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How it works


What is Child Sponsorship?

Child Sponsorship pairs you, the sponsor, with a child in one of the communities we’re working to transform. 

Your monthly donation helps to support the ongoing projects we’re completing in your sponsored child’s community to improve their quality of life: anything from providing access to clean water, protecting children from child marriage and violence, ensuring children go to school, and helping with healthcare and nutrition.

And while this is happening, you can build a special, personal relationship with the child. You’ll be their only sponsor, and you’ll receive letters and drawings handwritten by them (and translated by our team) telling you about their life and how excited they are about the changes around them! You’ll see an entire community transform from a place of need to a position of growth and self-sufficiency, all through the eyes of one special child. 


How do I sponsor a child?

You can easily sign up to sponsor a child on the Sponsor a Child page or by calling our Supporter Care Team on 01908 84 10 10.


How does Child Sponsorship work?

Child Sponsorship brings much needed change to more than just one child — the benefits you help provide extends to each child's family, their community and other children in need. This is because World Vision partners, plans and works alongside local community members to help build healthy, sustainable communities for vulnerable children in the world’s hardest places. Learn more about how Child Sponsorship works.


How does sponsorship help children?

Millions of children around the world need help to break the cycle of poverty. Hunger weakens them. Unsafe drinking water makes them sick. Missing out on an education can stop them from reaching their potential. And now, many communities live in fear of a potentially devastating coronavirus outbreak.

As a sponsor, you'll help give a child access to life-changing basics like nutritious food, clean water, healthcare and education.

We work with a community, establishing together what work is needed, and setting realistic goals for what can be achieved. If something's not working, we'll review it and change it. Whether it’s training people how to set up their own small business, drilling a borehole to supply clean water, or developing irrigation systems with farmers to produce more crops – we want lasting change so that communities are equipped to give their children the best start in life. Read more about how Child Sponsorship works.


How do you select the children who will be sponsored?

Community leaders work with us to identify the most vulnerable children and families who will benefit from the support of child sponsorship. And the support you give as a child sponsor goes further, benefiting all children in the community, even those who don’t have a sponsor. As our work begins with listening to the community, it's the community members themselves who decide which children will become sponsored and represent them.


How can I be sure my money gets through to those who need it?

World Vision only works within countries where we have our own offices; this way, we ensure that we can fully account for all the money that we receive. We have audited accounts that are publicly available at any time. As a charity, we're regulated by the Charities Commission – a legal body, which oversees all UK charities and their activities. We are a not-for-profit organisation, and we know that the continued support we receive is dependent on our efficient use of supporters’ money. Our Annual Report is available to view/download here.


Will my money go straight to the child?

The donation you give doesn't go directly to your sponsored child or family. That's because experience has taught us it’s more effective to use the money on projects that will benefit your sponsored child’s community as a whole, while still improving the wellbeing of the child you sponsor.


How much does sponsoring a child cost?

Sponsoring a child with World Vision costs just 85p a day, or £26 a month. And because of our community-focused solutions, for every child you help, four more children benefit too.

You and your sponsored child


What's involved for me as a child sponsor?

How involved you are in the life of your sponsored child is completely up to you. You’ll receive regular letters, photos, and updates from them, and you can write back and send small gifts if you wish.

Some of our sponsors (and their children) have built great friendships with their sponsored children, and even visited them (watch Shemi's child sponsorship testimonial to hear about her sons' relationship with their sponsored child, Vincent).


Will I get to know my sponsored child?

You'll be given the opportunity to find out how your child is doing alongside regular news from their community that will help you build a relationship that could change both of your lives. You’ll be able to see changes for yourself on your My Sponsorship account - a special place on our website with videos, photos and news from your sponsored child and their community. You can easily send messages to them on there too.

"I am so happy to have a friend in another country that I can write to and share pictures with," says Nareh from Armenia. “I am studying the Armenian alphabet. When I learn them all, I will teach them to my distant friend. I am so happy to have a friend in another country.”


How long will the sponsorship last?

We work with communities for ten years or more, and we only move out when we're sure the community are ready to stand on their own two feet, continuing their development without us. Your sponsorship will usually last until your child reaches the age of eighteen or leaves education. But it also depends on how long we've been working with that community.

We'll keep you updated throughout your sponsorship when we're planning to move on from your child's community. If the project where you are sponsoring comes to an end, or you child moves on for any reason, we'll let you know and give you the opportunity to continue your sponsorship journey with a different child who needs the support of a sponsor.


What happens to the child if I stop sponsoring?

At any time, if you need to stop sponsoring, for example if your circumstances change, you can easily do so. If you are thinking about cancelling your sponsorship, please get in touch with us, as there may be other ways in which you can continue your support. The child you sponsor will continue to benefit from the changes in their community and we will do our best to find a new sponsor for them.


Can I write and send presents to the child I sponsor?

Absolutely! This is one of the best things about sponsoring with World Vision. We've got lots of top tips and guidelines on things to write and where to send them. Click here for all the information you need.


Can I visit my sponsored child?

Yes you can, and we have many sponsors who simply can't stop raving about the amazing experience of visiting their sponsored child. Making this happen does require a lot of preparation by everyone involved. We request a minimum of three months notice if you wish to visit your sponsored child. This is to allow our staff here in the UK sufficient time to set up the official procedures with the World Vision office in the country of the visit.

For more information about visiting the child you sponsor, click here.

Please note: visits to sponsorship communities are temporarily on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The community


How do you select which communities to work with?

We work with national governments and other international agencies to identify the regions and communities that are most in need, some of the hardest places where the most vulnerable children live. We then meet with community leaders and the wider community to gain a greater understanding of the challenges and the opportunities that exist for them and we develop a long-term plan together, to break the cycle of poverty. Find out more about how Child Sponsorship works.


I just want to help a community, do I have to choose a child?

When you sponsor a child, you’re helping the entire community in order to improve the life of that individual child - and the many others. We use child sponsorship to help connect you to the community. If you don’t feel comfortable choosing, we have a ‘choose a child for me’ option on our sponsorship page.

You can also support our work in other ways, by providing a single or monthly donation to our work in fragile contexts (areas that have been affected by war or natural disasters, and urgently need our help but are too unstable for our child sponsorship programmes).


What happens to the children that aren't sponsored?

Our community-focused solutions ensure that no child is receiving ‘special treatment’ while others are feeling left out. In fact, we’ve worked out that for every child who is sponsored, four more benefit, too! When you sponsor a child, you’re helping an entire community to grow.


What about the child's siblings? Can I sponsor them too?

Usually one child per family is enrolled in the sponsorship programme. This is because sponsored children are representatives of their community and we want as many families to be able to participate as possible. Nonetheless this can vary from project to project and ultimately we let the community members themselves decide.


Ready to sponsor a child?

Sponsor a child today