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What is Asian Aid?

Asian Aid exists because people like you believe in the transforming power of education, and the ability we all have to bring about positive change in people’s lives. Since 1966, thanks to the help of donors and supporters, we have helped provide education for the needy, protection for the vulnerable and empowerment for the undervalued. This generosity, has helped thousands of children, women and their families experience a life beyond all expectations. Asian Aid is a Christian, non-profit organisation that is committed to alleviating poverty by providing children with educational opportunities, promoting the holistic development children and communities, and addressing social issues such as child rights, human trafficking, life skills and health education.

Asian Aid is a registered charity with two donor offices in Australia and in America.

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What is Asian Aid’s mission?

At Asian Aid we believe hope finds its truest expression when given and received in community. That’s why our mission of ‘giving hope by fostering permanent positive change in the lives of disadvantaged children and communities’ happens in collaboration with donors and supporters, with implementing partners, with churches and with governments.

Our mission is about empowerment for today and hope for the future.

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What is Asian Aid’s relationship to the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

Asian Aid believes in the potential of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, and works with the Church, as an independent and supporting ministry, in helping deliver quality education. We cooperate closely with the Church in seeking to empower people – regardless of religious affiliation or belief – to meet the needs of the poor, as Jesus did.

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What is Asian Aid’s relationship to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)?

Asian Aid is an accredited, supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, whereas ADRA is the church’s official development and relief agency. Asian Aid endorses ADRA’s ministry and seeks to collaborate with ADRA if and when possible.

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Where do donated funds go?

Since our inception, we have worked hard to ensure that all funds donated are used to benefit children and communities in need. Through sound financial management and generous donations supporters make directly to our Administration Fund, Asian Aid is able to maximise the percentage of your donations that support deserving people and communities. Approximately 87 per cent of funds go to support our programs and activities overseas with approximately 13 percent facilitating administration, promotion and fundraising activities in Australia. For more information, please review our latest Annual Report, or contact us.

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What is the Administration Fund?

To meet our obligations as a charity in Australia, to maintain a functional office and to organise promotional, fundraising and advocacy activities, we rely on donations made specifically to our Administration Fund. Money donated to this fund helps us maximise the percentage of funds that support deserving people and communities overseas. You can donate to the Administration Fund here.

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Does Asian Aid still do child sponsorship?

Absolutely! Thousands of supporters assist thousands of children through our sponsorship program. The program has traditionally seen one sponsor give money for one child to go to school. This welfare based approach to sponsorship has worked well and produced some great results over the past 50 years. But it has also created some problems: sibling rivalry, a disconnect between a sponsored child and their family; a sense of dissatisfaction when a sponsored child graduates but can’t find employment because their community has remained poor, and more.

So, in response to best industry practice, to government and industry regulations and to lessons Asian Aid has learned from its own sponsorship journey, our sponsorship program now connects a supporter to a child with the sponsorship money supporting the child and the child’s family, community or school. A child can’t do well, if their family can’t sustain themselves, if their neighbourhood is prone to human trafficking, or if their community does not have a health clinic. By enabling families, schools and communities to become sustainable so they better support their own children, we can create an environment where children grow, develop and flourish alongside their siblings, neighbours and peers, and become stronger for life together.

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How does the Child Sponsorship Program work?

Our Sponsorship Program connects a supporter to a sponsor child with the sponsorship money being pooled to fund projects, activities and initiatives in the child’s school or community. This program supports families, schools and communities to become sustainable so they can better support their children. This way, your sponsorship support will go even further to help children – and their support networks – grow strong for life.

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How do sponsor children participate in community projects?

Children participate in programs by: being involved in decision making, and helping to plan and run appropriate activities. Children receive training and support throughout the duration of activities, initiatives and projects in their school or community.

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How do the families, schools and communities benefit from the Sponsorship Program?

