FIND RESPONSES TO MOST OF YOUR QUESTIONS IN THIS VIDEO OR IN THE QUESTIONS BELOW!
Yes, you can choose whether you would like to sponsor a girl or a boy. If you are happy with either, then we will select the child most in need.
No, each child has one sponsor. Your sponsorship is sufficient to pay the schooling costs for your sponsored child. We sponsor only one child per family to allow a maximum number of families to be supported. Some sponsored children live in foster houses because they are orphans, or their parents live too far from the school.
The children supported by Children of the Mekong are identified by our local programme managers. Living and involved locally, they know the families in difficulty and their needs. In pairs with our overseas volunteers, they select the children to sponsor. To do so, they look at 2 criteria in priority:
- The poverty of the family through assessment studies (social audit, family income, land, animals, etc.).
- The motivation of the child to go to school, and of their parents to send them to school. The aim of sponsorship is not to give money to fill a financial gap but to enable the child to go to school and study, to enable them to find a job that will enable them to support themselves and their family.
Your sponsorship lasts as long as your sponsored child goes to school. The duration of sponsorship can vary depending on the age at which your sponsored child is entrusted to you, the financial resources of their parents, their abilities, the distance from the schools … When your sponsored child leaves school, we will inform you and offer you another child waiting for a sponsor to support him/her. Whatever the duration of your sponsorship, remember that these years of schooling that they «win» thanks to you will be very valuable to take charge of their future.
In Asia, as soon as a child walks, he/she learns to help the family. After completing the compulsory school, parents sometimes do not understand the need for pursuing secondary school, and consider it normal that their child contributes to the family income. Children of the Mekong encourage children as much as possible to pursue their studies, but cannot do anything in front of a parental decision. Nevertheless, thanks to your sponsorship, your child can read, write and count. When it is possible, we transfer the sponsorship on a younger brother or sister in order to continue to support the family. You will always be informed by your sponsorship manager and proposed to support another child.
It is regrettable but sometimes there is no other choice. The child and his/her family have moved, or their financial condition has been improved, and the parents can afford the schooling. Some children stop going to school, and it is our wish to give another child the opportunity to go to school.
We don’t impose a minimum sponsorship duration on our sponsors. If one day, you are no longer in a position to offer your sponsorship, Children of the Mekong will try to find a new sponsor for your sponsored child. However, please inform us one month in advance to avoid penalizing your sponsored child.
We encourage our children to go as far as possible in their studies. The upgrade is not systematic and depends on the costs of the studies. You will be informed whether the sponsorship needs to be upgraded to £43 per month.
Even if the school fees are low or not in place, there are several additional costs, which are often too high for a poor family to cover: uniforms, books, stationeries, transportation costs…
If a child goes to school, he will not work and therefore will not bring money to the family. In some cases, a part of the monthly sponsorship is given as rice bags to the family as compensation.
The sponsorship is £28 per month. 75% is sent to Asia, rest is used for the core costs and emergency response of the charity.
The majority of the sponsorship is given to sponsored children but sometimes can also support non-sponsored children (in Vietnam and the Philippines for example). The rest of the money covers, when necessary the translation of the letters and postal costs, and a solidarity fund for emergency response for the families.
The children and their parents are given the sponsorship money on a signature.
The money is distributed in various ways, depending on the country and the local customs.
It covers the school costs of the children (fees, uniforms, stationeries, books…) and the daily better off of the families (food, hygienic products…).
– Distribution in cash: Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. A small amount of money can be saved in a saving account. – Mix distribution in cash and material: Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. – Ahead of estimates or invoices: The Philippines and Thailand. – For the children staying in foster houses in every country, the local manager buys and distributes the goods to the children and pays directly the fees to the school.
This information is generalised; if you would like to know in detail how your sponsorship is given to your child, please do contact us.
If the family cannot afford to take the child at the doctor, the programme solidarity fund will cover the expenses. If your sponsored child has a serious disease or needs surgery, your sponsorship manager will inform you. Together you may think about a way to cover the exceptional cost.
In Asia, our local programme managers ensure that the funds are well spent and that your sponsored child continues their education.
The overseas volunteers are the eyes and ears of the charity. They supervise the programmes and monitor their finances.
In the UK, our accounts are available on the Charity Commission website and on our website. Accounts are revised by accountants every year
Check by yourself! Come and visit us at our London office, our headquarter in Paris, or go and meet your sponsored child in South-East Asia!
The exchange of letters allows you to create a lasting relationship with your sponsored child. Your sponsored child will probably have only one person from whom they will receive letters, and it’s you. The letter helps them understand who you are, and develops trust. Our local programme managers and overseas volunteers are constantly reminding us how important it is for a sponsored child to receive letters from their sponsor!
Not all children like to write, and like any relationship, it takes time. But this is also the strength of the sponsorship. Little by little, over time, your sponsored child’s letters will reflect their evolution, their openness, their maturity.
You can write in English as all letters are translated by volunteers into the language of your sponsored child. This translation also explains the long delay between each letter. Far from the era of instantaneity, sponsorship is a good school of patience, and each letter takes on average two months to arrive, sometimes more when your sponsored child lives in a very isolated area.
You can involve your children or grandchildren in writing the letters, sending photos or simply a postcard. Whatever the size of the letter, be sure it will make your sponsored child happy and proud!
Most of the sponsored children do not have access to the internet, so it is not possible to correspond by e-mail. Moreover, your child would need a translation to understand.
On the other hand, Children of the Mekong has set up a partnership with the Simplycards application. Via this application, you can register your sponsored child’s address, and send them a photo and a short text. The application prints your photo on a postcard and sends it directly to your sponsored child!
That’s how you can send a postcard to your sponsored child as quickly as a Whatsapp message! Moreover, Simplycards offers 30% discount to Mekong Children sponsors! (from £1.50 per card, including postage and packaging).
On the occasion of Christmas or your sponsored child’s birthday, you can make a special gesture by making an additional donation. Your donation will be sent to them at the same time as they receive the sponsorship.
You can also send small gifts such as t-shirts, stickers, pens, colouring books, hair clips, in padded envelops only. Please do not send parcels.
Of course, it is! If you have the chance to go to Asia, don’t miss this beautiful meeting!
It’s a great way to see the impact of your sponsorship and to get to know your sponsored child better. For your sponsored child, it’s a great opportunity to understand who is their sponsor is and how important they are to you!
This is not the vocation of Children of the Mekong. Just like us, you want what is best for your sponsored child. The purpose of the sponsorship is precisely to educate the children in their own country. Nothing is better for a child’s equilibrium than to be educated and brought up within their own family, roots and culture.
More questions? Contact us!
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