How Child Sponsorship Works? 

Where can I apply to Sponsor a Child?

You simply need to fill in the sponsorship form here to Sponsor a Child. You will receive sooner after your Welcome Pack with all the information you need about your sponsorship.

 

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How are the sponsored children chosen?

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 who need a sponsorship. To do so, they look at 2 criteria in priority:

  1. The poverty of the family through assessment studies (social audit, family income, land, animals, etc.).
  2. 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. Learn more about this on “Support and Educate through sponsorship

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Can I choose whether to Sponsor a girl or a boy?

Yes, it is possible for you to choose whether you would like to sponsor a girl or a boy. You can do so while filling in the Sponsor a Child Form. You will be able to mention a special request in the form such as: the sex of the child, age, or country.

A lot of the time we get asked to sponsor girls, as girls are known to have less access to education in Asian countries. However, please know that at Children of the Mekong, all of the children waiting to be sponsored are equally in need.

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Can the child I am sponsoring be sponsored by others?

Each child has one sponsor only. Your sponsorship is sufficient to pay the schooling costs for your sponsored child. Your sponsored child will never be sponsored in the same time by another person. Also, we sponsor only one child per family to allow a maximum number of families to be supported. Learn more about the special bond you can create with your sponsored child.

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Where does my sponsored child live?

The majority of the sponsored children live with their families, as we believe that it is the best place for them to be raised. However, when the child grows and reaches the secondary school level, it is often necessary to welcome them in boarding houses near the school, as there is no secondary school in their village. Every half-term and holidays, children are returning to their home to maintain a strong bond with their families.

Some sponsored children live in boarding houses because they are orphans, or sometime their parents are too poor to look after their children, so they entrust them to a children home.

Learn more about how young people are selected in our education centres in the Philippines.

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Process of signing up and being in correspondence with a child

Once you’ve signed up to Sponsor a Child, you’ll receive a Welcome Pack by email. This Welcome Pack will provide you with all the information that you need to start your sponsorship, getting to know better your sponsored child and where they live. The Welcome Pack includes:

  • The profile of your Sponsored Child with a picture
  • Information regarding who he/she is and their living conditions
  • Information regarding the Sponsorship Programme that he/she belongs to
  • Country Profile
  • Address of correspondence of your Sponsored Child
  • Template of letters to guide you for your first correspondence with your sponsored child
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When does the sponsorship of my sponsored child end?

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 school… When your sponsored child leaves school, we will inform you and offer you to sponsor another child in need.

Whatever the duration of your sponsorship, remember that it has brought your sponsored child a chance to access education and that thanks to you, will be valuable for them to take charge of their future.

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What happens if I decide to terminate my sponsorship?

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.

You can inform us by email right here: eugenie@childrenofthemekong.org

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Should I sponsor a child or a collective sponsorship

Whether you’d like to have an individual sponsorship or a collective sponsorship, will all depend on your preference. Both are equally in need of new sponsors. You’ll find below details about the two types of sponsorships, and more info on the linked pages.

Sponsor a Child: Individual sponsorship is an amazing opportunity to create a unique relationship with your sponsored child. This type of sponsoring allows you to communicate with your Sponsored Child 2 to 3 times a year by letter. Your monthly donation goes to the child directly. Learn more about Sponsoring a Child.

Collective Sponsorship: If writing letters is not your cup of tea, you can also support a collective sponsorship programme to help, for instance, the street children of Manila, in the Philippines, or the students of Samrong education centre in rural Cambodia. Collective sponsorships are usually in place to support a group of children, especially where it is difficult to set up an individual child sponsorship programme. You will receive a newsletter every year with the latest news about the programme you support. Learn more about Collective Sponsorship.

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Can I make a sponsorship a gift?

It is absolutely possible to offer a sponsorship to a loved one. You can offer it to your child, your niece/nephew, or godchild! It is a fantastic opportunity for your loved one to get to know a child from the other side of the world, open them to the world and to the chance they have to go to school.

