Child Sponsorship FAQs
Have a question about how the Child Sponsorship Programme works? Hopefully we already have the answer for you here.
Revised: August 2016
What is Child Sponsorship?
Sponsorship lets you personally help an abandoned child lead a full life. Our children and young adults have a range of conditions and need a lot of care. Physical and mental disabilities mean daily therapy, frequent hospital visits and regular medication. Your monthly support as a Child Sponsor helps ensure these children receive the essential care they wouldn’t otherwise get, along with a home, proper nutrition, warm clothes, and education appropriate to their abilities.
How does the ICC Sponsorship Programme compare to others?
All sponsorship programmes generally follow a similar format. However with the ICC Sponsorship Programme you enter into a life journey with your sponsor child. Each month you have the added benefit of knowing that you are supporting a child growing up in a family environment with full-time, 24 hour care, and receiving the required therapy, medical assistance and education that will see them live life to their absolute fullest potential.
How many children are in the ICC Child Sponsorship Programme?
We currently have approximately 300 children within our Sponsorship Programme and the numbers of children coming into our programme continues to grow.
Does my sponsorship go directly to my sponsor child?
Your sponsorship payment goes into supporting the living and services costs (such as medical, therapy and education) for the community that your child lives in. This means that you not only walk beside your sponsor child on their journey, but also impact those that they live with.
Am I the only sponsor parent?
On average we require USD $550 per month per child to cover the living, medical, therapy and educational costs for each child in our care. To meet these costs, we require an average of 12–13 sponsors per child. Even though you may not be the only sponsor, our programme allows you to enjoy an individual experience. Your updates are personalised and you are able to send letters and photos to your sponsor child.
How are sponsor parents and children matched?
Through the application process, our programme allows for a sponsor to nominate some preferences. Our trained staff reviews each application and carefully matches a child to a family based on the preferences indicated.
At what age does my child exit the programme?
International China Concern does not have an age where children “age out” of our care. ICC believes that care is for life, providing care for as long and as extensive as it is appropriate for each young person as they grow up. Many sponsor families develop a personal connection with their child as they move from infancy through to adulthood. In the event of a child becoming self-sustaining and they leave the care of ICC, sponsors are notified and provided the option of connecting with another child requiring support.
What does my monthly sponsorship cover?
Your monthly sponsorship provides a safe and loving home for your sponsor child with 24 hour care that includes all of their essential daily living needs. This is accompanied with access to physical and occupational therapy, education, and medical attention as required by their level of disability or health needs.
How am I updated so I know that my sponsor child is thriving?
You will receive three updates per year that are written based on the updates made personally by your child’s direct caregivers. These contain a photo of your child and stories of what activities your child has been involved in and the progress they are making in their therapy and education – all the things that a parent enjoys hearing about their child. Once per year, you will also receive a photo of your child in the mail/post that you place in the magnetic frame sent to you, or in any place you wish.
Can I send letters, photos or small items such as stickers?
Yes, your sponsor child would love to receive letters, photos and small items from you! You are able to send postcards, letters, photos, stickers or small items that fit within a standard postage rate envelope size.
The children especially love receiving photos of their sponsor and families – many of them will stick the photos on the wall next their beds. Just as you have a chance to connect personally with your child, they also love to see the faces of those who are their sponsor “mummy, daddy, brothers or sisters.”
How do I send my letter to my sponsor child?To make it easier to send items directly to China, we included pre-printed address labels with your sponsor child’s postal address in Chinese in your sponsorship introduction package. We have also put the mailing addresses of our project locations on our website. Because the address is in Chinese characters, we have created a PDF that you can download and print. Find the label for your child’s location, print the document and affix the label on your envelope. Or you can always copy the text and print on an envelope directly from your word processing software. Follow the link to find the label you need from our Sponsorship page.
What am I allowed to say or include in my letter?
We experience a much greater freedom in many western cultures than those in China and it is easy to overlook certain things when sending items or writing to your sponsor child. Here are some very important things to keep in mind:
- Money in the form of cheque or cash must never be sent directly to China. Any donations you wish to make should be made on our website or through your local National Office.
- Do NOT send any religious materials or literature.
- When sending written cards or letters, please remember to use shortened forms of certain words that you may want to express. Use “J” for “Jesus,” “pr” for “pray or praying,” and “G or Father” for “God.” Our staff in China, who will be translating your messages to the children, will understand these terms and be able to relay the meaning to the children.
How do you celebrate birthdays or holidays, like Christmas? And can I send gifts at those times?
At birthdays your sponsor child is celebrated with a party, which is a lot of fun for them and everyone they live with. And on holidays throughout the year, such a Christmas and Chinese New Year, your child is given a present and takes part in celebration events. This is something that is done for all of the children in our care.
We ask that you NOT send gifts other than cards, photos or stickers at times such as birthdays or holidays. In China, each gift received is held at the post office and attracts a collection fee that must be paid by ICC prior to being released. We simply do not have the financial or human resource to cover the collection, opening and distribution of gifts. We also try to avoid the disparity that can sometimes be caused when some children receive gifts, while others do not.
For sponsors in Canada, Hong Kong and the USA, your sponsorship automatically includes a contribution to the ICC Gift Fund that helps us cover the costs of these celebrations and gifts.
For all other countries, you can help us cover the costs of these celebrations and gifts by making additional contributions to the ICC Gift Fund. This can be included with your monthly payment for approx. USD $1.00 more per month, or you can send a one-time payment of approx. USD $12.00. You can contact your National Office to make arrangements for this.
Am I able to visit my sponsor child? Yes, absolutely. Many parents meet their sponsor child through joining one of our scheduled China Teams. Team dates and locations can be found on our China Teams page, where you can find a team that is going to the city where your sponsor child resides.
Am I able to sponsor more than one child?
Yes, absolutely! Many of our sponsor parents take the opportunity to sponsor more than one child. You can contact your country’s National Office directly to make arrangements or fill out an application here on our website.
Can I apply to become a sponsor online?
Yes, many of our sponsor parents apply here on our website. Alternatively, you can contact your local National Office and a paper-based application form will be forwarded to you.
Who is my ICC contact person? How do I contact them?
ICC’s Sponsorship Department is based in the United Kingdom, and may be contacted during general UK office hours. You are also able to directly contact the Administrator of their local National Office who may be available at more convenient times for you.
c/o International China Concern
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