Changing one life at a time. Child Sponsorship. Handbook. Frequently Asked Questions

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1 Changing one life at a time Child Sponsorship Handbook Frequently Asked Questions

2 How Was Orphanages for Africa Established? Orphanages for Africa (OFA) began in October 2005, after a humanitarian trip to Swaziland, Africa. Two of OFA s board members took a few minutes to pray on a bus in Africa that God would use them as He saw fit to make a difference. They had no idea what was to come. James 4:2 says, You do not have because you do not ask God. OFA has not asked God for a few orphanages to help a handful of orphans; we have asked God to help us eventually reach out to millions of orphans on the continent. With goals like this we need your support and earnest prayers everyday. What Is The Mandate Of Orphanages for Africa? OFA s role model is George Müller who cared for orphans throughout the 19th Century in England through prayer alone without directly raising funds. Müller received 1.5 million over the course of his life for the children (equivalent to 75 million in the 21st Century). The only one he ever asked for money was God, and God proved Himself to be faithful time and time again. OFA has found this same testimony to be true today as we carry on George Müller s legacy. Müller s basic aim was to have a work; something to point to, as visible proof that God hears and answers prayer. OFA partners with churches, families, individuals and other non-profit organisations in order to assist as many orphans as possible. We conduct extensive background checks on all potential ministry partners. Once we establish a partnership, we require partners to submit receipts for any funds they receive and to provide progress reports related to their work with orphans. We also make site visits to monitor their ministries. Our goal is to provide housing, food, school fees, basic medical care, clothing, supplies and the love of Christ for the children. In addition to founding this corporation on core principles of stewardship, integrity and accountability, OFA s long term goal is to develop sustainability projects in connection with all of our partners. OFA will be providing small grants to establish micro-enterprise businesses to give our African partners a hand-up rather than a handout. Frequently Asked Questions A. How does the sponsorship programme work? Every time someone becomes a sponsor, two lives are forever changed. The lives of sponsored children are changed as a result of your financial gifts. With your support and the assistance of other caring sponsors, we work with orphanages and organisations to help our partners develop the ability to take care of themselves. Your sponsorship will help make programmes possible that will address your sponsored child s (and other children s) most basic needs programmes that provide school fees, food, basic medical care and supplies. The children also benefit in ways you cannot imagine. The love you provide through a simple letter may be the encouragement a struggling boy or girl needs to make it through another day. You will see first hand how you ve given your child the chance for a more promising, hopeful future. The second life that is changed is yours. How can the photographs, letters, or drawings not touch you from your sponsored child? Thanks to your prayers and commitment, you ll have the opportunity to watch your child change as he or she grows up.

3 B. How much does child sponsorship cost? Sponsoring a child costs 10 per month. We encourage you to be faithful in your financial support and appreciate a minimum commitment of one year to the sponsorship programme. 100% of your donation goes directly to our African partners to care for the children. C. How will my child sponsorship contribution be spent? One of the most effective ways of helping children is to combine your sponsorship gifts with those of others. Your child will not benefit exclusively as benefits will be shared. This system ensures that children who may not have a sponsor of their own will still benefit from OFA programmes. D. May I choose the child I want to sponsor? Yes! When enrolling, you may choose a child to sponsor by country and gender. Currently OFA has child sponsorship programmes in three African countries: Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda. If you do not have a preference, a child where sponsor support is needed the most will be selected for you. E. Can I give a sponsorship gift? Yes! You are able to share the gift of child sponsorship with a loved one by selecting a child and entering the gift recipient s information at the end of the enrolment form. The recipient will then receive a welcome package introducing them to their sponsored child. F. Who can I contact if I have questions about the sponsorship programme? You may contact Orphanages for Africa s Child Sponsorship Programme Coordinator at or send a letter to: Orphanages for Africa U.K. PO Box 676 Cambridge CB1 0LU United Kingdom G. How long will my sponsorship last? We hope that you will want to be part of OFA s work for a considerable length of time. Committed support from sponsors will allow us to achieve lasting results. However long you will be with us, your sponsorship is very important to us. There is no set age limit for children in our sponsorship programme. A child may be in his or her late teens but still needs to continue attending school or learn a trade. As long as a sponsored child is in a project associated with OFA, he or she will continue to receive assistance. We will notify you when your sponsored child becomes self-sufficient or if he or she leaves the orphanage that OFA is a partner with. At that time we ll suggest another child who needs your help. H. To sponsor a child through OFA, must I be a Christian? OFA does not require you to disclose your faith, religious beliefs and practices. We do however seek sponsors who are aligned with our ministry approach and philosophy.

