We believe sponsorship that empowers children with skills, resources and knowledge to understand their rights and value, and that enables their communities to better provide for their children is a powerful way to break the cycle of poverty now and for the future. Coming from a tradition of direct child sponsorship where sponsor support ensured a deserving child could receive an education, our sponsorship model now sees the child as part of a bigger community of family, school and other networks.
We know that children thrive when their communities are empowered to support them. Child focused development sponsorship benefits both the child and their community.
Child Focused Development – In Their Words
Here is what our sponsored children and partners have to say about the Child Focused Development Sponsorship Program:
LOHIT: 12 YEAR-OLD, INDIA
“In my community, people fight with each other. There is murder, robbery and suicide. Many children don’t go to school. I’d like to help people see that we will have a better future only if they can change. If people change then children will study, our roads will be good and clean. People won’t smoke, drink or fight, and we can be safe.”
“In my community, a lot of children don’t want to go to school. Others teach them how to lie to their parents and how to take money from home. I want everyone to study. I can help those younger than me with their studies, if they need help. Some people will listen to us, so we can tell them what we have learnt.”
“The Child Focused Development Sponsorship Program will help children learn to make decisions. They will take responsibility for and stand up to address problems around them, and will learn leadership qualities that will impact their families and communities. They can motivate others to stay in school and be instrumental in identifying and addressing child labour, and other problems of abuse.”
CHELLADURAI RAMANATHAN: EDUCATION COORDINATOR, OASIS CHENNAI
“Whatever the disease, we should try to treat it from the root. Similarly, to sort out problems in communities, we work most with the children. They are the future of the community.”
1. What does sponsorship enable?
Our Child Sponsorship Program enables a supporter to connect with a sponsor child, with the sponsorship money being pooled to fund projects, activities and initiatives in the child’s school or community.
2. Why does Asian Aid embrace child sponsorship?
We support child sponsorship because it supports families, schools and communities to become sustainable so they can better support their children. We believe that your sponsorship support will go even further to help children – and their support networks – grow strong for life.
3. How will sponsorship funds be used to benefit the community or school?
Here are a few examples of how our Child Sponsorship Program is helping children, communities and school: Parents attend health, financial and livelihood training programs so they can provide for their children’s basic needs and education. Young adults learn about their rights, and join forums to develop life skills and implement community awareness activities. Children participate in children clubs and gain leadership and communication skills and knowledge about important social issues. And school teachers learn to use creative child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education.
4. 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.
5. How do the families, schools and communities benefit from the Child 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.
6. How does child sponsorship address the root causes of poverty for children, their communities and their schools?
Child sponsorship promotes community participation at all levels of the program, and works with children and community members to identify – and solve – issues that limit their abilities to lead, thrive and live as God intended. This allows communities to gain skills, knowledge and abilities to problem-solve together. By doing so, communities lift themselves out of poverty – even after Asian Aid’s direct support ends. Sponsorship enables Asian Aid to support communities to address the underlying issues communities themselves have identified, such as: limited household income, restricting cultural norms, health education, and poor quality of education.
7. Are children all supported to gain an education?
Our Child Focused Sponsorship Program focuses on the child’s school community and the child’s geographical community. The program supports holistic developmental activities that aim to strengthen the capacity of parents, teachers and community leaders to support the developmental needs of children. All sponsorship activities encourage and advocate for children to attend school on a regular basis. In some contexts, children may not attend formal education. In these situations children will be engaged in informal educational opportunities.
8. 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 as 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.
9. How does sponsorship really help improve whole communities?
Research in the development industry has shown that community-based developmental approaches to helping those living in poverty are much fairer and just. Evidence also shows that working with communities to build on their knowledge and assets – while engaging with the broader economic and social issues that perpetuate poverty – is improving whole communities and creating long lasting change. While other sponsorship models provide much needed support to an individual at a given point in time, the long-term impact cannot be sustained by the individual or community without continued direct support.
10. How much does it cost to sponsor a child?
The Standard Sponsorship rate is $49 a month for each child. A Child Focused Development Sponsorship option of $55 a month is also available, and will allow Asian Aid to run additional child focused activities in disadvantaged communities and/or schools. Depending on the specific needs identified in each community or school, your support will ensure our partners have the funding they need to implement projects and activities that achieve the program’s main goal. Sponsorship also helps assist children, communities and schools to become sustainable and lift themselves out of poverty.
11. Who does Asian Aid partner with to deliver Child Sponsorship programs?
Asian Aid’sChild Focused Development Sponsorship Program partners, Oasis India and the Centre for Agro-Ecology and Development (CAED) in Nepal work in communities where crime and violence, early-age marriage, alcoholism, poor school attendance rates and a lack of basic necessities and proper living conditions place children and youth at increased risk. The programs they run will help address these issues and enable sponsor children to become opinion-leaders in these communities.
A Message from Quentin Campbell, Asian Aid Programs Director
Children growing strong for life
The central focus of Asian Aid’s work is – and has always been – supporting disadvantaged children and young people.
Asian Aid is committed to supporting disadvantaged children and young people. This Child Focused Development program will catalyse the sustainable growth and development of schools and communities for a better tomorrow.
Please join us in this new journey. Your sponsorship support will go even further to help a child – and their families, schools and communities – grow strong for life.
Thank you for your ongoing generosity.