Sponsor a Child

Baby Omar held by mother, Bakoteh, GambiaIf you are thinking of sponsoring a child, it is worth spending a bit of time to learn about your options.

Currently, there are fewer child sponsors in the UK compared to other similar countries (across all charities*). It's estimated there are about 400,000 child sponsors in the UK instead of a million. At SOS Children, we'd like to encourage more people to become a child sponsor and understand what the benefits are of this kind of giving.

Child sponsorship with SOS Children means you give an orphaned or abandoned child a new family life in a Children's Village. Every child in our care is provided with education, healthcare, love and security - thanks to the generosity of child sponsors. We support children until they are independent, with all the skills and confidence they need to have a successful future. 

*mainly SOS Children, World Vision, Plan UK, EveryChild, Compassion and Actionaid, with many smaller charities

What does sponsoring a child mean?

To 70,000 children this just means homeFor every charity offering child sponsorship, it means something slightly different. Usually, to sponsor a child you make a regular donation (e.g. £20/month) to a charity. From the word 'sponsor' it ought to mean the money is for 'supporting' or 'helping to pay for' a child in need. 

SOS Children is unique in that we offer child sponsorships to support children who truly have nothing and noone. This is because, for us, child sponsorship means providing an orphaned or abandoned child with a loving family, secure home, and hope for the future.

When searching for child sponsorships, many people are concerned about where their money will go. We ensure that 100% of your child sponsorship cares for vulnerable children. The sponsor gets updates about the child, seeing the difference that their money is making.

This is different to other charities where, for example, sponsorships contributions may be treated as 'general funds' and can be used for any of the charity's projects, administration or advertising. Funds may be used to pay for projects near to the sponsored child or in that country. The child may or may not directly benefit. Each charity has a different model of child sponsorship, so it is worth getting in touch with them before becoming a child sponsor to find out how your sponsorship money will be spent. 

Which is the best charity for sponsoring a child?

This depends on what kind of sponsorship you would like, and which charity will meet your needs. 

SOS Children helps you to have a close link to the child you are sponsoring. That child may have been orphaned from AIDS or natural disaster, or abandoned due to poverty. Each child's story is different, but we ensure each one receives all they need to thrive. We offer new family homes in an SOS Children's Village where they live in a loving family and are cared for by an SOS mother. Wherever we work, we respect local traditions and are a non-denominational organisation. Learn more about child sponsorship with SOS Children.

Other charities, to avoid creating haves and have-nots between children on and not on the sponsorship program, run only community projects in an area. The child sponsorships for the children in the area will be put toward these projects that benefit the region. 

Where in the world can I sponsor a child?

You can find sponsorship programs in many countries. SOS Children is in far more countries than any other sponsorship charity, with over 100 of the 125 countries where we work having children ready to be sponsored. SOS Children grows deep local roots, always respecting values and traditions, and supports children until they are independent.

When a country improves economically, the SOS office in the country raises funds locally. Some of the countries where we have SOS Children's Villages, like Pakistan, India and South Africa, fund a high proportion of costs from within their country.

What will I receive as a child sponsor?

Child Sponsorship Booklet ImageAs well as the knowledge that you are making a true difference to a vulnerable child's life, you will receive regular updates about your sponsored child. 

Our sponsorship handbook, gets sent to every new child sponsor and answers many of the questions you may have. For example: yes, you can write to a sponsored child, and yes, on their birthday you can contribute to a personal savings account for when they reach independence. You may even visit your sponsored child, if you let us know in advance. Please do get in touch for any other questions you have. 

Click on the image to the right for a downloadable copy of the sponsorship handbook.

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Indian children: SOS Children cares for orphaned and abandoned children in India in our SOS Children’s Villages.