sponsor a child

How does child sponsorship help a child’s family?

When you sponsor a child you bring change to a family and a community!

how does sponsorship help a child's family

If you sponsor a child, you may find yourself asking, ‘what does sponsorship mean for their family?’

One of the many things I love about sponsoring through Compassion UK is the one-to-one relationship. I know my monthly donations directly support my sponsored child and I have the opportunity to build a friendship with him through letters. But does this mean his family misses out?

No! The great news is your sponsored child’s family also benefit. So, if you’re weighing up sponsorship advantages and disadvantages, here are nine ways your child sponsorship makes an even bigger difference.

1) Helping siblings learn to read and write

Twelve-year-old Rupali spends up to three hours each day teaching her sister how to read and write, skills Rupali learnt at her Compassion project.

how sponsorship helps siblings

“I used to find it difficult to study when I needed help at home, because mummy and daddy didn’t know how to read and write, but I am happy to be able to guide my sister in her studies. When I finish my homework at the project, I can spend more time to help my sister and aid my mother in the household jobs,” says Rupali.

Rupali isn’t the exception. We hear countless stories of Compassion-supported children sharing the skills, Bible stories and games they learn at their Compassion projects. Rather than causing jealousy, having one child registered is seen as a genuine benefit for the whole family.

2) Food parcels for vulnerable families

In Colombia, Diego faced bullying at school because of his weight gain which was caused by malnutrition.

food parcels from child sponsorship

At his Compassion project, the staff noticed a change in Diego’s behaviour so stepped in and began providing the family with extra meals and food baskets. As Adriana, the project director explains, “I went to the supermarket and bought the healthy food that Diego needs, fruits, vegetables, meat and other things. Before this intervention, we invited Diego and his mother to have lunch at the project Monday through to Friday, and they came to eat at the project for some months.”

Compassion project staff know every family and work hard to identify those who need extra support. When they learn about a vulnerable situation like Diego they will go the extra mile to provide food parcels to help support the whole family.

3) Your letters

sponsored child's letters

When you write to your sponsored child they’ll take their letters home for safekeeping and to share with their family. Your words of love and encouragement have a profound impact, as Afi, the mum of 7-year-old Winner explains.

When my husband died, I thought we would die too, because nobody from either of our families thought about us. Thank God Compassion was there. I was so comforted by the words in the letters Winner received from his sponsor. Even though I am a single mother, I know I have some people caring for me and my children. These letters are a powerful source of encouragement to me and my children.

4) Parenting classes

Across every church-based Compassion project, parents and caregivers meet either monthly or quarterly to receive training on topics relevant to their community.

child sponsorship parenting classes

Classes include health and hygiene, child protection and even vocational skills like baking, tailoring and computing.

5) Micro-enterprise

From pig farming to soap making, your support empowers families to break the cycle of poverty. In Guatemala, a Compassion project called Fertile Land started a fish farming project to tackle severe malnutrition in the community.

fish farming

The fish farm is run by a group of mum’s who sell fish in the local market, sharing the profit between them. As a result of this enterprise, members of the community have learnt a new skill and generated a better income to support their families.

Silvia is one of the mum’s benefiting from the project. “I received training on how to take care of the fish,” Silvia explains. “I learnt how to cook it properly and a local bank gave us training on administration of small businesses. Thank you sponsors for what you are doing for our families. You are changing our lives through better food and better incomes, and giving us the opportunity to dream for a better future for our children. Thank you and God bless!”

6) A safe place for everyone to sleep

When a Compassion-supported child receives a mosquito net through our RESPOND Fund the whole family benefits.

Eight-year-old Walilou dreams of becoming a doctor and finding a vaccine against malaria. At home, he’s responsible for reminding his uncle François and his four cousins about the net and the importance of sleeping under it.

malaria net

“Since I sleep under the mosquito net I received from the project, I’m no longer sick with malaria,” says Walilou who’s uses his experience of success to also educate his friends to adopt the use of mosquito nets.

7) Enabling a sibling to go to school

Having one child sponsored through Compassion helps a family out financially. If one child’s school uniforms, school bag materials and fees are covered this lifts their burden meaning they can often support their other children through school.

child sponsorship school

When a young person graduates the Compassion programme they may also choose to help younger siblings who are still finishing their education.

8) Meeting a families medical needs

Have you ever wondered what do sponsors do when a family member falls sick? Every year, Compassion-supported children receive a medical and dental check-up as part of your support. As well as caring for your sponsored child, Compassion uses the RESPOND  Fund to help cover the medical needs of a parent or caregiver and additional support for siblings.

sponsorship meeting medical needs

If a parent, caregiver or sibling in the family is living with HIV then Compassion will use our Health Response Fund to help cover medical costs, including transportation to a clinic, medication or nutritional support.

9) Prayer support

As well as a home visit at least once a year, every Compassion-supported family has support of the local church and Compassion project staff. The beauty of working with local people means every family is known and loved. When Kedes and her husband Fred fell into difficult times, the pastor came alongside them to encourage them not to give up.

tomato stall

As Kedes explains, “The pastor has been praying for me and praying with me. I remember when I had my last born child, my economic situation was very difficult. The pastor brought clothes for my child and also came to pray with me. He used to tell me, ‘One day things will be good.’

The church takes good care of the children. They get good nutritional food at their [Compassion] project day. They learn the word of God and other skills. I take this opportunity to thank the church for standing with me.”

Thank you

You may not realise it, but your support has a far reaching ripple effect. Your sponsored child’s family and community have a better, brighter future because of your investment in one child – thank you!

See the further impact by discovering 15 fascinating family portraits from around the world.

WORDS : Emily Laramy

PHOTOS : Compassion International



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