To offer a sponsorship, you will simply need to fill in the Sponsorship Form here and precise in the comment section that you wish to offer this sponsorship. We will need to know the full name and address of the beneficiary. Feel free to contact Eugenie Munakarmi at eugenie@childrenofthemekong.org or 020 3674 1953 if you have any question.

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How can I get updates on the ongoing projects at Children of the Mekong?

Should you want to receive more information regarding our ongoing projects at Children of the Mekong, please feel free to subscribe to our Newsletter.

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In some Asian countries school is for free, so what is the purpose of my sponsorship?

Even if school fees are low or free in most of Southeast Asian countries, there are several additional costs, which are often too high for a poor family to cover. Those costs include uniforms, books, stationeries, transportation costs…
Furthermore, if a child goes to school, he/she 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 and hygiene products to the family as compensation.

Every sponsorship programme is tailored to the local needs and situations of the children and their families. At the beginning of your sponsorship, you will receive a Welcome Pack with detailed information about your sponsorship. It will be said how your sponsorship donations are used in the programme of your sponsored child. If you would like to know in detail how your sponsorship is given to your child, you can also contact us at: eugenie@childrenofthemekong.org

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My Sponsored Child and Me

How correspondence with your sponsored child works?

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 to develop, it takes time. But this is also the strength of the sponsorship. Little by little, over time, your sponsored child 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!

Learn more on how to create a longlasting relationship with your Sponsored Child.

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Is it possible to send an email to my sponsored child?

Most of the sponsored children do not have access to the internet, so it is not possible to correspond by email. Moreover, your child would need a translation to understand your email.

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). The promo code is: “MEKONG“. You can download the SimplyCard app here: https://www.simplycards.com/en/

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Can I send a gift to my sponsored child?

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. We recommend to give £20 per child.

You can also send small gifts such as t-shirts, stickers, pens, colouring books, hair clips, in padded envelopes only. Please do not send parcels.

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Is it possible to visit my sponsored child?

Of course, it is! If you have the chance to go to Asia, don’t miss this beautiful opportunity to meet your Sponsored Child!

For your sponsored child, it’s a great opportunity to understand who is their sponsor is and how important they are to you, but also it’s a great way to see the impact of your sponsorship and to get to know your sponsored child better.

Contact us at: eugenie@childrenofthemekong.org so that we can help plan your visit with your Sponsored Child.
Learn more about visiting your sponsored child here. 

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Can my sponsored child come to the UK?

This is not the vocation of Children of the Mekong. We 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.

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What happens if my sponsored child drops out of school and works?

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 to pursue their studies as much as possible, but have to respect 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.

Why am I sometimes asked to change my sponsored 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.

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If my sponsored child has been successful in pursuing studies at university, Do I have to upgrade my sponsorship?

We encourage our children to go as far as possible in their studies. If your sponsored child is pursuing at university, we might ask you to upgrade your sponsorship to £43 monthly, as the higher studies are more costly. However, upgrade is not systematic, it will all depend on the costs of the studies chosen by your sponsored child. Rest assured that you will be informed on the evolution of your child’s education, and if you are unable to upgrade, Children of the Mekong will cover the difference, so you can continue to sponsor your child.

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My Sponsorship Donations

How much does it cost to sponsor a child ?

At Children of the Mekong,Sponsoring a Child is £28 a month.

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How will my sponsorship money be used every month?

The sponsorship is £28 per month. 75.7% 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 on a signature.

The sponsorship donation 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…).

If you would like to know in detail how your sponsorship is given to your child, please do contact us.

Find all of the necessary information regarding our Latest Annual Report in the page “Financial Transparency”.

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How can I be sure that my money is well spent?

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 for England and Wales 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!

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Does Children of the Mekong have a Tax Number?

Children of the Mekong in the UK is registered at the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Number 1116375).

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Who pays for the doctor visits etc if my child gets ill?

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.

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