Where Do Your Sponsorship Dollars Go?

4 comments Written on June 20th, 2013     
Filed under: Child Sponsorship, Ground Update, Hope Sunday, Missionary Update, News & Updates
Written by Christine Buettgen, short-term missionary in DR Congo

Denee Anderson, right, with her sponsored child and his mother.

Denee Anderson, Vision Trip team member, with her sponsored child and his mother.

It was a joy and encouragement to have a Vision Trip team come at the beginning of June. We were only able to have seven people come due to required use of a small private MAF plane, but we know that God had a plan for each member of that group to be with us.

There were moments of joy and encouragement as well as moments of heartache for the entire team. The Karawa Hospital is often a sobering experience for many visitors, along with hearing about the complexities of relationships and politics within the church and other organizations. But there were many moments of joy too. Many team members commented on loving time spent with short-term missionaries David and Debbie Williams, and seeing their basketball ministry in Karawa, and making new friendships with people in the neighborhood and the church.

In addition, people with World Vision sponsored children had an opportunity to meet “their kids” and the childrens’ families. I’m sure we will hear more details of some of these visits in future posts on this blog.

After the visit to World Vision, the group brought up an important question which I would like to address on this blog, because it’s likely that you at home have similar questions about child sponsorship.

Where exactly do funds from our monthly giving go?

You are sponsoring an individual child, and the child you write with will know you through correspondence facilitated by World Vision volunteers. The money you give every month will support this child’s community, which will indirectly support the child and their family. For example, your money might go towards an agriculture project where your sponsored child’s parents receive training to raise healthier crops at a greater quantity to insure that all of their children can be well fed. In this way, your monthly giving is making a world of difference to your child.

Jerry Penick, Vision Trip team member, meets his sponsored child.

Jerry Penick, Vision Trip team member, meets his sponsored child.

Direct support given to an individual child creates many problems. If that child is one of twelve, how will the other children in their family treat them? Not to mention jealousy from other families in the community. Distribution of funds is a delicate business, and World Vision has found that giving to the general budget, which supports the Ledia Water Project, projects promoting economic development and sensitization on subjects like good parenting and child rights which will benefit more children in Gemena long-term.

This way of giving is more sustainable, more effective, and more culturally sensitive.

What other questions do you have?

The next post, I will address another question that came up: What is World Vision’s role in evangelism and Christian formation?

Let’s keep the dialogue going – the more informed we are, the better we are able to truly make a difference.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

4 comments “Where Do Your Sponsorship Dollars Go?”

As a member of one of the churches that had members on this vision trip (one was my daughter!) I can say with great joy and confidence that they saw the wonderful work that World Vision and the Covenant Church are doing in Congo! I was at CHIC (the Covenant High School Conference) last summer when the Covenant Kids Congo plans were announced and I praise God a year later to know how successful this program is. There is much to be done, but there is also great hope. 

Report This Comment

Christine, we enjoyed your article.  We are new at Winnetka Covenant after transferring from North Park Covenant, and I sit next to your Mom in the choir.  We have a relative working with Congo Kids.  His name is Peter Cisneros.  Perhaps you met him when he was in Congo.  Our best wishes for your work with Congo Kids.
   Eloise Nelson

Report This Comment

I understand your rationale for giving sponsorship money for the general good of the community, but I’m surprised that none at all goes to the child. What about the cost of the kid’s schooling, books, etc.? I’d like more detail regarding the relationship between the child and the sponsorship money. Thanks.

Report This Comment

Thanks for your comment Steve.  It’s important for us to keep up a dialogue so everyone understands exactly what is happening with their monthly donation. 

The $40 you give per month is going towards a general budget, and in that general budget there are funds designated for certain programs, for example, building schools, capacity building for teachers, teacher salaries, etc. which all positively benefit children in this community. However, there are not funds designated for providing books to individual students. WV could go through a significant percentage of their funding to provide books for every student in Gemena. And those children would have books for this year, but what about next year? And the year after that? World Vision treats your donations as a long-term investment for the future of all the children in the community, choosing community benefit over handouts to individuals.
If you, as the donor, would like to be certain that your sponsored child is receiving books for school, or another particular item, you can send a gift above and beyond the $40 a month that you have committed to. Many donors do this and World Vision works with you to ensure that gifts are appropriate to the family, culture, and community. If you’d like to help by giving a financial gift beyond the amount of your sponsorship, please call WV at 1.800.777.5777. To ensure the best stewardship of their staff’s time and resources, such gifts must be $100 at minimum or $1,000 at maximum. Your gift will be used to purchase the item(s), saving shipping and other logistical costs as well as helping to improve the economy in that local area.

It is clear that as the sponsor of a child, you want to make sure all the needs for that child are met with your donation. As a volunteer and spokesperson for World Vision, I want to be straightforward with you. I can say with complete confidence that I agree with World Vision’s approach for prioritizing funding for trainings, capacity buildings and sensitization for the sustainable benefit of the entire community.

I hope this clears things up a bit. Responses welcome.

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog