Why Child Sponsorship Is an Effective Method for Funding International Community Development Term Paper

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¶ … Child Sponsorship is an effective method for funding intenational community development

Child sponsorship has known a rapid growth in the number of its supporters in the past couple of decades and continues to be one of the most effective methods of support towards the developing countries.

Child sponsorship is a humanitarian method of support for children in developing nations. In most cases, the sponsor of a child belongs to a developed nation and not only that he financially supports a child, but he also maintains contact with the child he sponsors during the sponsorship period. So, the support is not only related to financing, but also to interaction between two people belonging to different worlds.

The programs involving child sponsorship can refer to supporting an individual child or to supporting a community through funds given for development programs (Brehm, Gale, 2000). Even in programs designed to fund development for children in a community, the relationship between the sponsor and the donor is encouraged and the success of the program is still presented in the form of the benefit made through the program on an individual child.

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Child sponsorship is based on an emotional connection between the donor and the child. As a humanitarian act helping children seems to be one of the top priorities on the list of programs that must be supported for helping developing countries. Perhaps specifically due to the emotional connection in aiding a child, this type of sponsorship attracts a great deal of funds, funds that help the economy of developing countries.

Although child sponsorship is directed towards a specific child and the relation between the child and the sponsor is the one that characterizes the sponsorship, such a program can benefit a whole community. Many child sponsorship programs focus on developing the facilities in a community, as it would be hard to have facilities created for a single person. These facilities benefit the community, although they are intended in providing aid to a specific child.

Term Paper on Why Child Sponsorship Is an Effective Method for Funding International Community Development Assignment

One of the most important gains in a developing program is that the community can learn how to apply the program and eventually become independent from the sponsor. Showing communities what they can do to evolve can be the best aid given to that community. Some child sponsorship programs focused on community development provide great examples to be followed by the community.

Another important pro argument for child sponsorship is that, unlike other types of donations, it encourages a long-term sponsorship, which in most cases lasts for nearly ten years (Brehm, Gale, page 4). Although any type of humanitarian aid involves some sentimental attachment to the cause, child sponsorship is by far the most rewarding for the sponsor, because he can follow his help and actually meet the person he supports and see the progress made by that child due to the his involvement. This reward and the relationship developed with the sponsored child are very important and this usually makes one continue his sponsorship year after year, providing a stabile support for the child. Child sponsorship is an effective fundraising strategy due to the flexibility of using the money due to the low involvement of international agencies.

Besides the fact that the sponsor becomes aware of the problems of his sponsored child, he becomes more and more conscious about the problems of the community that child belongs to. The impact of such a close relationship is much greater than the impact produced by media coverage of social conditions in developing countries. Once directly confronted with the problems of the child, of his family, of the community the child belongs to, the sponsor becomes more involved in the problems of the community and often maintains his support for several years, precisely because he sees the poor social conditions directly and has a personal experience related to developing countries.

The communication between the donor and the sponsored child is the basis of child sponsorship programs. Donors are encouraged to write to their child, even sent occasional gifts and children also are encouraged to write back, sent presents such as drawings they made. Of course, the agency in charge of the program must sustain the relationship between the child and the donor and it must show to the donor at all times how his donations helped improve the life of the child. This permanent connection between the donor and the child maintains a warm relationship which lasts in time and which represents more than financial support for the child.

Another side of the relationship between the donor and the sponsored child is that trough letters, photos, or even visits a special connection is build, a connection which links two different worlds and societies. Occasionally, the cultural exchange between the sponsor and the child or the child's family can be beneficial for both parties involved. Besides, as the donor becomes more involved in the charity, he can attract others attention towards the problems of the developing world, thus bringing a huge benefit for the development of the international community.

Another perspective of child sponsorship is that most children involved in such a program are living with their families and the sponsorship provides help to their entire family. If the program is focused on individual child care, then the child directly benefits from the money sent by his sponsor. Of course, parents use this money as they best see fit for the child and for the family. So instead of being an individual form of support, child sponsorship benefits at least the child's family.

There are other programs in which the money is not given directly to the child's family, but used by the organization which administrates the program and the child usually benefits from improvement in education, heath care, or food aid (Endersby, 2006). These types of programs benefit the community and help in the development of entire communities, not just a few members of a given community.

Arguments against child sponsorship state that the administrative costs are too great in the case of child sponsorship because the agency conducting the program spends more money and time by dealing with each case once at a time. In fact, child sponsorship is more rewarding than any other form of charity and through its nature it encourages a long-term relationship between the donor and the child, which eventually leads to more money earned from the sponsorship. In a child sponsorship donation, about 80 per cent of the money is spent directly on projects in the community of the sponsored child, as the remaining 20 per cent is spent on administration, campaigning, and finding new sponsors (Child Sponsorship). Although donations to a cause seem to be less costly in administrative matters, they attract less money because the donors give a certain amount of money a lot rarely than in the case of child sponsorship.

The impact of sponsorship is in most cases benefic for the children involved in such a program, as children are aided in education or health care and in most of the cases in child sponsorship programs children in developing countries need aid on more basic problems, such as the lack of food. Child support programs do more than ensuring food, education and health care for children in developing countries. They create a direct relationship between the donor and the child, providing the child with confidence that he is protected and that someone cares for him (Endersby, 2006). Of course, other issues intervene when dealing with child sponsorship, such as creating a dependency of the family on the donor, but so many families are at the lowest level of poverty that they need to depend on some help. Besides, in this aspect, child sponsorship is in no way different from other types of charity.

An aspect that is constantly debated when speaking of child sponsorship is that of the programs that involve the direct sponsorship of an individual child, as this can have the effect of "cutting off a child from its community" (Endersby, 2006). but, as proved by numerous successful programs, child sponsorship is benefic for the community and provides help in education and health care to many others, not only to the child being sponsored. This child could not have a good education or access to education unless there is a school, to which all children of the community have access to. The money from sponsorship are often destined to building schools or health clinics, or to development projects for clean water or faming which help the entire community (Endersby, 2006).

Then there are the cases of the orphans helped through child sponsorship, orphans that do not have the help of anyone else and that need support from others as their last chance.

It is important to sustain that child sponsorship is just one of the actions that can and must be done for the developing countries. The problems of developing nations cannot be eradicated through this method alone, but it is a successful method that helps many children… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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