child's sponsor has the potential to radically change their circumstances. Once you communicate your intention to give a gift, particularly a family or a final gift, we strongly recommended you follow through on your commitment to avoid severe disappointment for the family. You can be assured that their greatest need will be determined through personal consultations between our child development staff and the sponsored child's family.
We understand that many supporters would like to be able to choose a gift for their sponsored child, but unfortunately we can't send overseas parcels because of possible theft, high custom charges for our country offices and postage costs. Instead, purchasing gifts through the local child development centre staff in your child's country ensures your gift matches your child's needs and cultural sensitivities and helps support the local economy.
When will my sponsored child complete Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program?
Sponsored children graduate from the Child Sponsorship Program once they have completed primary school or a vocational training course. Depending on the community and the child's situation, they may also complete secondary education before graduating. The age of children completing the program varies from country to country, depending on the education system, but generally ranges between 18 and 22 years old. Every teenager registered in our programs writes a plan for their future, including their likely date for graduation. You are welcome to write to your older sponsored child and ask about what is in their 'My Plan for Tomorrow'.
Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program works towards holistic development of children, so that when they graduate they are:
- Healthy and able to make wise decisions about their health
- Motivated with skills to be economically self-supporting
- Able to interact with others in a healthy and compassionate manner
- Given the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel message
Sometimes, a child may leave the program before graduation. A child may leave the program earlier if their family moves from the area, if their home situation improves, or if their family chooses to withdraw them.
If I need to cancel my sponsorship, what are my options?
Your relationship with your sponsored child is valuable. For this reason, we believe that it's important for both the sponsor and the sponsored child to continue with a sponsorship if at all possible. However, we also understand that from time to time you may experience difficulty (financial or otherwise) in being able to continue your sponsorship.
If you need to cancel your support for your sponsored child, please call us on 1300 22 44 53 and a staff member will help you.
We may also be able to offer some options so you can continue to support your sponsored child if that is your preference (options one and two) or instead support the broader work of releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name (option three).
Option 1 Reduce your monthly sponsorship contribution for six months to an amount between $24 and $48 per child, depending on what you can afford.
Option 2 Request that Compassion cover three months of your financial contribution so that you will not need to provide contributions for that period. Your contributions will then recommence the following month unless you request otherwise.
Option 3 Consider supporting Compassion's Critical Needs by giving a monthly contribution of your choice. This means you will no longer be sponsoring an individual child, but your support can make a life-changing difference to thousands of children by providing safe water, education and training, disaster relief and much more.
Please note that options may be limited for sponsors who have been sponsoring a child for a short time. If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.orgThank you for joining us in the commitment to release child from poverty in Jesus' name.
Can I sponsor siblings?
Compassion and our church partners aim to assist as many children living in poverty as is practical. Our Child Sponsorship Program helps to provide for children's spiritual, physical, socio-emotional and economic needs; this means there are inherent benefits to families of registered beneficiaries. Therefore, Compassion recommends that the number of registered beneficiaries within a single family should be limited in order that more of the community can be reached.
While Compassion International provides guidelines for registration, the decisions of which children are registered are ultimately made by local staff and the church within the community, who have in-depth and intimate knowledge of the community's needs. Local staff also meet with the families of children before they are registered and often have relationships with the family members through local church partners; they are able to form a good understanding of a family's‹and a child's‹everyday circumstances and needs and take those factors into account before and during the registration process. Local staff therefore sometimes register siblings if that's in their best judgment.
When supporters express a desire to sponsor siblings, we understand your motivation is to provide the most help you can to your sponsored child's family. While Compassion Australia can't arrange for siblings to be registered, we encourage you to give family gifts (100 per cent of which will be given to the child's family) to help them meet their most pressing needs.
We also encourage you to include sponsored children's siblings in your letters of encouragement, prayers and any paper-based gifts you might send (such as stickers and paper-based gifts).
Why do I need to go through Compassion to communicate with my sponsored child?
Having your sponsored child's letters go via the child development centre is important for three main reasons:
- It allows the program staff to become familiar with your sponsored child's requests for prayer and support, and to help them appropriately.
- It enables us to protect you from receiving unsolicited, inappropriate or fraudulent requests from members of your sponsored child's community who could otherwise gain access to your personal details.
- It enables us to translate your sponsored child's letters, which are often written in a different language.
To keep your personal details secure, it's important that you don't make contact with your sponsored child outside Compassion channels, such as by phone, e-mail or using social media. If you are approached directly, please contact us to let us know.
If you have any questions about child sponsorship, our team is more than happy to help! Please call us on 1300 22 44 53 or email email@example.com