I’ve been asked a number of times, ‘why child sponsorship? Aren’t there lots of charities doing that? Is it fair to the other kids who don’t get sponsored?’
At first, I’m concerned when presented with these questions. It worries me that someone would ask why I want to help, or if there can ever be too many people helping children. Then I realise, this is my opportunity to speak freely about the subject and potentially turn a sceptic into not only a believer, but an advocate and supporter.
So here are my personal answers to these questions, what I believe and how I feel. Further, I of course back everything up with research, usually provided by the United Nations, World Health Organisation or respected scholarly studies.
Why child sponsorship?
It brings whole communities and countries out of poverty. Bam, that simple.
Actually, it’s important to note. Child sponsorship is the act of supplying funds necessary to support a child, which technically doesn’t result in anything aside the child (or their family) having a little cash to use any given month. However, most child sponsorship programs are not as simple as giving away cash, in fact, its rare to find ones that do operate that way.
Rather, programs are set up in order that funds are smartly controlled (to some degree) and ensure they go towards the childs best benefit. For example, in an extreme poverty scenario struck by natural disaster, a £2 a month donation will be used to feed the malnourished and house people. Whereas, in a £15+ a month direct sponsorship scenario, a child can afford to go to school, become educated, and lead a better life moving forwards.
That is one of our core goals.
It’s imperative to understand that when a child is given a chance to be educated, they will improve the situation for both themselves and the next generation. This is a proven model employed by the United Nations which you can read here. You may also enjoy this theoretical piece from the Department of Guidance & Counselling Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko in Nigeria.
Across the world, the average births per woman (that’s how its measured…) was 8+ before the 1950s. Today that number is closer to 4 per woman. This is because as the western world has become better educated, and science has developed birth control, and income and has risen, families do not birth more children. In fact, in the western world the number is 2.3 according the 2017 UN data. However, everywhere else that number is closer to 6. What does that tell you? This is a clear example which displays that when education improves, incomes improve, and even the amount of children born per family drops.
Educate a child, and in years to come, their whole community will have moved forward leaps and bounds.
Isn’t there lots of charities doing this already?
Yes there are, and without them Sheru probably wouldn’t exist.
I’ll make something clear, Sheru.org is not a charity, and it does not work directly with any children. This is important to understand.
Worldwide charities like World Vision, Compassion and Child Fund – alongside thousands of smaller, local charities like Blink Now – do wonderful work with children every single day. They are finding them, sometimes lost, orphans, affected by natural disasters, or much worse. They have bases in 100s of countries around the world, with thousands of social workers and aid on the front lines. These are huge operations circulating millions and millions of pounds. These are (usually) charities.
Sheru.org however, is more like JustGiving.com or Change.org. Platforms built to bring those isolated voices, companies or individuals together to create a powerful statement. Often, this form of ‘crowdfunding’ or ‘crowdsourcing’ snowballs and builds up huge momentum, making what seemed like an impossible task become a reality – because when everyone stands together, they are more powerful and resourceful than anything in their way.
We begun this website because we believe these child sponsorship charities are in isolation. They are all fighting the same cause, yet working apart. Our mission is to consolidate these charities, individuals, and child sponsorship efforts in order that they may become greater than the sum of their parts. The result is exponential.
Currently, we work with a few select charities across two countries; preparing to bring on the rest.
So actually, for child sponsorship, no… there isn’t anyone else doing this already 😉
Is it fair to kids who don’t get sponsored?
Is anything fair? This is a toughy.
Of course, jealousy, envy, and fairness plays a part. If two children are both in need and one is given a chance to succeed at school and the other isn’t… let me be clear, it’s not fair on the child missing out, nothing about that feels acceptable. However, counter that, would it be any better to have neither of the two children sponsored in the interest of fairness? No, and quite frankly, it’s stupid.
I’m very aware that some companies, and sceptical individuals, are concerned that child sponsorship is not effective (charities who use a different model to save children will speak against it – this is simply their marketing tactics; not facts, not logical). To you I say this…
I believe one sponsorship is fairer than no sponsorship.
In life, all around us, people are chosen. Sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes for the wrong. Our focus should be on teaching the children who ARE sponsored how to share their knowledge (many of whom often decide to become teachers). Bring the others who don’t have a chance, or are still waiting for their donations, into the fold and into their home to learn. I personally know of many children, and adults, who have done this in order that their friends may learn and come to work with them later in life.
We must teach that of who is jealous and envious, exactly why they shouldn’t be. Even amidst the darkness of poverty, one can be happy for the peers in their community. I know, I have seen it with my own eyes. People who grow up learning the correct values, yes even young children, understand that when one prospers, the probability of all in their surroundings go up with them (refer back to the proven model).
Can it make others jealous? Yes. Is it hard to pick a child? Yes. Is it wrong to sponsor someone? No.
An act of love such as this can only be a good thing, despite what you may read from morons and charity sceptics on the internet.
We’d love to hear your opinion, leave us a comment and we’ll get right back to you.
You can sponsor a child today here: https://www.sheru.org/sponsor-a-child/