4 I. Does OFA have a child safety policy? OFA is deeply committed to conducting its programmes in a manner that is safe for the children we serve and to help protect the children with whom OFA and our sponsors are in contact. As a humanitarian organisation, we believe that all children have the right to live free of the fear or reality of any form of abuse or exploitation. We strive to create and maintain an environment that aims to prevent these circumstances and enforce our child safety policy. We are confident that our sponsors will join us in upholding this policy so that, together, we can do our best to ensure that the children we help remain safe. While the vast majority of individuals have good intentions, we must safeguard against the few who do not. We are sure you understand the need to protect the wellbeing of the children we help. J. Can I visit my sponsored child? Meeting your sponsored child can be a most valued experience that strengthens your relationship and understanding of OFA s work in Africa. In keeping with our commitment to child safety, all visits to sponsorship areas must be coordinated through OFA s Sponsorship Programme Coordinator well in advance. Unannounced visits are prohibited. Prior to visiting your sponsored child, an application, release forms and a background check will be required. OFA does not pay for travel expenses. We hope you understand that these steps are necessary to ensure the safety of the children. K. Can I correspond with my sponsored child? We encourage you to build a relationship with your sponsored child. You may send letters or cards to your child as often as you wish. We encourage you to write at least twice a year. A hand written letter is more personal; however, we will accept ed letters, which will then be forwarded to the child through the postal system. The more you write the child you sponsor, the more he or she will reap the benefits of your relationship. We appreciate your patience in receiving a response from your child as this process can take an extended period of time. L. What should I write about? OFA suggests you share a bit about your life, family, where you live, your culture, and what you do. Please personalise your letter. That makes it meaningful. Also ask your child about his or her life. We ask you to provide comments consistent with the Christian values and philosophies we share with our African partners. M. What should I avoid writing about? Please refrain from writing about your material possessions, or anything else which may stress the difference between you and your sponsored child. Another topic to avoid is politics. Some governments open letters and derogatory comments about their government and leaders could cause harm to our African partners. Also, do not include any personal contact information such as phone numbers, or mailing addresses. This is to protect your privacy as well as to avoid direct appeals for financial aid from your child. We will not forward photographs and other materials with activities that: May be considered inappropriate in another culture. Promote unhealthy lifestyle choices that go against biblically based lifestyles or are otherwise inappropriate for sponsored children. May threaten the safety of the sponsored children in any way.

5 N. What can I send with my letter? You may send anything that is flat and fits easily into a letter-sized envelope: postcards, photos, bookmarks and stickers. Please do not send money. This may create unrealistic expectations for direct financial assistance. This could then encourage the very handout mentality OFA is trying to prevent. Additionally, sending money can also create jealousy among those who are not sponsored or who do not receive money. If necessary, we will translate all correspondence between you and your sponsored child. O. Can I send packages to my sponsored child? We understand you may want to send packages to your sponsored child; however, OFA has a policy not to accept packages. High postal rates, slow delivery, the possibility of loss, theft or damage are some of the reasons why OFA is not able to allow packages to be sent. In this way, we are able to direct a higher percentage of your contribution to the sponsorship programme. P. Where do I send my letters? To protect the privacy of all parties, we do not allow children and sponsors to exchange contact information. Correspondence may be ed to the Sponsorship Programme Coordinator at or posted to: Orphanages for Africa U.K. PO Box 676 Cambridge CB1 0LU United Kingdom Place your letter in an unsealed regular sized envelope with the full name of the child along with the child s ID number. Do not include your return address; just include your name and sponsor ID number on the envelope. We ask that it is unsealed because we monitor letters for content. Post this envelope in a larger one to the Child Sponsorship Coordinator noted above. Q. Breach of policy As you can understand, we take any breach of these policies very seriously and, in the unfortunate circumstance that one should occur; we will end the sponsorship relationship. Thank you for partnering with us to change one life at a time across the African continent! To learn more about Orphanages for Africa and the humanitarian and developmental goals we strive to achieve, please visit our website at

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