How does child sponsorship work in schools?
Your school is your sponsored child’s only sponsor. Through sending and receiving messages your learners will develop a one-to-one relationship with their sponsored child, which means they’ll have a unique insight into the change they are helping to create.
You’ll also receive access to free downloadable lesson ideas & activities to help you build sponsorship into your curriculum.
We’ve learnt over 40 years that the way to bring about lasting change is to help the whole community, so your school’s donation will go to help your sponsored child and the people who matter to them most – their family, friends and neighbours.
What will my class learn?
Teachers tell us that child sponsorship:
- Increases global awareness: “As a result of the growing awareness of the world beyond the local community that we now have in school, children are beginning to take far greater interest in their world and are developing real global citizenship.” Denise Harris, Head teacher at Cranford Primary School.
- Brings learning to life across the curriculum: “Children can learn about Art, History, Geography and Politics. You can tie it into most things – it supports learning in every way.” Lowri Millar, Teacher at Middle Park Primary School
- Develops active citizenship: “As a school we have followed the developing humanitarian crisis in East Africa with much concern and the students feel it is important to create a special longer term link with a child in Kenya and at the same time support the local community where the child lives.” Nick Yule, Teacher at St Cuthbert Mayne Secondary School
As a sponsoring school, what will we receive?
Your school will receive:
- a welcome pack containing a photograph of the child you are sponsoring
- personal messages from the child twice a year
- reports and updates from your child’s community twice a year
- downloadable lesson plans, sample school newsletter and school development plan
- a free ActionAid teacher talk once a year
- a termly e-newsletter containing links to new educational resources and fundraising ideas
- free stickers, balloons and badges to help your fundraising
How does sponsorship support the curriculum?
Child sponsorship is an excellent way to build the global dimension within your school and supports a range of curriculum areas. For example, writing and receiving messages develops literacy skills; investigating your sponsored child’s community and country builds a sense of place in geography; exploring diverse cultures, beliefs and identities supports the citizenship curriculum; and planning and running fundraising events builds a variety of skills such as numeracy, team work and project management.
Can we choose the child we sponsor?
If your school has a link to a particular country, just give us a call on 01460 238080 and we’ll do our best to help match your school with a child from that country. We can also try to ensure that your sponsored child is a similar age to the children in your class if you wish, and you can choose whether you sponsor a girl or a boy.
Can we sponsor more than one child?
Yes – absolutely! Some schools, particularly larger schools, choose to sponsor more than one child. Some sponsor a child per key stage, others a child per class.
If you would like to sponsor more than one child please give us a call on 01460 238080 and we will be happy to help.
How do we write to our sponsored child?
Sponsored children love receiving messages from their friends overseas, so we encourage sponsors to write regularly. Many schools choose to send messages on a termly or annual basis, or as part of a particular unit of work.
There are many creative ways to communicate as a class with your sponsored child – you will find lots of suggestions in your welcome pack. Messages can be posted to the ActionAid country programme office where your sponsored child lives. You’ll find the correct address in your welcome pack booklet.
When your messages reach your sponsored child’s community we share them with every child so that none are singled out. They are then given to your sponsored child to keep.
At the moment ActionAid cannot process and distribute digital messages to sponsored children, as many of the communities we work with live in isolated, rural areas without electricity.
When will we receive messages back from our sponsored child?
You will receive two letters a year from your child, as well as one community newsletter and one country progress report. These will be sent to you in two mailings from the ActionAid team in your child’s country. Timings vary from country to country, depending on local weather conditions.
For more information about timings of messages from your child’s country please contact us on 01460 238080 and we’ll be very happy to help.
How much does it cost to sponsor a child?
Child sponsorship costs a minimum of £180 a year per child, which works out as £15 a month.
How is our payment spent?
80p of each pound you give goes straight overseas to help tackle poverty. 20p is used on priority activities, such as responding to emergencies, campaigning for and with poor people in the UK and finding new sponsors.
Of the 80p that goes overseas, 70 per cent is spent directly in your sponsored child’s community. 20 per cent is spent on projects at a national or regional level that deliver change for all poor people or help where a sponsorship programme can’t be run – such as in areas of conflict. Up to 10 per cent is spent on administering sponsorship in your sponsored child’s country.
How do we make our payments?
You can pay by cheque or by direct debit. If paying by cheque we ask that you make an annual payment of at least £180.
If paying by direct debit you can choose to pay monthly, quarterly or annually.
If you are a new sponsoring school we will send you a welcome pack containing details of your preferred payment option.
How long does sponsorship last?
There’s no set time, but it’s fair to say lasting change doesn’t occur overnight. Five years is usually the minimum, as the idea is that your school will see a child through their formative years, and help them as they grow up. However, if your circumstances change you can end your sponsorship at any time.
Will our sponsored child be singled out in the community?
No. We’re very careful to make sure that sponsorship is fair for all children in the community.
Sponsored children don’t get any special treatment. Any messages your school sends are shared with the community before being given to your sponsored child to keep.
We also ask you to not send gifts to your sponsored child as these can single out children, so we’ve set up a special Gift Fund which will buy presents for all the children in the community.
Can we send gifts?
We have set up a special Gift Fund your school can donate to. By giving a gift to the Gift Fund your school could help equip a playground or buy sports equipment, enabling the whole community to enjoy a lasting gift.
We set up the Gift Fund so that one child isn’t singled out unfairly by receiving a gift and we ask that, if your school would like to send a gift, you use the Gift Fund rather than sending one through the post.
How do I change contact details for my school?
You can change your school’s contact details at any time by calling us on 01460 238080, or emailing Dawn Wyatt at email@example.com
Where can I access the free curriculum-linked resources for sponsoring schools?
Your welcome pack will contain a link to a URL where all of the downloadable learning materials are available.
If you would like a reminder of the URL please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send it to you.
What happens if we cannot continue as a sponsoring school?
We hope you’ll be able to continue as a sponsoring school, but please get in touch if for any reason you are having difficulty.
There are other ways your school can help that don’t involve the same commitment.
I have more questions....
If you have more questions we’d be delighted to answer them. Please call Jan Ball and her team in Somerset on 01460 23 8080 or email email@example.com.