Families, schools and communities help identify – with the involvement of sponsor children – their most pressing needs. The sponsorship funding then helps our partners design and implement programs that address such needs in a sustainable way.

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How do sponsor children benefit from their involvement in this program?

Sponsor children become central to the development work. Children learn to be responsible, to identify school or community needs, to make decisions and to feel like an essential part of the community. And once some of the pressing needs in families, schools and communities start to be addressed, children will benefit from stronger communities that can better support them.

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I want to support a child’s basic needs (food, clothing, shelter), that is why I support Asian Aid. If Asian Aid does project work, how is Asian Aid different to other aid agencies?

The provision of ‘basics’ is a welfare activity that does not address the root causes of poverty for a child and creates, in many instances, a dependency on continuing to provide the basics. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines many child rights – survival, protection, development and participation – that contribute to the wellbeing of children. With your ongoing support, the survival needs of all children in our program are guaranteed. We are now ensuring your sponsorship money goes even further to help children reach their full potential; not just survive.

What makes Asian Aid different from other aid agencies is our focus on children. When we talk ‘projects’, we ask first the question: How will this project impact the children in this community? How can we involve children in this community as representatives of the community and as change agents? Our children-focused approach makes Asian Aid different; ensures we continue to work in an area we understand well – children and education; and guarantees to our supporters that the impact they make is bigger than just now (it impacts generations to come).

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What is the sponsorship rate?

The sponsorship rate is $49 a month for each child. A sponsorship plus ‘bonus’ option of $55 a month is also available, and will allow Asian Aid to run additional child focused activities in disadvantaged schools or communities.

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How are sponsorship rate subsidies calculated?

Each financial year Asian Aid reviews operating budgets. One of the changes in the current financial budget (April 1, 2017 – March 30, 2018) is the way we calculate sponsorship rates for all partners. Until recently, rates differed for each country, were impacted by foreign currency exchange and local inflation, and did not include additional costs associated with running the sponsorship program. The current rate arrangement incorporates these costs and is based off an Australian dollar amount which means, as the exchange rate fluctuates, the amount partners receive might change but the overall sustainability of the program is stronger. As of 1 April 2017, the sponsorship rates for most sponsorship categories are slightly higher in Australian dollar amount than they were previously, and it is now the full responsibility of the partners to manage associated costs in-country.

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Can I write to my sponsor child?

Your sponsor child would love to receive letters or postcards from you. Please be sensitive in what you write, and send all letters directly to the Asian Aid office: P.O Box 333 Wauchope, 2446, NSW Australia. Your mail will then be sent in bulk to our partner offices, who will deliver your letters to your supported child/children. Refer to our Write To Your Child guidelines please for more information.

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Where should I send letters for my sponsor child?

Because the safety and protection of the children in our program is of utmost importance to Asian Aid, our Child Protection Policy was amended (in 2016), to ensure additional measures are taken to safeguard the children in our program. One of these changes has meant that all mail from our supporters to their supported child/children, must now be directed to the Asian Aid office: P.O Box 333 Wauchope, 2446, NSW Australia.

To ensure your mail goes out on time each quarter, please send your mail by the 25th day of the following months: January, April, July and October to the Asian Aid office. Please include your name and supporter ID, and your child’s name and ID in all your mail.

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How do I make sponsorship payments?

A regular – monthly, quarterly or annual – credit card payment is the easiest way to pay for your sponsorship. You can contact us on (+61) 02 6586 4250 to set up a regular credit card payment, or you can set it up yourself by using your online account , your unique username and your password.

Payments by direct debit, cheque and/or money order are also possible. PayPal payments are currently unavailable. Do not send cash to the office please because mail can go missing at times.

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Is child sponsorship tax-deductible?

Yes, child sponsorship payments are tax-deductible. You will receive a receipt for all sponsorship payments at the end of the tax year (after June 30 in Australia) unless you request otherwise.

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Can I visit my sponsor child?

