FAQ: Considering Sponsorship
There are many children across the world, including here in the United States, that are orphaned or vulnerable. Why should I consider sponsoring a child in Haiti?
Haiti is currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with approximately 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Due to such great poverty, children in Haiti are particularly vulnerable. It is estimated that over 420,000 children have lost one or both parents due to all causes. According to the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report – Haiti, more than 150,000 children live in domestic servitude, or Restavek (subject to forced labor, beatings, sexual assault and other abuses). There are no government programs in Haiti to care for orphaned and vulnerable children leaving the burden of caring for them on the local communities in which they live.
Why do you sponsor each child more than once?
There is a common misconception that most Haitians live on less than $2 a day. The reality is that in a country where most basic necessities like rice, chicken, fuel and construction materials are scarce due to the fact they must be imported, Haitians pay much more for these items than Americans pay in the US. A single sponsorship of $40 per month is not sufficient to provide the level of care these children require. We have kept the sponsorship amount low to make it affordable for as many people as possible to sponsor a child. We allow each child to be sponsored more than once so we can provide a holistic level of care for these children, whether they are cared for in an orphanage or by one of the churches we support.
What is the difference between an orphan and vulnerable child?
The children in Haiti are often grouped into categories such as “double orphan”, “single orphan”, “legal orphan”, or “functional orphan”. We have chosen to use the categories of “orphan” and “vulnerable child” to describe the status of children under our care in order to avoid confusion. Orphans are children who have no parents at all or have been completely abandoned by their parents. Vulnerable children may have one or both parents still alive, but their parents are not able to provide the care they need.
How much of my monthly donation actually goes to benefit my sponsored child?
We commit to being a good steward of your investment and to maximizing the benefit of every dollar given. Over 80% of your sponsorship is used for the direct care of orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti. The remaining amount goes to transaction and bank fees and to fund the sponsorship program.
How will my monthly donation be used?
Every sponsored child is cared for by a local Haitian church. This means each child is not only given practical love and care, but they are also taught a biblical world view by leaders who live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In addition to ministering to the needs of one specific child, your sponsorship will also minister to a community of children and the church that cares for them. We have structured our sponsorship program to avoid creating “have’s” and “have-not’s” among the children. A portion of your support benefits the child individually and a portion benefits the group of children cared for by the church. The child you sponsor will receive a uniform for school, books and school supplies, access to medical care, nutritious meals, and shelter. A portion of your sponsorship will be used to pay for teachers and educational resources to provide education for your sponsored child as well as the larger group of children.
Can I sponsor all four (or two) shares for a child?
Yes that is certainly an option, however our goal is for each child to be sponsored at least once before other children receive multiple sponsors. This will allow more children to receive the emotional and spiritual benefit in addition to the financial benefit of having a sponsor. The money and physical impact is the same but the emotional impact is much greater.
How can I be assured that my sponsored child actually receives benefit from the money I give?
Accountability and transparency are essential to success of any charitable organization dependent upon the generosity of donors to fuel its operation. The Haiti Collective has instituted a system of controls that track the source and use of all funds from donation to expenditure to ensure every dollar received is actually spent on its intended purpose. The Haiti Collective has a board of directors made up of Godly men and women who provide direction and oversight to ensure compliance with the organizations mission and core values.
How does child sponsorship help the local churches caring for the children?
Child sponsorship works to build stronger communities where children can grow and thrive. This work is done by partnering with local Haitian churches to address both the immediate and long-term needs of families. By sponsoring a child you are making an investment in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children by helping equip and empower them to break free of the deep poverty and spiritual darkness that has gripped their country for generations. But more importantly, you are investing in Kingdom work.
How does sponsorship affect the emotional and spiritual development of the children?
The loss parents to death or abandonment creates significant physical, social and physiological issues for orphaned and vulnerable children. These issues are compounded in extremely impoverished countries like Haiti where children are seen as burdens instead of blessings. Child sponsorship brings help and hope to a child by demonstrating to them that they are valuable and worthy of love and protection. In addition to providing resources to care for their physical needs sponsorship provides resources to help build and reinforce their self esteem and sense of significance through loving and nurturing caretakers . Central to this process is the teaching of good news of the gospel – that every child is loved by God and valuable in His sight. He is Father to the fatherless.
When do children ‘graduate’ from the sponsorship program?
The Haiti Collective does not have a specific age for when a child ‘graduates’ from our program. If a child has started in our program and exceeds age 18, before they have finished their education, we try to support them, providing they are demonstrating a willingness to learn. Because of the lack of a public funding for education is not uncommon for children to begin their education when they are older than the typical starting age.
FAQ: After You Sponsor
What will I receive after I have signed up to sponsor a child?
After you sign up to sponsor a child you will receive a welcome kit in the mail with a photo and information about your sponsored child. You will be given information regarding how to write letters to your sponsored child should you choose. Each year you will receive progress reports with an updated photo of your child and a newsletter of community accomplishments.
Will I be able to communicate with my sponsored child? If so, how and with what frequency?
You will be able to write letters (paper or email) which will be translated into Creole and given to your child. Information regarding how and where to send letters and email will be included in your welcome packet. We ask that letters and email be limited to one per quarter. Also, please avoid making statements that could be received as promises or commitments that cannot be kept (e.g. “I wish you could come to America some day”).
Can I send gifts directly to my sponsored child?
It is not possible to send gifts directly to your sponsored child, except those that can be included in an envelope with a letter (e.g. photos, stickers, book marks, and the like). If you would like to provide a gift for your child’s birthday or Christmas, additional one-time donations can be given which you designate for such purpose. The money you give will be used to purchase an age appropriate gift in Haiti which will be given to your child along with any letter, card or photo you include.
What information about me can I share with my sponsored child?
We encourage you to share a photo of you and your family and to provide basic information about yourself (e.g. name, where you live, where you attend church, your hobbies, your children, your pets, etc.) but refrain from providing your physical address, email address, or Facebook address that could be used to contact your directly outside the sponsorship program. When you communicate with your child please avoid providing information and photos that would “flaunt” your wealth. Keep in mind that these children live in very impoverished communities and compared to those living in Haiti all Americans are wealthy.
Can I visit my sponsored child?
The Haiti Collective does not coordinate trips for sponsors to meet with their sponsored child. Most of our children live in remote or rural communities and due to the difficulties associated with travel in Haiti (e.g. need for interpreters, lack of reliable public transportation, potential health risks, etc.) independent travel to Haiti is discouraged. However, THC does coordinate summer mission trips to Haiti and these trips do provide opportunity for sponsors who are members of THC partner churches in the US to meet and interact with their sponsored child through the mission programs.
How long will my child sponsorship last?
We ask that you consider sponsoring a child for at least one year but your sponsorship will last until you choose to cancel it. It is our hope that the fulfillment and joy you experience through child sponsorship will cause you to want to be a long term sponsor.
How can I change the method of payment for my monthly sponsorship?
You can change the payment method for your sponsorship using the child sponsorship portal where you signed up. Simply log in using your email address and the password you used when you initiated your sponsorship. If you forgot your password you can use the “Reset Password” option to reset it.
What should I do if I need to cancel my sponsorship?
You can cancel your sponsorship from the child sponsorship portal where you signed up. Simply log in using your email address and the password you used when you initiated your sponsorship. If you forgot your password you can use the “Reset Password” option to reset it.
Who should I contact if I have questions or issues with my sponsorship after I have selected a child and signed up?
You can contact The Haiti Collective via phone at (469) 215-1590 Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org