A sponsored child sitting on a step

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about sponsoring a child

About Child Sponsorship

  • Child Sponsorship pairs you with a vulnerable child in a community World Vision is working within. Your regular donations help transform their life and you have the privilege of watching them grow.

    You empower our community projects in the sponsored child’s community to improve their quality of life. This includes access to clean water, protecting them from child marriage and violence, ensuring they go to school and helping with healthcare and nutrition. 

    Meanwhile, you build a special, personal relationship with the child, receiving letters and drawings if you would like to. You’ll see an entire community transform and become self sufficient, all through the eyes of one child.

  • You can easily sign up to sponsor a child on the Sponsor a child page or by calling our Supporter Care Team on 01 498 0800

  • World Vision has had a Child Sponsorship programme for more than 70 years, we pair donors with a vulnerable child who needs protection and empowerment.

    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. 

  • 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 virus 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. 

  • All of World Vision's work begins with listening to communities in need. Community leaders work with us to identify the most vulnerable children and families who will benefit from Child Sponsorship.

  • World Vision only works within countries where we have our own offices so we can be sure that we can account for all the money that we receive and how it is used.

    We have audited accounts that are publicly available at any time. As a charity, we're regulated by the Irish Charities Regulator – a legal body, which oversees all Irish 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 Reports are available here

  • 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. 

  • Sponsoring a child with World Vision starts at just €25 a month. Our Child Sponsorship is community-led and community focused so for every child you help, four more children benefit too. 

You and your sponsored child

  • 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 families - have built great friendships with their sponsored children, and even visited them. You can read about Shemi and her sons’ relationship with their sponsored child, Vincent, here.

  • You'll be given the opportunity to find out how your child is doing and given regular news from their community, building  a relationship that could change both of your lives.

    How much you want to know or be in contact is up to you. 

    "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.” 

  • 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 your 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.

  • If your circumstances change and you need to stop sponsoring a child, you can do so at any time. 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. 

  • Yes – and just like children here in Ireland – your sponsored child will be so excited to receive a letter! Your Welcome Pack contains the postal address of the World Vision office in the country where your sponsored child lives. All letters are translated by the World Vision office – yours to your sponsored child, and vice versa. Please do bear in mind that many sponsored children live in remote areas which are up to a day’s journey from the World Vision office which receives the post – and one of our APs can only be accessed by boat! At other times of the year such as rainy season, flooding can cause disruption and slow down the channels of communication. But we will always do our very best to deliver your mail to your sponsored child – even if it takes some months to get a reply back through your letterbox! Read our writing guidelines here

  • Yes, you can. We recommend that gifts are modest and no bigger than an A4 size envelope and must be flat. Possible gifts include: Colouring pencils and colouring books, Colourful stamps/stickers, Football cards, Hair accessories (slides, hair ties etc) particularly for girls in West Africa. All gifts go through the World Vision office in the child’s country. It is not possible for them to handle large gifts for various reasons: the community’s remoteness and distance from the World Vision office. The possibility that large items may get damaged. Large gifts could, and are likely to, incur customs taxes and duty which are only applied at the point of entry into the country. We cannot allocate any funds to release these items, and the cost of the administration is too great to allow the sponsor to provide the cost of this themselves.

  • Yes you can! We have many sponsors who have had an incredible experience visiting their sponsored child. Making this happen requires a lot of preparation by everyone involved so we request a minimum of three months notice if you wish to visit your sponsored child. This allows our staff here in Ireland sufficient time to follow the official procedures with the World Vision office in the country of the visit. 

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

  • Yes – World Vision only links one sponsor with one child.

  • Yes, setting up a child sponsorship is a wonderful gift to give someone!  It is lovely to watch a relationship flourish.  You can set your gift up provided you give us your details so we can contact you for payment needs and the details of the person the gift is for so we can ensure they receive there welcome pack with all child details and all the updates about their sponsored child that are sent during the year.  If you have any further questions please contact our office on 01 498 0800 and a member of sponsor engagement team will be delighted to help.

  • If a child is under 18 years of age, they can become a child sponsor however, their parents or guardians would be required to sign up, agree terms and make payment etc then they can call us and we can put the child sponsorship in the minor’s name.  If you have any further questions please contact our office on 01 498 0800 and a member of sponsor engagement team will be delighted to help.

The community

  • We work with national governments and other international agencies to identify the regions and communities that are most in need and 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. 

  • 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). 

  • 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. 

  • 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. This can vary from project to project because ultimately we let the community members themselves decide. 

 Did this help?

If not, you can always give us a call on 01 498 0800 or email ireland@wveu.org

If you have further questions, or if you find that there is something important that we haven't covered here, we are always happy to receive feedback and suggestions from you. Just give us a call or drop us an email.