Questions and Answers

Why is it that the letters that we receive from our sponsor child say ‘Dear Sponsor’ and do not have our name on them?

Child and supporter safety are very important to Asian Aid. To protect the privacy of the supporter and to minimise the possibility of unsolicited contact between the child and the supporter, it is Asian Aid policy not to provide children with the name of their supporter. This is also a topical issue that other charities in Australia struggle with. Until the industry – and Asian Aid – feel we have the systems in place to protect the privacy of both children and supporters on and offline, this is a necessary precautionary step.    

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 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines four child rights outcome areas – survival, protection, development and participation – that contribute to the wellbeing of children. 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 first ask the questions: 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; it ensures we continue to work in an area we understand well – children and education; and it guarantees to our supporters that the impact they make is bigger than just now (it impacts generations to come).

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.

Find answers to more questions in our FAQ section.