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Starting Child Sponsorship

What is Child Sponsorship? Can I have a brief introduction?

Child Sponsorship is a community development programme that tackles the root causes of poverty to sustain long-term positive change in a child’s life. More than 10 million children have been or are being helped through Child Sponsorship worldwide. For SGD$45 a month, you uniquely sponsor a girl or a boy by providing his or her family and community with life’s basic needs, specifically:

  • Food Security
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Education
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Economic development

Your contributions are pooled with that of other sponsors to fund community projects that result in the long-lasting transformation of the life of a child and his or her community. Child sponsorship is immensely satisfying for the sponsor and incredibly important for the child.

How does Child Sponsorship work?

Child Sponsorship works very simply! You provide your sponsored child, his/her family and community with basic needs, love and care through your monthly sponsorship support. In turn, you will receive annual progress updates and can even correspond with your child.

A child’s life is transformed through your sponsorship!

  • The sponsorship money you send is pooled with that of other people who sponsor children in the same community as your child is in.
  • Collectively, your support enables World Vision to provide benefits such as education, healthcare, nutritious food and clean water for the children through an Area Development Programme (ADP). Parents of these children will also receive useful skills training and income-generating opportunities to help them attain self-sustainability in the long term.
  • An ADP is World Vision’s signature approach to fighting poverty and transforming lives. Through ADPs, World Vision identifies where we work and who we work with, and then carry out development activities specific to an ADP’s needs.

Why is community development important in Child Sponsorship?

In most areas, sponsorship funds are used to make improvements that will help the child’s entire community. Depending on each community’s needs, a sponsored child—and his or her entire community—benefit from things like clean water through new or renovated wells, better access to education, improved nutrition due to agricultural training, and healthcare clinics and immunisations.Through the years, many communities have leapt from brokenness to hope with the help of World Vision Child Sponsorship. The goal is for the community to achieve self-sustainability. World Vision plans and works alongside local community members to find solutions that will change the future for their children, and their children’s children.

How are children chosen for sponsorship?

Before introducing a Child Sponsorship programme, World Vision workers fully explain the concept of Child Sponsorship to community leaders. These leaders are then asked to provide a list of needy children, which is verified by our staff.These children of poor families are then selected to be representatives for the Child Sponsorship programme. Families are asked if they want to be part of this programme. They are informed that their children will not benefit exclusively, but that all the children and families in the community will share benefits.

Do the children and their families know that they are being sponsored?

Yes. Sponsored child and the family are informed.

How does World Vision ensure that the development programmes are impacting my sponsored child’s life directly and positively?

  • In the long run, we have not really helped a child unless we have also strengthened his/her family and community to provide for his/her continuing care. You can be sure that your child is well taken care of while we improve his/her community.
  • In planning, implementing and evaluating our work, World Vision staff consider the basic needs of the child and the dynamics of the particular child’s community. Does the child have a healthy diet? Is he or she attending school? Does the child have access to adequate healthcare, clean water, housing and clothing? Do his/her parents have an opportunity to improve the family’s condition by growing more food or starting a small business?
  • All projects are regularly measured against such goals and objectives. Audits are conducted regularly by field staff and occasionally by external consultants to ensure that the project is on track and is meeting the specific goals established by community leaders and World Vision.
  • As a child sponsor, you will receive annual progress updates on your child and the family’s well-being, and a report on how the development activities you are supporting are helping the entire community.

You can also find out more when you write to your child. When you participate in our annual Child Sponsors Trip to visit the community where your child lives, you get to meet him or her face-to-face too!

Where can I sponsor a child? Can I know more about these poor countries/communities?

You can provide hope and help to children in the following countries supported by World Vision Singapore:

  • Asia : Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
  • Africa : Ethiopia, Zambia
  • Middle East : Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza

Click here for more details of our work in each country.

Which country is the neediest?

Unfortunately, poverty is still a critical problem ALL around the world. All the communities that World Vision serves in need a helping hand to lift itself out of poverty.

I think girls need more help than boys. I would like to help girls only.

All the communities that World Vision serves in need a helping hand to lift itself out of poverty. Although there is still gender inequality between boys and girls in these communities, World Vision ensures that there is equal opportunity for those who are most in need, regardless of gender.

How long do I sponsor a child for?

Child sponsorship encourages a sponsor to continue sponsoring his/her sponsored child until the family and community reach self-sufficiency. World Vision will keep the sponsors updated with the child and community’s development progress. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where your sponsored child may leave the Child Sponsorship programme before the development work completes. For example, a child’s family may move outside the community where World Vision works. World Vision will notify you accordingly when that happens.

When does my sponsorship start and end?

Your sponsorship starts when you decide to sponsor a child. This will then be confirmed once your first contribution payment is received (and approved, where applicable). The sponsorship ends when the child and/or the child’s family and community reach a level of self-sustainability and no longer require further assistance from World Vision. The sponsorship may also end when the sponsor decides to stop supporting the child through the programme or when initiated by the family (e.g. family leaves the community).

What should I do if I want to terminate my sponsorship?

Our circumstances change and sometimes, unexpectedly. If you are unable to continue your sponsorship, please help us by encouraging a friend or family member to continue the sponsorship commitment. We would also appreciate if you can contact us through phone at 6922 0144 or email enquiries@worldvision.org.sg.