We can understand how you may wish to visit your sponsored child while on an Asian Aid-organised trip, but due to child safety considerations, Asian Aid does not facilitate individual visits from sponsors to sponsored children. The safety and wellbeing of the sponsor children are as important to us as they are to you, so we know you will understand our position.

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What happens to my sponsor child if I can’t continue to sponsor him/her?

We know sponsors do their best to continue sponsoring a child until the child completes our program. But at times, despite best intentions, some sponsors are not able to continue making payments. If you need to cease sponsorship for a period of time, but still want to keep the child you are sponsoring, please inform us and we will arrange a fill-in payment for up to eight weeks. If you are still unable to pay after this time, we will help find another sponsor for the child. Your generosity is appreciated.

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Why is there a focus on themes?

Our work is guided by four key themes that help us stay focused on pressing issues that exist in Asia.

  1. Health: Access to quality and free health care and education in many of the countries where Asian Aid serves is a pressing issue. Our health activities help prevent the incidence of uterine prolapse among rural Nepalese women, raise awareness about good hygiene and nutrition among school children and offer classes in health and life skills for women and communities. With improved access to health care services for better quality of life, people can become positive contributors to their families and communities. (Galatians 6:2).
  2. Advocacy: Advocating against deeply engrained societal errors– such as human trafficking – is critical in protecting the rights of women, girls and vulnerable individuals.To be effective in the fight against human trafficking, it is important to stay focused on preventative measures, and to help children, families and communities break down the barriers that keep them in poverty, increasing the risk of human trafficking. While human trafficking in South East Asia is certainly a daunting problem, it is not insurmountable. (Isaiah 1:17)
  3. Education: We believe that all children – regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability or religion – have a right to live in communities and attend schools that enable them to thrive. We also believe that both formal and informal education offers all people, including children, the chance to break out of poverty, to develop holistic life skills, and to influence the decisions that affect their lives. We work to help build resilient communities that value and support children. Thank you for providing people with access to quality and free education. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  4. Hope in Communities: We believe in empowering disadvantaged communities with the skills they need to contribute to the development of productive and peaceful societies. In countries like India and Nepal, families face many socio-economic challenges such as, poverty, lack of shelter and protection, and limited access to education and health care. These factors can increase the vulnerabilities of children and lead to a breakdown of the family unit. With the majority of the world’s children and youth living in developing countries, we believe it is important to empower children and adolescents with a strong sense of community. We also believe that the best place for children is in a safe, supportive family unit (Psalm 68:6). As part of a healthy family, children find their sense of belonging, experience love, build life-long relationships and connect with their communities.

Our focus on themes also fosters increased sharing of skills, information and expertise between Asian Aid and implementing partners and encourages improved efficiency and professionalism.

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How are the funds used, and who benefits?

Each quarter, Asian Aid will allocate donations made to a theme to individual projects within that theme, ensuring each project meets budgetary provisions.

Asian Aid’s work helps thousands of children, women and disadvantaged communities break down the barriers that prevent them from building a better future.

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Can I still give to a specific project within a theme?

While you can still donate to a specific project, we would prefer it if your donation is made to a theme to ensure funds are evenly distributed amongst projects within that theme. Should some projects receive more funds than their allocated budgets, Asian Aid will use excess funds to support other projects where the needs are greatest.

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Can I let Asian Aid choose how to use my donation(s)?

Yes, you can. Donations to the Meet-The-Need fund will support the urgent needs of the main theme each quarter. Money from this fund helps close any gaps in project funding within a theme, and helps fund new or unexpected needs as they arise.

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Who implements the projects within each theme?

Asian Aid partners with local humanitarian agencies to address some of the most pressing needs disadvantaged children and communities in Asia face. Our partners are locally staffed and include a wealth of experience and expertise. Culturally sensitive, our partners are instrumental in implementing development initiatives in very poor communities, and in providing free and improved health and education services.

