Day 133: the ethics of child sponsorship

So despite not being quite financially clear we have been decided that we’d like to sponsor a child anyway… not only because it is a good thing but also to raise awareness in our own children. Trouble is we’ve ended up in a weird ethical debate about the whole process and now I feel I’ve sold out and compromised a bit. This is the issue… Grassroots – child sponsorship for a primary school child is £3.50 a month, Compassion £23 a month… roughly the same stuff but all of the grassroots money goes to the childs needs, not into admin – not sure about Compassion. The big drawback…we don’t get a nice glossy photo pack from grassroots – well no, your money doesn’t come back to you – it goes to the child. That feels like the right one. We’ve just gone for Compassion though because I wanted the children to have the glossy photo and to be able to write to them and learn more about that little life all the way in Tanzania… and now that feels really selfish. So now I’m going to have to find even more money every month and sponsor another 5 through grassroots as well.


  1. Hey, we sponsor a compassion child and although i know nothing about grassroots i do know that compassion are amazing. Paul has been to various countries filming with them and says they are an incredible organisation and has seen first hand the difference child sponsorship makes to the child and families life. Paul says the letter writing is such an impt part of the sponsorship programme and in their mud huts the walls are plastered with the letters from their sponsors and photos of their sponsor, so whilst that means you pay more for that i think it has a huge impact on the family too and they really really value the relationship you build with them. Max and Milly ask about sandeep and draw pictures for him and as they get older will be able to write to him too. We are about to sponsor a second child cos we think its sooo good and i think we are going to choose a little child from Haiti with everything being so horrific there right now.
    There is a link on you tube you can watch about the moment a sponsor child meets her sponsor for the first time and her talking about how her life changed through child sponsorship ( I'm not saying grassroots aren't great, they may well be but i think that the letter part is really valuable and is as you say a really good way of teaching your kids about how other people live.


  2. I must say i'm not even entirely sure whether you get a photo or not… you might do and links etc with grassroots… totally should have found out for definate but yes we went with one there and then from Compassion… The other issue with the higher cost is that actually to support the admin of a charity is no bad thing… they need that too. We'd been getting around to it for too long so I made us sit and have a family time and choose who we were going to sponsor… Joel didnt agree with doing this but i think its important – so we have little Ester from Tanzania and she is 4. We wanted to choose someone around the same age as the children… but it is hard to leave the website and I nearly compulsively sponsored them all! Haiti children have all been taken off for the time being… its really sad as you know there'll be so much more need now but I don't think compassion know yet whether all their children are ok or not 😦


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