Ever considered Child Sponsorship?

Last week, I went to London to meet some lovely people from Action Aid. Action Aid is a charity that supports communities in over 40 countries to leave poverty behind. Their focus is to work with women, educate children, develop communities and respond to emergencies. They support communities by organising child sponsorship.

In a funky little coffee shop in Farringdon I met Enrico, who works for emergency team of Action Aid in Kenya. Enrico’s job is varied; he is responsible for distributing food to communities affected by drought. Food is distributed via schools and in return the schools must waiver school fees. The aim is keep people in their communities, by supporting them there, so they have less reason to head to refugee camps. Enrico and his team also work pro-actively with an eye on the future; supporting communities in longterm sustainable income. He identifies communities needing support and then spends days and weeks with the community. Listening to their issues and aims. He and his team make an assessment of what solutions and resources the community might need or may have.

What I didn’t appreciate about child sponsorship, it’s actually about sponsoring whole communities. While you connect with a particular child, Action Aid use the sponsorship to support the entire community. That might be a water project or income generating opportunities for women. Because from 40 years of experience they know what works. I think it’s a great way to teach a child here about life elsewhere, child sponsorship enables your child to make a direct connection.

Enrico is a very committed individual but the thing that drives him on; is he was a sponsored child. Child Sponsorship enabled to him to be fed and educated and he has taken the advantages given to him through sponsorship and given back to people and communities. You can’t help but like him for that.

Enrico in his Graduation Robes.


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This isn’t a sponsored post but Action Aid did support my travel and brought me tea and a cake, regular readers know I like tea and cake but I also like empowering people to kick poverty.

15 Comments

  1. headinbook

    We sponsored a child through ActionAid when I was younger. I do remember pleading with my parents to let him and his family come and live in our garden, and being utterly unable to comprehend why they wouldn’t agree to it.

    We now have sponsorships in the names of our three-my lovely mum did it as an alternative baby gift. The older two are starting to be able to understand, and the photos and letters help them to contextualise the idea of supporting others. I await the garden conversation….

    I realise the above sounds like it’s all about the sponsor rather than the sponsee, which isn’t what I mean. The fundamental point is obviously the excellent, long term work with ActionAid do in these communities, but I like the emphasis they (and their fellow charities who work with sponsorship) put on bringing something as huge and intractable as global poverty and inequality down to a personal level.

    1. helloitsgemma

      It’s a lovely comment and it doesn’t sounds about the sponsor- it clearly illustrates how children perceive the world and being told you sponsor a child who needs some extra help – the obvious reaction for a child would be to do something more practical. Thank you XX

  2. michelletwinmum

    Yep, we sponsor two children, I just wrote to them on Friday and have done their Christmas gifts today. It is so worthwhile and such a valuable thing for our children to be involved with. Mich x

  3. Elsie Anderton

    Enricho (and you) are pretty amazing.
    I think sponsoring a child not only brings massive benefits to the child & community, but also massive awareness and better understanding to my own daughter. We’ve been sponsoring a girl in Myanmar (Burma) for two years. My daughter has become her penfriend.

  4. Perfecting Pru

    I was asked to attend the Action Aid meeting, but couldn’t get the time off from work. I love sponsoring through Action Aid. What a great post. Maybe I’ll get to meet you at another meeting (great blog by the way)

    Pru

  5. Domestic goddesque

    We sponsor a little girl, in gratitude for the precious girls that we are bringing up in the ‘developed’ world. I would love to have met Enrico and see what sponsorship results in!!

  6. Jacq

    I don’t sponsor a child but I’d like our family to. But I’m a bit confused about which company to go with. I mean, how do you know that the money gets to the child, etc, etc?
    Will look into Action Aid though, if you say they are reputable, they must be 😉

  7. Pingback: You're invited to a Bloggers Tea Party | Helloitsgemma

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