Sponsor a child

Children can be incredibly aware of social issues, and this was demonstrated by my colleague’s daughter just a week or so ago. While watching her favourite kiddie channel, an advertisement came up, seeking for sponsorship of children in countries that require continuous support. She turned to her mother and very candidly asked “Mummy, these children don’t look very happy. Is it because they don’t have food and toys? Can we help them?”

My colleague and her husband made an agreement then that they would try to seek for a programme to sponsor a child, and hope by this they would educate their daughters of charity and awareness about poverty.

But first, they want to know where to start.

I have been sponsoring a child from Ethiopia for a while now, through Action Aid (UK) because at that point when I started, Action Aid Ireland didn’t yet have such programme in place. My understanding of this organisation is that the money doesn’t go to the child individually but to the community where various projects to improve the living standards and education levels are being carried out. In return the organisation would send periodical progress reports (so to speak) along with maybe a sketch or two by the child.

Not wanting to sound heartless, but I’d rather not receive any of the correspondence by post. I am more than happy to receive email correspondence (this is more environmentally friendly, plus it means less cost on printing and postage) and would rather the money be spent less on administrative items and more on community projects. So far, I’m happy with the level of correspondence (or non-correspondence) that I’m receiving.

But I digress.

So where can you start if you’re considering a worthwhile project like this? Here, I am suggesting 5 organisations (in alphabetical order) that are/have Irish base which you can investigate further, of their aims, their projects and how they are helping the communities that need assistance.

1) Action Aid Ireland
2) A-Z Children Charity
3) Child Fund Ireland
4) Plan Ireland
5) World Vision Ireland

Most of the sponsorship plan requested between €20-€30 per month, and on a long term basis so that there’s continuous funding to carry out appropriate works without constant worry (and administrative duties) of seeking for new sponsors to replace those who withdraw after just a short period of sponsorship. The key here is community development, so it is a little bit of a long term commitment from all parties involved.

It is not a huge sum of money involved – one less fancy meal in town per month – but it will make such a difference to the life a child somewhere. To have basic comforts such as housing with clean water facilities. An oppportunity to education. The list continues. These, are priceless.

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