Does Child Sponsorship Really Help? - Children of the Mekong

Does Child Sponsorship Really Help?

Child sponsorship is a popular way to help disfavored children access the school by a monthly contribution. That money pays for school and covers vital needs, like food or healthcare.

Child Sponsorship Around The World

Over nine million children all over the world receive that help, which totals over 2 billion pounds a year. Yet, there is an important debate about the ethics of that form of help:

  • Does that sponsorship money really pay for a child’s school?
  • Does it create discrepancies among local communities?
  • Does it have a long-term impact?

Burma children at school

The impact of child sponsorship

Child sponsorship is a long-term investment. According to studies (ref JSTOR), sponsored children are more likely to stay in school longer. Compared to unsponsored children, they are up to 40% more likely to complete secondary school and up to 80% more likely to go to university. That newfound hope for the child will also benefit his siblings and his community. Although sponsorship stops after university, accompanied children will get better jobs, better salaries, better living conditions.

They will also be able to support their family, bring their children to school, or contribute to their community: sponsoring one child will have short-term benefits on his education, but a much bigger impact on their communities in the long term.

Child sponsorship is a tailored answers to local needs

Smiling kindergarten girl

The sponsorships programmes work with local organizations and communities and always have local programme managers in the field, to make sure sponsorship money really goes where it is needed.

Those local programme managers are also responsible for finding new potential sponsored children. To do this, they follow various criteria to make sure children get the most out of the sponsorship. This includes their economic or social situation or making sure they are extremely motivated to continue their schooling. 

This case-by-case analysis helps to answer exactly the needs of the child and his family. There are often reasons that prevent a child from attending school: cost, loss of income for the family, social reasons. 

Only an infield, in-person help can find them out, look for solutions and make the highest impact with sponsorship money.

Rilyn Lumapay, student at the Dumaguete education centre

I am one of those lucky students, I want to fulfil my dreams and Children of the Mekong gave me the opportunity. I never mind about the way I live today, but I mind about my future, I have learnt that problems and challenges will just pass by, I’ll never let myself give up. The centre is helping me to become a stronger and more independent woman.

Self-esteem grow when a child is sponsored

Looking at their pairs, they keep low expectations, without realizing their potential. Once grown up, their children will be in the same kind of neighbourhood.

Child sponsorship can break that vicious circle. Now sure they will be able to attend a school or even go to university, sponsored children can see a different path. Moreover, being sponsored shows them that people trust in their abilities. This improves their aspirations, their goals, and their self-esteem.

The local programme manager that follows them will also show them a variety of possible futures for them, encourage new vocations, and help them achieve those goals. Sponsorship money will also be used to help fulfil all primary needs of the children, like food or healthcare. to help them focus on their studies.

Sponsor a Child with Children Of The Mekong

As we have seen, by providing local, personalized solutions to disfavored children, child sponsorship is effective and impactful. It makes the most out of sponsorship money by enhancing the child’s aspiration and ability to go to school. That system is still imperfect because the limited funds do not allow to sponsor every child but remain one of the best solutions available.

At Children of the Mekong, we adopted that solution sixty years ago. Currently, our sponsors grant access to school to more than twenty thousand children across Southeast Asia.

Moreover, sponsor and child exchange letters, enhancing the child’s motivation and granting the sponsor an unforgettable experience. With £28/month, you can join this adventure, sponsor a child, and change his life. 

Find responses to most of your questions about sponsoring a child and donation in our FAQ


Progress: 78%

Sponsored children: 11 of 14

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