Why should I sponsor a child? - Children of the Mekong

Why should I sponsor a child?

Education can lift children out of poverty. Sponsoring a child provides them with access to education.

Child sponsorship: an efficient way to reduce poverty?

Education is often ranked as one of the major problems that humanity needs to solve, as its absence is a leading cause of poverty. Although this is mostly solved in the Western world, some countries, mostly in Africa or Southeast Asia still have high illiteracy rates. These countries lack the necessary funding to develop their educational systems, and the task is often made even more challenging by political instability. Myanmar, for example, has a long history of military coups, preventing any long-term views on education reforms. In those situations, the solution often relies on external funding through NGOs.

Of the several approaches developed around the world to help with education, child sponsorship is both the most common, with 9 million children sponsored worldwide and the most efficient, with repercussions at all scales. Children of the Mekong has been implementing that method in Southeast Asia for over 60 years.

The positive effects of child sponsorship

Child sponsorship programmes have an obvious impact on the children themselves. Research proves that children who followed sponsorship programmes earn more and get more often white-collar jobs than their peers. This is due to two main reasons.

The first one is obviously the better education and quality of life they receive, with meal benefits, health checks, and a lower tendency to drop out of school. These benefits are maximized by the on-site presence of volunteering local programme managers, who know the families and their needs.

The second benefit is on the aspirations of sponsored children. Poverty is often referenced as a trap. Poor children are not able to dream of a better future, because they do not see any examples near them, and thus drop out of school (sometimes deemed as useless) early.

Personal sponsorship, by showing that people believe in them, gives them higher expectations, and higher goals to achieve. Children of the Mekong tries to maximize that effect by establishing a regular, letter-based contact between the sponsor and the child, creating a personal relationship with long-term benefits.

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A ripple effect: the impact of child sponsorship

A local child sponsorship programme not only benefit the children, but the whole community as well. The programme is locally based and provides a small boost to the local economy, increasing the revenues of the community.  The major benefits come later once the children from the programme get a job. Their new status will give them the ability to help their family financially, such as paying for their sibling’s education or building a new house for their parents. Eventually providing education to their children, and breaking the poverty trap for the whole community.

If enough programmes are deployed, these sponsorship programmes will also significantly benefit the entire country. The reduction of poverty and educational needs gives more money to the government to tackle other critical needs, like infrastructures, while the educated children can form an elite in a variety of fields to help work on these developments.

Thus, sponsoring a child has a huge impact on the child himself, his community but also his country by providing higher education and giving them more self-confidence. That solution works so well that millions of children are sponsored worldwide, but there is still a lot more to do.

If you would also like to be a part of poverty reduction in Southeast Asia, you can sponsor a child with children of the Mekong for £28/month.

Sponsor a child

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