Above: Racheal beams with delight as she receives a package from her sponsor.
There are common myths and misconceptions that surround child sponsorship, and we’d like to clear those up. Whether you are a brand new child sponsor or a seasoned veteran, there is always more to learn.
- My child reads and responds to my letter on their own. Students in our schools do not learn English until the 4th grade, and even then many times it can be difficult to understand everything that is written to them. Teachers become translators and go over each letter with each student and read it to them, helping them understand and also write a response.
- My sponsored child is like my pen pal. Due to circumstance like the one mentioned above, African Vision of Hope students write one letter to their sponsors per year. But, it is very possible for a sponsor to receive multiple picture updates of their student in a year. You can write your sponsored child as many times as you want, and we transport letters with every mission team that goes to Zambia, so continue writing your child frequently! They won’t be able to respond to every letter, but your constant updates and encouragement are highly treasured and anticipated. Also, when sending a letter, you may include items such as book marks, stickers, headbands, or any flat and light-weight items.
- Only sponsored children have a place in our schools. This is incredibly false. If there is an opening in our classrooms, we do not turn any child away, whether we have a sponsor for them or not. Right now, there are 2,200 unsponsored children in our schools waiting for a sponsor to choose them. Child sponsorship has been proven to make a tangible impact in a child’s life. Research says that sponsored children are more likely to finish secondary school, complete college, have a salaried job as an adult, and become community or church leaders.
- My child doesn’t smile in pictures, they must feel sad all the time because they are poor. Despite the cards that life has dealt them, our students are some of the most joyful children you will ever see. And, sometimes they are much like children on this side of the world, where getting them to smile and pose for a picture is difficult. Sometimes, like our children, they don’t feel good or are just having a bad day. Other times, their culture has trained them not to smile for pictures. Our staff try hard to make picture day fun, asking them to “sekalayla” (smile), and use their own smiles to bring out the children’s.
- I can’t make a difference in a child’s life because I can’t afford $37 a month. This is the biggest myth of all. One thing you can do that does not cost anything is pray. Pray for the children in our schools to stay healthy and safe, and pray that they grow strong in their studies and in their faith. Also, becoming a “Hope Legacy” giving partner, a program that provides for other needs such as feeding and treating the medical needs of all the children in our schools, starts at $25 a month. You can do this HERE.
Your gift of sponsorship can change a child’s life forever.