ORA New Zealand supports a child sponsorship program run by ORA Uganda. The children sponsored are the most vulnerable in a rural area with extreme poverty.
How much does it cost to sponsor a child?
NZ$45 per month provides education, health care and the support of social workers for vulnerable children.
How do children qualify for sponsorship?
Children profiled for sponsorship are the most vulnerable children in the project area. Criteria for selection are total orphans (both parents dead), half orphans (one parent dead), both parents chronically ill, the child is ill (especially with HIV/AIDS), the child is a member of a child headed family, living on the street, neglected or abused.
What education will my sponsored child receive?
Our aim is that every sponsored child can support himself/herself and others when sponsorship finishes. Education is the best long term solution to release these children and their families from the poverty trap. Tuition costs are paid for nursery school, primary school and secondary school. Older children are encouraged to complete vocational training or tertiary education. Most secondary children board at their school. We do expect them to provide their own bedding and some small boarding items; however we help out when there is a need.
What health care is provided for sponsored children?
Our sponsorship policy states that we provide basic health care for all sponsored children (that is treatment for ringworm, scabies, intestinal worms, ulcers, goitre, malaria, as well as height, weight checks, HIV testing, prescription glasses as well as sanitary pads for older girls so they do not miss class). However at present ORA Uganda pays all medical costs/hospital bills for sponsored children. They also provide food for children who are undernourished or malnourished, generally younger children with guardians who are not strong enough to grow sufficient food for their dependants. There is a sickbay at the ORA Uganda site, staffed part-time by a registered nurse.
Do you provide food for the children and their families?
We provide food for children who are undernourished or malnourished. These are generally younger children with guardians who are not strong enough to grow sufficient food for their dependants. In some schools lunch is also provided. Most secondary children board at their school and ORA sponsorship pays for full board.
Can I choose the nationality, gender and age of my sponsored child?
How often will I get updates on my Ugandan sponsored child?
Every year we will send you a new photograph of your sponsored child, a child progress report, and a project report. As soon as the ORA New Zealand office hears about any major change in your sponsored child’s life we will personally contact you.
What about the child’s family and community?
When you sponsor a child you help their family and their community. Children are a community’s hope for the future. To empower and give hope to their children, empowers and gives hope to the community too. Healthy, educated children can lift their communities out of the poverty cycle.
How well are ORA sponsored children monitored?
In project countries national ORA staff monitor the children in both their school and family situations. In Uganda children are visited at school at least once a term. Teachers of the school are met with twice yearly, and the students’ academic performance and future studies are discussed. Homes are visited once every school holidays. The home situation, family life, sleeping, hygiene and nutrition of each child are assessed at each visit. Children in circumstances causing concern (e.g. nutrition, sanitation, health, depression, moral issues) are visited more regularly.
How long will my sponsorship last?
Many factors affect how long a child is in a sponsorship project. Most children finish sponsorship when they are ready to stand on their own two feet, generally when they have graduated from secondary school, vocational training or tertiary education. Occasionally we have children who leave the project before their education is complete, such as when their guardians move too far away from the project for quality monitoring of the child’s progress. Very occasionally children are stood down from sponsorship due to disciplinary reasons or for political or administrative reasons an entire project may have to be closed. This sort of action is rare. We always try to keep you well informed and give as much notice as possible in cases such as these.
What happens when the child I sponsor leaves the project?
Through regular updates you will generally be aware that your sponsored child is nearing the end of his/her sponsorship. We always try to keep you well informed, giving as much notice as possible, giving you full details and an opportunity to write a final letter to the child. We would be pleased to offer you another child to sponsor.
What happens if I can no longer sponsor my child?
We understand if your circumstances change and you can no longer sponsor a child. In these cases we need to find another sponsor for the child as soon as we can and we would be grateful if you could find a friend or work colleague who could take over your sponsorship.
What if a child is not doing well at school?
We provide extra tuition for children, especially those who are falling through the gaps in the over extended classrooms of some third world schools. Older children who are not performing well in academic studies are encouraged to complete vocational training such as tailoring, building, catering/hospitality, mechanical or electrical.
Won’t sponsored children become dependant on aid?
We do not wish to create total dependency in sponsored children or their communities. Self-reliance is encouraged, especially in the older students; this is important preparation for life. Older sponsored children are expected to undertake work in their main vacation to self fund basic school supplies and clothing needs. Some of this work can be done at the project base. Where paid work is out of the question for some reason, a period of community service can be undertaken instead. An example could be a senior student hoeing and planting for a widow in the community, or providing labour for thatching a roof.
Can I write to my sponsored child?
We encourage you to write letters at any time of the year to your sponsored child. One of the good things about being a sponsor is getting feedback about your child and receiving letters from him or her. We need to encourage the children to write by writing to them ourselves. Our lives are very different to our sponsored children’s lives, so you need to be thoughtful in the content of your letters. Around Christmas time we will encourage correspondence between you and your sponsored child by sending you a Christmas card to fill out for your child and return to the ORA New Zealand office. We encourage the children to do the same.
What are the guidelines for writing to my sponsored child?
ALWAYS include your sponsored child’s full name on your letter and on the back of the envelope and address the envelope to the ORA New Zealand office – we will forward it to the child. NEVER put your address on the letter itself; this is to protect you should the letter get into the wrong hands. Keep your letter short - about one page – and use short sentences and words that are easy to understand. Write about things your child will be interested in, or already know something about. For example they will be interested to hear about farming and schools in New Zealand, but will know nothing about your favourite TV program! You may enclose a photograph, however we are unfortunately no longer able to send gifts to sponsored children. When waiting for your sponsored child’s response be patient! A response from your child can take three months or more because the letters have to travel overseas and may need to be translated.
Can I send a gift to my sponsored child?
Unfortunately we are not able to send gifts to sponsored children. Many do not receive individual gifts and you can imagine the disappointment this causes them, not to mention difficulty for the project workers. It is important that all the children feel equally loved and cared for. If you wish to send a donation we can channel that into a project that directly benefits your sponsored child, such as resources for their classroom. However we do encourage you to correspond with your child as often as you wish.
Can I visit my sponsored child?
We are happy to facilitate a visit to your sponsored child so that you can personally see the fruit of your sponsorship. Under our Child Protection Policy all visitors to ORA International projects must have a New Zealand Police Check before the visit can be authorised. So if you are considering visiting your sponsored child please contact the ORA New Zealand office at least three months before your departure from New Zealand so we can make arrangements with you and with the project country you will be visiting to ensure your visit goes smoothly.
I would like more information about my sponsored child or about sponsoring an ORA child.