This article might help you decide where your money can go...I recommend NOT going to World Vision or any other western charity that focuses on "sponsoring a child".
The bottom half of the article is relevant to actual donations. For the non-clickers:
Imagine that you are a poor parent, struggling to take care of your children as best you can. You are trying desperately to make sure that they are fed, clothed and educated. You may have no toilet and only two sets of clothing, but you are toiling to create a secure, loving home, with dignity and respect and a sense of the values that are sacred to you and your extended family. You love doing little things that make your children happy like providing the small treats and gifts that tell them they are special. But you simply can’t make ends meet.
An option is available to you. A foreign sugar daddy who earns more in a week than you can earn in a year is willing to help out one of your children—but only if the dollars go directly to your child, and only if the sugar daddy gets to share his or her culture and values with your child without ever even meeting you. The sugar daddy will become the one who gives those little gifts. If you are lucky, your child may get to go to a school funded by a whole group of similar sugar daddies, a school with real paper and pencils and books that your public school can’t afford. (If you are unlucky, the sugar-daddy school may also teach your child that your ancestral gods are demons and that you’re going to be tortured forever in hell.)
Sponsorship reeks of colonialism, pure and simple—privileged, mostly white people using their position to manipulate poor brown people, with callous disregard to how muchfamilial or cultural disruption it may cause. Sponsorship programs ensure that children get their material needs met and sponsors get to feel good while parents and extended families are undermined and humiliated. How would sponsors feel if the roles were reversed?
We have better options, options that promote family dignity and parent-child bonds. For example, organizations like World Vision and Save the Children that now promote child sponsorship could switch instead to family sponsorship. Any communication would then be parent to parent or family to family, as would the flow of funds. Para-church organizations that seek to be aid providers (rather than just missionaries) might limit religiously themed gifts and “spiritual nurturance” conversations to families who already share their same religion. (Even still, one might question whether adding tax dollars to this equation is appropriate. To their credit, World Vision has been evolving a more multifaceted service model.) One requirement for sponsorship should be that the sponsor receive some minimal education about wealth and power differentials and how unequal relationships create risk for manipulation or exploitation.
But even family-to-family sponsorships can be disruptive at the community level because dependencies are fostered and inequalities exaggerated. (Stories here, here.) Well-intentioned governmental and nongovernmental aid programs have made this kind of mistake and many have worked to develop more effective models for pulling families out of poverty. Thoughtful microfinance programs likeProMujer offer loans and information directly to mothers, empowering financial security through work and mutual support. (Many options can be found atKiva.org, where the loan can be as little as $25.) Social venture organizations like Upaya,–the name in Sanskrit means “skillful means”—take the sophistication one step further. They provide seed money known as pioneer capital to help innovators to create jobs for the ultra-poor in their own villages.
Mechanisms like these create dignity, allowing men and women at the bottom of the economic pyramid to pull themselves and their families up. They provide a hand up to an adult or even a community, not a hand out to a child. They may not offer donors the same heartstring tug I once received from the small sweet brown child on a sponsorship letter. But should they? Before clicking the “give now” button, those of us who have been blessed with bounty enough to share need to ask ourselves a tough question:
Is the point of generosity to feel good or to do good?
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19-07-2016 10:47 #11
The Following User Says Thank You to hopeful1986 For This Useful Post:
19-07-2016 10:51 #12
There are a few different organisations. United nations child relief fund.? Project compassion. Christian child sponsorship ?? Im not sure of the names. Red Cross also, and Mission Australia. I think it is great thing to do. marie.
19-07-2016 11:46 #13
We sponsor a girl in Indonesia through Compassion, and we're happy with them so far.
19-07-2016 14:23 #14Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2013
I would like to do this but just don't have the trust that it actually reaches them. So I want to look for things I can send items of need to. Anyone have any idea if anyone does that?
19-07-2016 14:38 #15Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
The Following User Says Thank You to gingermillie For This Useful Post:
19-07-2016 18:29 #16
Operation christmas child is run by the samaritans. Its not sponsoring a child but the idea is you buy things for a boy/girl of a certain age (they have guidelines for this but it all must fit inside a shoe box. The Samaritans hand them out to underprivileged children in third world countries. Postage is $9 for non trackable or a bit more if you want to track which country your shoebox ends up in. My kids love doing it, we go shopping together and they help choose things with guidance from me of course. We do three boxes, one from each of my kids. It becomes a bit of a logistical puzzle to try and fit as much essential things inside the box, but also some nice things for the kids too. Its a bit different to what you asked for OP but my 3yo DD loves the idea of it so i thought it was worth a mention.
20-07-2016 04:45 #17
We sponsor an Australian child through the smith family. It's based around schooling and education.
Also, I second operation Christmas child.
20-07-2016 13:40 #18
I sponsored a child for many years until I went to Africa and worked as a nurse with a one of the main aid agencies for a year ( not a sponsoring one ). I ended up making an international call back to Australia to cancel my sponsorship . It's a lovely idea but issues are not as simple as sponsoring a child, building a well, a school etc. It's an extremely complex, multi-faceted issue that I saw first hand.
I think people are better off donating monthly to some of the main humanitarian agencies eg Red Cross, ICRC, MSF, Amnesty International etc.
That was my experience anyway.
The Following User Says Thank You to CleverClogs For This Useful Post:
20-07-2016 16:13 #19
20-07-2016 16:52 #20
Absolutely, we send our smith family child birthday, Christmas and random presents and gift cards with letters and updates. Smith family are great about it they receipt in how many items and everything's very accountable.
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