|Frequently Asked Questions|
How long does sponsoring a child last ?
Child sponsorship is a long term engagement; it consists of supporting a child throughout their childhood until his or her adulthood, specifically when they are financially and socially independent. The average duration of sponsorship is approximately 6 years, depending on the age and the final level of studies of the sponsored child.
Can I stop my sponsorship ?
You can, at any time, stop your sponsorship simply by asking, Enfants d'Asie will make every effort to find a new sponsor such that the child can continue their studies.
How are sponsorship children chosen ?
Local partners chose children for sponsorship following one principal criteria: poverty. In fact, not all sponsored children are orphans; some still live with their family, however, without a sponsor, they would not be able to go to school. In the case of a non-orphaned child, a field worker follows the family and, if it is felt at some point the family can take responsibility for the child's education, the sponsor is alerted. It is hoped at then, that the sponsor can assist another child, as there are always others who need support.
What age are the sponsored children ?
The ages of our children are between 5 and 18. Some will continue their studies past high school, when there is an opportunity for student sponsorship.
Can I choose the child I support ?
The number of children needing sponsorship is such that we usually can allow sponsors to choose the country of the child (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines), however, a sponsor cannot choose the sex, age, (child, adolescent, young adult) nor family situation of the child.
We do not speak the same language, how do we communicate ?You can write to your sponsored child 3 to 6 times per year, they will write back in your language. The translation is done by other children who know French (but what about in English, if these pages are in English, it would seem appropriate to ensure this). It won't always be in perfect French, but it will always be sufficient to allow a true dialogue!
Cultural differences can create some interesting dialogues as, for example, in Cambodia, there is neither masculine nor feminine delineation, so the translator may not be able to guess the sex of the child whose letter they are translating.
I find the letters of my sponsored child very « standard » and stereotypical...
It is difficult for some to write personal letters, more particularly when a child is of Asian background as, they are not comfortable talking about themselves. As well, the life of a sponsored child is often, day-to-day, very similar. There are rarely extraordinary things which happen in an orphanage or rice fiends. But, rest assured, the children love to receive and respond to personal letters.
Also to note, as an integral part of their culture, forms of politeness are often very common in a sponsored child's letter.
Finally, know that getting a personal letter is always a great occasion for a sponsored child. They often wait impatiently to receive news of their sponsors and treasure their photographs.
I haven't heard from my sponsored child in some time (3 months) is this normal ?
A team of volunteers at the Enfants d'Asie headquarters manages the receipt and sending of thousands of letters per year, as well, letters are often accumulated and sent together according to the country in order to lower mailing costs. Also, as can be imagined, the postal service of many regions may be limited and less reliable. All these factors can contribute to delayed correspondence.
Can I give gifts to my sponsored child? Can I send them packges ?
Certainly, once a year, Enfants d'Asie suggests that sponsors give in a gift voucher for their child. A large selection of activities or games are proposed by the fieldworkers, who we feel, know best the needs and wants of the child. The sponsor can also give some pocket money or, small gifts for special occasions; birthdays, passing an exam, etc... however, keep in mind that too many gifts can be destabilizing for a child, for comparison, the monthly salary of a orphanage worker in Laos is $20 per month.
We strongly recommend to never send gifts directly to your sponsored child. Packages can be taken by customs officers and/or there could be many obstacles preventing it being received by your child, i.e. unclear addresses, many intermediaries, lack of mobility of the Enfants d'Asie center workers to get to post offices, etc.
Do non-sponsored childrenin the Enfants d'Asie centres have the same rights as they others?
Yes, because of you! One sponsored child actually allows two others to live in dignity. The "sponsor child, of a sponsored child" are those children who live in the centers without a direct sponsor. They have the same benefits of other children: housing, food, and schooling. The only difference is the quantity of personal mail they might receive, contrary to sponsored child, they will not have letters and visits from a sponsor.
Can I meet my sponsored child? Can I invite him or her to my country ?
Each year, hundreds of sponsors visit their sponsored child either as part of a general voyage of discovery to Cambodia and Laos or, as a specific, individual visit. In the second case, it is required to request a visitor's permit in order to meet with the child; however, it is worth it, as always results in a highly emotional and satisfying encounter!
If a sponsored child is a minor, Enfants d'Asie does not permit a visit with a sponsor in his country. For those children over 18?, a visit is possible, however, Enfants d'Asie will not intervene in the organization and contact with sponsors as it is felt that this could have a negative impact on the child. When exposed to the "rich" life of westerns, it could easily cause a sense of discomfort and resentment when returning to their native country.
What is the difference between sponsorship and adoption ?
Child sponsorship allows an underprivileged child to live the life of a normal child in their community and henceforth become a responsible and contributing adult in that community. Sponsored children cannot be adopted, either by sponsors or any other intermediary in the organization.
Can I stay in touch with my sponsored child even after my sponsorship has ended ?
Yes, in fact many sponsors remain in contact with their sponsored child, Enfants d'Asie is always happy to assist in transferring letters and small gifts.