Child Sponsorship FAQ

Here’s everything you need to know about what sponsoring a child means, what you get out of it and how we use your sponsorship funds to change lives.



Why is child sponsorship the answer?

The regular, long-term gift of child sponsorship means that communities can organise and deliver tried and tested methods of lifting themselves out of poverty.

Why child sponsorship makes a difference

  • We involve children in decisions that effect their lives and teach them about their rights.
  • We work in communities for ten years or so, and have an exit plan so the work doesn’t stop when we leave.
  • We work at a local, national and international level to achieve sustainable change for the poorest communities. For example, we lobby governments for laws to keep children in school, work with local government’s to source funding for more and better schools and then work with groups at a local level to keep children in school.

How child sponsorship works?

When you sign-up to become a child sponsor ActionAid will send you a photo of a child who urgently needs your help. You will be their only sponsor.

Your monthly donation will go to the community your sponsored child lives in. We’ve learnt over 35 years that the best way to bring about lasting change is to help the whole community. This ensures that child sponsorship works.

How much does child sponsorship cost?

Child Sponsorship costs €25 per month. You can pay in monthly, quarterly or yearly instalments.

What you get from child sponsorship?

You will receive two messages from your sponsored child a year. Each message comes with a short update from the field worker, letting you know how your sponsored child is doing. Once every two years, you’ll also get a new photo of your sponsored child.

Where your child sponsorship money goes?

Your child sponsorship money is split 72:28. 72% of the money goes to the child’s community and 28% is spent on campaigning for structural changes to end poverty, on raising awareness about our work and on encouraging others to become child sponsors.

What happens if I need to cancel my support?

You can end your sponsorship at any time, for any reason, without causing any harm to your sponsored child. Your child and his or her family will continue to benefit from our community programmes, which you will have helped to set up and grow.

Projects are designed to benefit all families living in the area regardless of whether or not they are part of the child sponsorship scheme.

How do I write a letter to my sponsored child?

Letter-writing is an important part of your relationship with your sponsored child and his or her community.

Please remember to keep your sentences relatively short and simple. Only a few sponsored children speak English so your messages will be translated into their local language by our field staff.

Children like to know more about you, your family and friends, what animals there are in the country, which sports you like…any of these is a good place to start!

Can I send a gift to my sponsored child?

We appreciate the gesture of a gift to sponsored children, however we do not encourage special gifts of money or goods to be sent to individual children for several reasons:

  • This might cause jealousy and unhappiness because not all of the children within the community are sponsored.
  • Some sponsors might send gifts that are unsuitable in nature or value, which might confuse or disorientate the child and their family.
  • In the countries where we work postal systems can be unreliable, and we cannot guarantee that a parcel will arrive at its destination.
  • Additional resources may also be involved as ActionAid staff would have to collect and deliver any packages to remote areas that are difficult to reach and in some cases customs duty may also be payable. These costs often outweigh the value of the gift.
  • Wherever possible, we also try to purchase items for the community locally; this not only ensures better value for money but also helps to improve the local economy.

Can I visit my sponsored child?

Yes, you can visit your sponsored child. For many people, a visit to meet a sponsored child or to see an ActionAid project is a transformative experience and the best way to see how their support is making a difference. We can’t cover the costs of your visit, but our local staff will help you make arrangements to meet your child. We usually require two to three months to organise a sponsor visit, so please do get in touch!

Is coronavirus affecting my sponsored child and their community?

Staff in the countries where we work have been adapting plans and leading activities to respond to the impact of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

In many of the countries where we work, the governments have closed schools and asked people to isolate to help reduce the risk of the disease spreading. Our colleagues have been distributing relevant information and putting in place preventative measures such as providing PPE and teaching children how to wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus

With your support, we will continue to work over the months ahead to further reduce the spread and the impact of the disease.

See child sponsorship in action!

Did you know that you can visit the child that you sponsor?

In 2016 two of ActionAid Ireland’s long term child sponsors decided to visit the child they sponsor in the village of Dharmangar, Nepal, for themselves, at their own expense. Trish and Gerry Kerr met Sujit and his family in and were in their own words “blown away” by the work that they have been supporting in the community. Watch the short video that they made on their return here:

We urgently need more child sponsors

Your donations will help provide children and their communities with nutritious meals, clean water, healthcare and education. Sponsor a child today to start helping children and communities in the poorest parts of the world.

CHY 6888, Company Reg. No. 95403, Tax No. 4732722I, Registered Charity No. 20013790

Ireland Website Design