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What percentage of funds goes to supporting the projects?

Since our inception, we have worked hard to ensure that all funds donated are used to benefit children and communities in need. Through sound financial management and generous donations supporters make directly to our Administration Fund, Asian Aid is able to maximise the percentage of your donations that support deserving people and communities. Approximately 87 per cent of funds go to support our programs and activities overseas with approximately 13 percent facilitating administration, promotion and fundraising activities in Australia.

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Does Asian Aid try to convert people to Christianity through its projects?

Asian Aid projects are not evangelistic in nature, and are designed to help anybody in need regardless of their religion, ethnicity, culture or gender. Because of this obligation-free approach to hope giving, Asian Aid has been able to build trust and respect amongst thousands of women, children and people in Asia. Our belief in the rights of the most vulnerable is inspired and driven by Jesus’s example of giving, healing and compassion.

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What is the Meet-the-Need Fund?

The Meet-the-Need Fund helps ensure children and communities are impacted where the need is greatest. Donations to the fund will help:

    • Break the cycle of poverty for this and the next generation of people.
    • Enable families and communities to care for their children and young adults.
    • Help children and young adults become change agents in their own communities.
    • Encourage children to stay in school, further their education and avoid the dangers of early marriage, human slavery and child labour.
    • Offer women opportunities to learn new skills so they can sustain their families.
    • Empower slum communities
    • Ensure disadvantaged communities learn about hygiene, good health practices and disease prevention.
    • Assist deserving children reach their God-given potential.

Donate to the Meet-the-Need Fund now.

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What is ‘My Asian Aid’?

‘My Asian Aid’ is a personalised and secure online account that allows you to manage your sponsorships and donations, and update your details. It is convenient as it can be accessed 24 hours and 7 days a week.

Your can use your ‘My Asian Aid’ account to:

  • Check and update your payment details, including credit card details.
  • Check and update your contact details.
  • Download annual tax statements.
  • View your sponsored children.
  • Make donations and see recent payments.

Click here to logon and use the username and password provided to you when you first joined the Asian Aid family. If you are unsure of your username please contact us.

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What can I do if I have not been issued with, or have forgotten, my account username and password?

If you do not know your username or password please contact us and request your account login details. Once you receive these details, you can login to ‘My Asian Aid’ and change these details yourself.

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What if I have forgotten my password to access ‘My Asian Aid’ account?

If you have forgotten your password go to the ‘My Asian Aid’ login page and click on the link ‘Forgot your password?’. You will be able to enter your email address or username to have a password reset link emailed to you. When you receive the email, click on the link and you will be directed to a page where you can enter a new password.

Please note: This is an automated system. Please contact us if you experiences any issues.

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How do I update my contact details and/or credit card information?

You can update your contact or credit card details by logging into ‘My Asian Aid’ and making the necessary changes.

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How can I set up regular project donations?

To set up a regular project donation, choose one or more projects, login to ‘My Asian Aid’ and select your preferred payment method and frequency.

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How can I get a copy of my tax statement?

We post copies of tax statements after the end of financial year to the address you have given us. If you have not received your tax statement it may be because we have an incorrect address for you, the envelope got lost in the mail, or there was an administration error. Email us and we will send you a copy of your tax statement as soon as we can.

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Where are my payments up to?

Log into ‘My Asian Aid’ if you have received a reminder about payments that might be behind, or if you want to know when your next payment is due. You can make a payment there. If you need help registering for ‘My Asian Aid’ or are unsure about your login details, call us on (+61) 02 6586 4250 and we can help you.

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What can I do if I am unable to continue my child sponsorship?

While we are sad to see your sponsorship end, we understand that you may have other commitments or may not be in a financial position to continue. Thank you for the support you have already given to a disadvantaged child so far. Email or call us on (+61) 02 6586 4250 and we will arrange this for you.

