Orphan Child Sponsorship
There are many places online where caring people can sponsor children. Usually, for a small monthly fee, you’ll receive a picture of a child and a few simple facts. Contact is minimal—but still you are helping to improve a life. Your sponsored child’s face on your refrigerator reminds you of this.
At the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission, we’d like to create a more personal experience for both our children and their sponsors. We believe connection is what our kids need most, more than money, more than gifts. They need to know that someone cares.
Our children come from a multitude of backgrounds, some with at least one parent or other family member, some with no one outside the Mission gates. Those with surviving relatives often maintain some level of contact with their families. These bonds are encouraged by us, as we know how important a sense of family is to a child’s development. And so we’re looking for people who care. Supportive, champions to encourage and connect with our kids. These are the kinds of people we intend to involve in our child sponsorship program.
It doesn’t cost much to support a child in India. Just $1 a day is all we need. This may not seem like much money to you, but as you read on hopefully you will be able to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ we can do so much for so little.
A Lasting Commitment To Our Children
If you are thinking of getting involved in our orphan child sponsorship program, we ask you to consider carefully the commitment you are willing to make. Our hope is: sponsors will become part of our children’s lives. They will not simply give money. They will write letters, send pictures, occasionally call, share family stories, build a bond that will enrich both your life and your sponsored child’s life. After so much abandonment, we are hopeful these bonds can become a vital force that helps guide our children into adulthood, perhaps surviving for a lifetime. For this reason, we ask all prospective sponsors to think carefully before getting involved. A small group of committed individuals is what we are looking for and we hope you’ll join us by becoming a mentor, friend and extended member of the Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission family.
Benefits To The Kids
We want to be very clear that 100% of all funds raised in sponsorship for our children is used for our children. There are no admin fees, salaries or hidden costs involved. The pie chart below outlines where the funds will be used from our sponsorship program as well as a good estimate of how much will go to each area:
How It Works
- Talk with us. The easiest way to do this is to submit a First Step Form (at the bottom of this page). If you have been out here before and have someone in mind who you would like to sponsor just let us know.
- Once we have worked out with you which of our children you will be sponsoring, we will send you a profile of that child. The information we send you will help you understand more about your child, where they have come from, and what they are passionate about. This should happen within a few days of submitting your First Step Form.
- Start your Paypal sponsorship payments, you will find a link for this at the bottom of your child’s profile.
- We will set up (if convenient for you) a Skype/phone call with your child where our Sponsorship Supervisor will introduce your child to you and you can introduce yourself to them. Within 4 to 10 weeks you should get your first letter from your child. Because of problems with international mail, we will send you a scanned copy in addition to a hard copy of each communication (just in case the hard copy gets lost in the mail).
Sending Presents To The Children
Like any parent, we want to be careful with what we give to our children. While we want them to feel loved by you, and gift giving is a great way to do that, we also need to be sensitive to the fact that not all of our children have sponsors. For those that do, not all sponsors give gifts. For this reason, we suggest that the best gifts you can give to your sponsored child are things that don’t cost much of anything; letters, photos, Skype calls and the like. When presents are called for, here are a few suggestions and the local Indian cost associated with each item. Please make sure to be in contact with our Child Sponsorship Supervisor before purchasing anything.
Where To Begin
The very first step is to submit our First Step Form which can be found below. After this we will be in contact with you, introduce you to the child we feel best would fit your family and send you a link to get your PayPal payments set up. Almost immediately we will try to arrange a Skype or phone call to your child so that you can both begin to get to know each other.
Taking The First Step
First Step Form
Child Sponsorship Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline and provide information about The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission (GSAM) Child Sponsorship Program to current and potential sponsors. Our intention is to achieve a sponsorship program that is richly fulfilling for both child and sponsor; providing the child with a dedicated, long-term relationship that goes well beyond a monthly.financial donation.
This is a new project as of May 2014. Any prior sponsorships or sponsorship-type donations are not considered to be a part of this program unless discussed otherwise. While we appreciate all interest in our work and our kids, please understand that sponsors will be selected carefully. Priority will be given to those supporters with previous connections to the Mission as well as individuals referred by trusted friends.
Please read and consider the information detailed below before submitting your application for sponsorship.
What would my commitment as a sponsor be?
We are asking for a two-fold commitment from our child sponsors.
Financially, we are asking you to provide a monthly investment which will cover the total operating expenses for your sponsored child.
The yearly financial commitment is US$360.
An example of the things your sponsorship will cover:
- Food and everyday living costs for your child.
- Educational expenses including school books, stationary and your child’s share of the total educational expenses of our school.
- General medical expenses.
- A portion of the maintenance costs for our sanitation and water filtration systems.
On top of this financial commitment, we are asking you to enter into a long-term relationship with your sponsored child.
Some examples of what we would expect from you in this relationship:
- Letters to your child several times each year (by email or post).
- Birthday and Christmas cards (by email or post).
- An occasional supervised Skype or phone call (perhaps on their birthday).