How do I start my Child Sponsorship journey?

Begin your Child Sponsorship journey by selecting a child from here. Once your sponsorship is confirmed, you will receive:

  • A Welcome Kit with details of your child and other useful sponsorship materials
  • A letter from your child within two to three months
  • An Annual Progress and Community Report on your child’s improvements

You can write back, send gifts or visit your sponsored child to foster a real one-to-one relationship.


Child Sponsorship Experience

Am I the only sponsor for my sponsored child?

Yes. World Vision assigns only one sponsor per sponsored child.

Can I sponsor more than one child?

Yes. You can sponsor as many children as you wish.

Can a group of friends/colleagues/relatives/cell-group members sponsor a child?

Yes, and all kinds of group do—school children to colleagues, interest groups to church mates. It helps to appoint a contact person to write to the child, to make the monthly sponsorship gift, and to whom we can correspond and communicate with.

How can I keep in contact or send gifts to my sponsored child?

Send your words of encouragement by writing to your sponsored child or sending a small practical gift. Follow these simple instructions.

Step 1: On the front of your envelope, write the address of the World Vision office according to the country listed here.

Step 2: On the back of the envelope, write your sponsored child’s name and ID number.

Step 3: On your letter, write the child’s name and ID number at the top of the page, and your name and partner number at the end of the letter.

The country addresses and your sponsored child’s ID can be found in the child’s picture folder. Your partner ID is printed on World Vision’s letters. Or you can simply call our office to find out.

To protect the child and for efficient delivery, it is vital that you:

  • Bear in mind your sponsored child’s environment and culture when writing a letter or sending a gift.
  • Send only flat, inexpensive items such as photos, maps, bookmarks and stickers that can easily fit into an A4-size envelope. Otherwise, duty charges may be incurred. These gifts can widen the child’s imagination and is a precious link to the world outside.
  • Allow three months for a response.
  • Do not disclose your contact information in any correspondence. His or her reply will be sent via the National World Vision office where your child is from.
  • Do not send it to World Vision Singapore’s office.
  • Do not send any cash, food items (e.g. sweets), expensive or fancy gifts, culturally-sensitive or religious items.

Can I visit my sponsored child?

Yes, certainly! Many have visited their children and have stories of joy to share. See the changes you have made in your sponsored child’s life with your own eyes and experience a slice of their everyday life through a Child Sponsors Trip. Block your dates now! However, please note that World Vision does not, under any circumstances, allow visits to the child’s residence or community that have not been coordinated by World Vision staff.


Communicating with my Sponsored Child

If I write to my child in English, will he/she understand my writing?

The children in most of the places where World Vision Singapore works in do not understand English.  As such, your letter will be translated by our field staff. Both translated and the original letter will be delivered to your sponsored child. Likewise, your sponsored child’s reply letter will also be translated into English.

What if my sponsored child is too young to write?

If your sponsored child is unable to write, he or she will be guided by the parents/guardian and our field staff. The child may just surprise you with a drawing!

How often should I send letters to my sponsored child?

Due to the location, we suggest that you send letters about once or twice a year. The best times to write to them are during your sponsored child’s birthday and Christmas. However, please note that it normally takes up to three months to process one letter of correspondence, from the time you send to receiving your sponsored child’s reply.


Interacting with my Sponsored Child

Can I bring my sponsored child to Singapore for a short holiday?

We appreciate your gesture of goodwill. But there are several reasons why World Vision does not permit visits of sponsored children outside their countries; all for the purposes of protecting the well-being of the child. For a child who has been living in a very remote or rural area all his/her life, this can be a rude cultural shock, resulting in high levels of fear and uneasiness. Furthermore, readjustment to his/her own lifestyle after the visit can be difficult.However, if you would like to spend time with your sponsored child, we encourage you to join our Child Sponsors Trip.

Can I bring my sponsored child to Singapore for his/her education? I do not trust the quality of education that he/she is getting in his/her country.

We recognise that your help to improve their quality of life and self-reliance in their own countries has deeper value than moving them to a foreign country.The goal of World Vision Child Sponsorship is to serve as a passage – bringing a child to the point when sponsorship is no longer needed. This is when this child and his/her family are ready to move on; with health, education, training and hope for the future. You can be assured that your support to your sponsored child will definitely help provide him/her a good academic foundation, therefore increasing his chances of financial independence when he/she grows up.

How does World Vision protect the security, privacy and dignity of children?

At World Vision, we are fully committed to ensuring that children and their families are protected from the fear or reality of any physical or emotional abuse. This could result from inappropriate and unsafe Internet and social media use, including the sharing of private information about a child and their family. Because of this, we ask all sponsors to abide by the following standards while participating in World Vision’s sponsorship program:

  • Refrain from any direct, unmonitored communication with your sponsored child or family without our knowledge. This includes contact through the Internet or social media (including instant message, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, etc.). Note that World Vision does not, under any circumstances, allow visits to the child’s residence or community that have not been coordinated by World Vision staff.
  • Do not post your sponsored child’s last name or child ID number on the Internet or social media sites.
  • For both their security and yours, please let us know immediately of any contact initiated by your sponsored child or family that makes you feel uncomfortable.