If you only need to cease sponsorship for a period of time, but still want to keep the child you are sponsoring, we can help arrange a fill-in payment for up to eight weeks. If you are still unable to pay after this time we will help find another sponsor for the child.

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How else can I make payments?

If you don’t have a credit card and wish to make a regular or a one-off donation, you can set up direct deposit from your bank account to the Asian Aid account, post a cheque or pay by money order. Do not send us cash please as mail can sometimes get lost in the post.

For internet banking (direct deposit), please use the following details:

In Australia
Account name: Asian Aid Organisation
Bank and Branch: ANZ Wauchope NSW
BSB: 012 864
Account number: 2564 22282
Using the reference: * Your unique banking code

In New Zealand:
Account name: Asian Aid Organisation
Bank and Branch: ANZ Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand
Account number: 010190-0239417-00
Reference: * Your unique banking code

* As a reference: Please include your unique banking code. This payment will be identified as your sponsorship payment. For donations other than sponsorship, please include the project name or the purpose of the donation. This will help us direct funds to how you intend them to be used.

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Who can become an Asian Aid Ambassador?

Asian Aid sponsors, supporters and donors over the age of 16 can apply to become Asian Aid Promotional or Fundraising ambassadors.

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How do I apply to become a Promotional or Fundraising Ambassador?

You can apply by filling in this simple application form

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Why can’t I apply to become an Asian Aid Partner?

Becoming an Asian Aid partner is by invitation only so that we can better match supporters’ skills to the evolving needs of the agency. But that’s not to say that we would not like to hear from you if you would like to become an Asian Aid Partner. Email if this is the case.

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Where do I find more information about the Ambassador Program?

You can find more information here.

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Who should I contact for more information about the Ambassador Program?

You can contact Sonja Kama, the Ambassador Program coordinator, at sonja.kama@asianaid.org.au

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Why are only six new ambassador (volunteer) positions available in each category this year?

Although we would love to be able to have as many Promotional and Fundraising ambassadors as there are willing supporters, due to lack of staffing and limited promotional resources, we need to keep the Ambassador Program small this year. We have every intention to grow the program over the next few years.

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Can I become an Asian Aid Ambassador if I am younger than 16 years of age?

You can support Asian Aid at any age. But because ambassadors need to be able to work with children and to drive a car, people under 16 are currently unable to apply to become ambassadors. But there are other ways you can partner with us. Contact Sonja Kama at sonja.kama@asianaid.org.au to talk about other ways you can support please.

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Do I have to live in Australia to become an Ambassador?

Although the Ambassador Program has been created with Australian ambassadors in mind, interested supporters in other developed countries, especially in New Zealand, are encouraged to apply to become ambassadors.

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What help will Asian Aid give me once I become an Ambassador?

Promotional and Fundraising Ambassadors will receive training, promotional resources and travel allowance through the submission of a reimbursement form.

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What should I do if I applied but wasn’t selected this year?

Thank you for applying and we are sorry we are not able to run a bigger Ambassador Program this year. Due to lack of staffing and limited promotional resources, we need to keep the Ambassador Program small. We have every intention to grow the program over the next few years.

The fact that you were not selected as an ambassador this year is not a reflection on your abilities, commitment to and passion for the mission of Asian Aid. The limited number of ambassadors is only to ensure the viability and effectiveness of the program. We will keep your application on file and consider it in the future. If you would not like us to do so, please let us know.

Thank you again for your continued and appreciated support of Asian Aid.

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What should I do if I can’t serve as an ambassador any longer?

Thank you for the support you have given to us as an ambassador. Although we are sorry to hear that your circumstances have changed, we understand and are grateful for the support you have already given. Please contact Sonja Kama at sonja.kama@asianaid.org.au and she will discuss with you what needs to happen.

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What kind of training would I receive as an Asian Aid ambassador?

Should there be a sufficient increase in the number of new ambassadors each year, ambassadors will be invited to attend a free training day organised by Asian Aid at a city near you. Alternatively, you will receive relevant material and information to help you in this role.

