Does sponsorship actually work? International sponsorship is one of the most popular forms of donating to a worthy cause. The reasons for its popularity are many: the sponsor and child relationship that can evolve from correspondence, and in some cases, visits from the sponsor, is very special; donors can be sure their donation is going to a specific person who needs it, and are thanked by said person accordingly; most sponsorship programs are for children, and investing in children is a tried-and-true method of improving a community’s future.
Because of the bond that forms between the sponsor and the child, it is not difficult to gather anecdotal evidence of the sponsorship model working. Sponsors can receive photos of their child and actually see their physical improvement, better grades, or even improvements in their fine motor skills through the letters and drawings they receive from their kid.
But anecdotal evidence is hardly evidence. While child sponsorship is one of the most popular funding models for international humanitarian aid, there is surprisingly little research about its long-term effects in the communities where it is present.
One six-country study published in 2013 concludes that there are statistically significant impacts for children who are sponsored. Among their findings they revealed that:
- Children in child sponsorship programs complete more school years than their unsponsored counterparts
- Sponsored students are more likely to get salaried employment than their unsponsored peers
- Even small, low-cost interventions like providing uniforms and textbooks can increase school attendance by half a year
- Sponsored children are more likely than unsponsored children to aspire to white-collar professions when they grow up
We see this phenomenon at Casita Copan. The “what do you want to be when you grow up” question used to be answered with blank stares and confusion by the children who spent most of their time at old orphanage. Now, they have their responses ready, and they range from artist, to doctor, to spy.
Sponsoring a child, you will give him or her the opportunity to dream big, because they know their dreams could come true one day. Sponsor today and Change a World forever!