We intend the communication between you and your sponsor child to be two way, so you can expect the same in return.
The ultimate intention of the commitment we ask of you is to provide the children with a sense of relationship with a caring individual outside the Mission gates.
How much does it cost to sponsor a child?
US$30 per month is the sponsorship cost per child.[/fusion_slide]
How long do I sponsor the child for?
Ideally, we ask sponsors to commit to the program for as long as their sponsored child is within our care. In many cases, a child will leave our the Mission between the ages of 18-23 which goes beyond the age the child legally becomes an adult.
Circumstances occasionally arise in which a child will leave our care before this age, or desire to stay within our care for longer. Should this occur, we will contact the sponsor as soon as possible and work things out on an individual basis.
You can terminate your child sponsorship agreement at any time but we request that you provide us with prior notice when possible.
How do I apply to sponsor a child?
To sponsor one or more of our children you are required to fill out the First Step Form on our website.
Once you have submitted the form one of our staff members will be in contact with you to discuss things further.
What is the payment process for child sponsorship?
Usually, payments will be made on a monthly basis though annual payments can be arranged on request.
All our sponsorship payments must come through PayPal to our Child Sponsorship account.
You can pay into this account directly using a credit card or set up monthly direct debits from your own PayPal account.
Paypal is extremely safe and secure. If you need help with setting up Paypal payments please take a look here.
How do I terminate my child sponsorship?
We will require written notice from you in regards to terminating your child sponsorship, This can be done via email.
We ask for at least 1 month’s notice of your decision to terminate your child sponsorship if possible.
Will I be the only person sponsoring my child/children?
We intend for each child to have only one sponsor, and we hope in the case of siblings, for them to share a sponsor whenever possible.
One sponsor per child is key to generating the rewarding relationship to both parties that we wish to achieve from this process.
How do I contact my sponsor child?
All contact between our children and sponsor will be under the supervision of our Child Sponsorship Supervisor. This must be maintained for child safety and welfare purposes.
Contact can be submitted via email with attachments or through the post.
Will the child contact me?
Yes. We intend the sponsorship program to be interactive between sponsor and child. You will receive letters, emails and photographs from your sponsored child.
Can I contact my child directly?
No. As long as they are under our care we do not feel comfortable with our children having contact/relationship with their sponsors outside of our supervision. This includes things like Skype, email, phone, Facebook or sending money/gifts. There are many potential problems that could come as a result of an unsupervised relationship: inappropriate behavior, begging and the obvious safety issues. For this reason we ask that you as the sponsor take the responsibility to ensure that unsupervised contact does not happen. If any of our children try to contact you in a way that breaches this policy we ask that you let us know.
Can I chose which child/children I sponsor?
Initially this program is being offered to previous volunteers and yes, they will be able to chose the children that they sponsor.
As a sponsor that has never visited the mission and is referred to us, we will help you to find a child based upon your answers to our questions in the First Step Form and our understanding of your family situation.
Once all our children are sponsored, new sponsors will be contacted and assigned if/when an existing Child Sponsor terminates their Sponsorship Agreement.
There are other ways to donate to the mission if committed relationship is not what you are after or you find yourself on a waiting list for an indefinite period of time.
What specifically will my sponsorship money go towards?
We want to be very clear that 100% of all funds raised in sponsorship for our children is used for our children. There are no admin fees, salaries or hidden costs involved.
Can I send my child additional money/gifts?
Yes. But it is essential that this is first discussed with our Child Sponsorship Supervisor. Gifts need to be appropriate and reasonable so as not to generate competition or jealousy between children. If you are considering a larger donation, please notify the Sponsorship Supervisor and discuss it.
Is there anything that I cannot send to my sponsored child?
All gifts or contact with your sponsored child needs to be done through our Child Sponsorship Supervisor. There might be certain things that we think are not appropriate or the best idea for our kids. We ask that you respect all decisions made in this regard and know that our kids welfare is our top priority.
Do I need to be a Christian to sponsor a child?
No. You do not need to be a Christian to sponsor a child but we request that you respect the values of all religions in your communications with our children.
For more information about our Christianity click here.
What other information can I receive/subscribe to in order to keep track of how my investment is making a difference?
There are several outlets of communication that you can subscribe to from the mission:
- The Child Sponsorship Newsletter which you will be subscribed to upon becoming a sponsor (you can unsubscribe at any time).
- Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter here on our website.
- Add us on Facebook.
- Follow us on Twitter.
Can I visit my sponsor child?
Yes. We would love for our sponsors to come out and see their child and how they are doing.
All intended visitors to the mission must apply via the Volunteer Application Form on our website. This is our portal for managing visits from all volunteers and visitors.
Can I get a receipt for my donations?
Yes, upon request we can easily provide you with a receipt upon request. You will also get an automatic invoice from Paypal.
Are my payments tax deductible?
At this time, we are not able to offer tax-deductible receipts though this is something that we hope to establish in the future.