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Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of life does my sponsored child have?
Many children enrolled in GFA World’s Children’s Centres are among the poorest and neediest of Asia. They may go hungry every day or do manual labour jobs to help their families meet their most basic needs. Some are growing up with alcoholic fathers or no fathers at all. Others are being taken care of by their grandparents after becoming orphans or being abandoned by their parents. Whatever life your sponsored child is currently living, know that through the programme and your support, his or her future will be drastically different.
What is my role as a Child Sponsor?
Your role as a sponsor is vital. Your ongoing prayers for your sponsored child are investments that have the potential to bear eternal rewards- not only in one child’s heart but also in a family, a community and very possibly an entire nation. Our letter-writing programme also provides a way for you to encourage and build up your child in a personal way. Your letters will be treasured by your child. Where possible, you’ll also receive photo updates of your sponsored child that can serve as a reminder to pray. Please note that it may take more than three years to receive a photo update.
How do I write to my sponsored child?
You can personally correspond with your child using special paper and envelopes provided to you by GFA, or you can use your own (just please make sure you write your child’s name and ID number along with your name on your name on your personal paper). Your child sponsorship packet includes letter-writing material, and you’ll get new paper and an envelope whenever we send you your child’s reply to you letter. For more information about GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Programme, visit gfauk.org/child.
What specific benefits will my sponsored child receive?
- Opportunity for education. Your support makes it possible for children to continue to go to school and receive tutoring at one of our Child Centres. Learning to read and write is one of the keys to a future of hope for your child.
- Medical care. The staff at the Children’s Centre your child attends will monitor his or her health and provide care as needed. In addition to receiving periodic check-ups and medical treatment, children also learn basic habits of good hygiene, such as washing hands, trimming fingernails and bathing regularly.
- A nutritious daily meal. At the Children’s Centre, your sponsored child will receive healthy, balanced meals. In some cases, this may be the only meal a child receives in a day.
- Hope. Child Centre staff members are the hands and feet of Christ to the students and their families, serving them with genuine love, compassion, and respect. Staff members maintain relationships with the parents and children and offer them counsel, encouragement and, ultimately, give them hope.
How often will my child write to me?
Children generally write twice a year and receive an opportunity to respond to each letter you send them. It can take up to six months to receive the first letter from your child.
May I send my child a special gift or care package?
While your child does receive a special birthday gift and a Christmas gift from their Child Centre every year they are in the programme, we ask that any special gift you would like to send be limited to paper gifts that can be posted as a flat item, such as stickers, pages of colouring books, or pictures, as there are many difficulties associated with the importation of packages in overseas locations. We also ask sponsors to refrain from sending any special monetary gifts beyond your monthly donation, specifically because large financial gifts may not be in the best interest of that child or those around him or her, especially if they are in difficult financial conditions. For that reason, it is our policy that special financial gifts will be used for the benefit of the entire Child Sponsorship Programme rather than a specific child.
How many sponsors does my child have?
Every child enrolled through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Programme has one sponsor, so that means you are the only one your child corresponds with.
How can I pray for my sponsored child?
Prayer is the most effective and precious gift you can give the child you sponsor. Here are a few ways you can pray, but most importantly, the Holy Spirit knows your child’s needs and the things he or she is crying out to Him about, so let Him guide your prayers.
You can pray for:
- Their health and safety
- Supportive families and communities
- Adjustments to being in the centre
- Them to Excel in their education
- Them to know and understand the depths of Christ’s love
How does my sponsorship impact the rest of the child’s community?
Child Centre staff members regularly visit the parents of students to encourage and counsel them. The staff members also conduct monthly meetings for parents. Staff regularly provide students with practical gifts, and some of these gifts, like kitchenware items and soap, help the family.
The students themselves participate in projects to serve their communities, like during Community Day, when students help clean up their village. They also take part in awareness rallies that help educate their communities about social concerns like tuberculosis, AIDS, illiteracy, and child labour.
All of the ministries of the Child Sponsorship Programme are rooted in the compassion of God, who loves these people dearly and cares about every aspect of their lives.
What happens when my child grows up?
Children generally graduate from their Child Centre at the age of 17. As the children approach the age of 17, they are encouraged to seek the Lord for guidance about the future. Some children go on to university or further study. Many of the children are the first ones in their families to be literate.
The Child Sponsorship Programme gives them sincere hope, education, and opportunities. Whenever reasonably possible, each child will write a final letter a little while before graduation. For logistical reasons, we are not able to further facilitate further support or correspondence between you and your child after graduation.
What happens if I must discontinue my support?
If you are unable to continue sponsoring your child, he or she will still continue to receive an education-and all other benefits- through the programme. Your child will be provided for through our Unsponsored Children’s Fund, and indeed many of the children are supported this way, although more individual child sponsors mean that we can take on support of more children through the Unsponsored Children’s Fund. For more information about sponsoring a child please click here.
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