Eight-year-old Maria Natalia is from a remote village in Guatemala, where more than half of the population lives in poverty.
In many of the world’s poorest countries, millions of families can’t afford to feed their children, send them to school, or provide them with the healthcare they need.
But child sponsorship is already changing Maria Natalia’s life, and the lives of many other children all over the world - helping to provide them with nutritious meals, clean water, healthcare and education.
Child sponsorship during coronavirus
Millions of children are facing an uncertain future as Covid-19 becomes a global pandemic. So our child sponsorship programme is even more vital. We urgently need more sponsors to help us reach more children.
Usually, your sponsorship money would directly fund vital work in your sponsored child’s community. If there is an exceptional need your money could be spent in another area of your child’s country. Right now, we may use part of your donations to respond to the devastating impact of coronavirus.
Sponsor a child with ActionAid for just 65p a day and you could make a huge difference to a child in need. Together, we can make sure no child gets left behind.
What happens when I sponsor a child?
As soon as you sign up to be a sponsor, we’ll send you a welcome pack with a photo of the child you’re sponsoring and their story so far. And that’s just the start of the journey you’ll go on together.
You’ll get two handwritten messages a year from your child telling you about them and their life – they might be letters, drawings, or postcards – plus detailed updates about how they’re getting on from our staff in their country.
You can write back to your sponsored child. Over time you’ll get a new photo at special milestones so you can see them grow and thrive.
Find out more about child sponsorship, its history, our answers to your most frequently asked questions and stories of sponsorship from around the world.
Messages, photos and drawings from sponsored children
What will my child sponsorship pay for?
Nutritious meals for children and seeds and livestock for families to grow their own food
Schoolbooks, fees, equipment and even a whole new school building in the sponsored child’s community
Building wells, purifying water sources, and better sanitation facilities
Medical and dental clinics, basic medical supplies and health education
What child sponsorship can do: Purna's story
Purna is a midwife and has two daughters. Here she’s holding up a photo of herself aged 12, when she was sponsored through ActionAid.
Growing up in rural Nepal, Purna’s family were very poor - her family couldn't afford to send her to school. But with the help of her sponsor, Purna was able to go to school and fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse, then a midwife.
Purna has now helped to deliver hundreds of babies, saved many lives and cared for many more mothers and children.
Being without education is like being blind. [But my sponsor] opened my eyes. Because of them I was also able to open the eyes of my children. Education is very important.”
How is my sponsorship money spent?
- 80% of the donations we receive through child sponsorship goes overseas (whilst 20% is spent in the UK on raising awareness and finding more supporters).
- Of the 80% overseas gift, 70% goes directly to your sponsored child’s community or, if there is an exceptional need such as a life-threatening emergency, another community within their country.
- The remaining 30% is used to fund other vital work in developing countries, and running child sponsorship so that you can receive messages from your sponsored child, and hear how your gift is changing lives.