How Effective Are Child Sponsorships?

Guest post by Vera Mullins

Over the years, controversies have been rife over child sponsorships, but research and numerous studies have shown the vast improvement of kids’ lives in developing countries. According to a report on the BBC, which mainly focused on one aid agency, it managed to yield desirable results for both the sponsors and the organization.

The report specifically mentioned that kids stayed in school longer than those who didn’t have a sponsor, leading them to white collar jobs and even becoming leaders of their churches or communities. 42 percent of the sponsored children in Uganda were more likely to complete their secondary schooling. 83 percent of those part of the program were more likely to finish university. The greatest impact of child sponsorships can be seen with Ugandan schoolgirls. SFGate revealed that on average Ugandan girls stayed in school three years longer than their older siblings and non-sponsored peers.

Schoolchildren in Uganda continue to be blessed with educational opportunities, opening new doors to further develop not only themselves, but the rest of the community. The number of success stories are significantly less in other countries riddled in war, including Iraq. However, organizations such as UnaKids, continue to seek donors and sponsors to keep children in school and provide basic necessities, such as shelter and health care. This organization is a nonprofit that gives aid to children primarily in countries where oil company UnaOil operates.

While all of this sounds promising, people cannot help but still be skeptical about this programs. There is still the lingering notion of “leaving others behind,” only letting a select few children further educational pursuits. It’s a common misconception about these organizations. The Director of Fundraising and Communications of ActionAid International recently visited Cambodia and discovered that child sponsorship not only benefits the sponsored, but also the community. Matthew Beard explained that sponsorships are strategically allocated, so that advocacy will go toward the child as well as community, which will learn the skills to make it self-reliant.

Although the name is misleading, child sponsorships go a long way, making a difference in one kid’s life, and making positive changes in his respective community for a better future. Never stop giving these kids hope.

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