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How do I report the exciting things that have happened since I became an Asian Aid ambassador?

We would love to hear hope stories from our ambassadors. Other friends of Asian Aid would too. You can share any exciting things that have happened in your service as ambassador on the Asian Aid Australia Facebook page. You can also let Sonja Kama know by emailing her at sonja.kama@asianaid.org.au and she may feature your stories in the Response newsletter (link to the latest issue of Response newsletter please) and/or in the news section of this website.

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What is Asian Aid’s Child Focused Approach (CFA)?

At Asian Aid we have always supported vulnerable children to gain quality education, and to receive quality care in safe, supportive and nurturing environments. But recently, the focus of our work has extended to also incorporate the protection of children’s rights. This renewed emphasis on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)’s components of Survival, Development, Protection and Participation will lead the design of all future projects, ensuring our activities demonstrate our firm belief that each child is important and valuable, and provide a holistic experience for each child.

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Why transition to a more Child Focused program?

The transition towards a more child-focused approach to our program is necessary because we want to do everything we can to empower children beyond the provision of educational pathways. Active and intentional engagement of children and young people in shaping their own future is key in their wellbeing and holistic development. Our desire to design and deliver a child-focus program will ensure we plan activities with the child and/or young person in mind.

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How will the Child Focused Approach be implemented?

We plan to rollout the Child Focused Approach in two ways:

  • Through the implementation of several Child Focused Initiatives [CFI] throughout the current program and activities. These short-term initiatives will focus on one or two of the four UNCRC’s components of Survival, Development, Protection and Participation, and
  • Through the design of a range of longer-term, community-based Child Focused Community Development [CFCD] Projects. The projects will help address and resolve the root causes of issues that prevent children and young adults from realising their rights.

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What are some examples of Child Focused Initiatives (CFI)?

The Child Focused Initiatives [CFI] will be projects and activities that Asian Aid will implement in addition to the current projects and activities we undertake.

Designed to address one or two of the UNCRC’s components of Survival, Development, Protection and Participation, these short-term projects will include some of the activities below:

Survival

  • Training on child nutrition and provision of supplements where required;
  • Training for new mothers, school and home staff on child development;
  • Development and implementation of Asian Aid’s Standards of Care at all supported Children’s Homes;
  • Review of all files for individual children who live in Asian Aid supported Children’s Homes, to reconnect and reunite children with family members and relatives, if possible.

Development

  • Development and implementation of Asian Aid’s Standards for Education Providers for all supported schools and training institutions;
  • Student life skills training programs;
  • Gender specific enrichment programs;
  • Career counselling for senior students.

Protection

  • Ongoing Child Protection awareness training;
  • Introduction of a children’s Personal Safety Program;
  • Alternative Discipline Training for school and home staff;
  • Participation in advocacy and lobbying for children’s rights.

Participation

  • Establishment of a network of Children’s Committees;
  • An annual Child Focused Forum with representatives from throughout the Asian Aid program;
  • A number of feedback and sharing activities through the Child Enrichment packages.

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When will the first Child Focused Initiatives (CFI) begin?

A small number of Child Focused Initiatives began in early 2014.

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How do other sponsorship agencies approach their child sponsorship programs?

Over the past 40 years there has been a significant shift away from welfare-based child sponsorship models. Many other large child sponsorship organisations have realised that Direct Child Sponsorship models based on one sponsor supporting one child have created dependency on sponsors. This can be a risk to the children and young people their sponsorship programs support, and to the sponsorship agency itself.

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I believe in a sponsorship model that is holistic. How can I help?

We are always excited to hear from people who share our passion for supporting, nurturing and enabling children and young people – and their families, communities and schools – to live, learn and thrive so they fulfil their God-given potential in life.

You can help by sponsoring a child today, or by donating to our Next Generation Fund..

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