This is one of the questions we get asked most often by child sponsors - and the simple answer is that the children volunteer.
The first thing that happens is that a community is identified as being suitable for sponsorship. After the community has been consulted and has agreed that this is something they wish to do, then all the children from that community are invited to meet with our local staff, who take photos and make notes of their personal history. These pictures and information later become the personal details that we send to supporters.
ActionAid has been working in Child Sponsorship for almost 40 years, we quickly realised that choosing individual children process could cause jealousy, so we make sure that we never single out any individual children. And all children in a community, whether sponsored or not, get to be a part of child sponsorship activities and projects.
ActionAid views the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored child and their community as a partnership. It is carefully explained to the children before they join our child sponsorship scheme that they are acting as ‘ambassadors’ for their entire community, and are representing their community - since not all the children within the community are sponsored. It is explained that generous people here in the UK sponsor them and that they have one supporter in particular who they are linked to. It is our hope that through the handwritten messages shared between the supporter and the sponsored child, the child gets to learn more about their particular sponsor (and vice versa of course!)
If you're interested becoming a child sponsor, you can find out more about child sponsorship and change the life of a child and their community today. And please give the supporter care team a call on 01460 238 080 if you have any further questions.