Child Sponsorship

Nancy and NuredenI recently made the decision to sponsor another child and received a package in the mail tonight from Childfund Australia, confirming details of my new “sponsor child”, Nancy. For the last six or seven years, I’ve been sponsoring a young boy in Ethiopia, called Nureden. He’s almost twelve now, and although I don’t know him in the way you’re “supposed to know sponsor children” (aside from the occasional updates on his progress), I certainly feel a strong commitment to maintain monthly payments to support him and his family… because I can afford to.

Unfortunately I sense amongst some people in Australia a degree of cynicism about child sponsorship. At the heart of this cynicism are concerns some of the money is wasted along the way and that the idea of child sponsorship is inherently paternalistic. In his song September 10, Eddie Perfect (who I really like), also offers the idea child sponsorship somehow “picks winners” while condemning others. And yes, there are probably other organisations which may do a better job in assisting communities. But even if all those issues are true, I still think it’s great there are schemes like the one offered by Childfund Australia, where people like myself can do something to help families and communities in need. Yes, I know I could hop on a plane and go to Africa and be “hands on”, but I don’t know if I’d be very good at that, and I’m not sure how much help I could actually be.

In the meantime, I have a well paid job and I live in a wealthy country which, by and large, looks after its people well. As I don’t have children of my own (and no, this is not some kind of child replacement therapy for myself), I can afford the $70 per month it costs to provide support to the families of these two young children. I also give money, by the way, to Medicins Sans Frontieres, which I think does a terrific job in providing volunteer medical assistance to people in many needy countries.

In the grand scheme of things, $25-30 per week, is a small percentage of my income, which I’d probably otherwise waste on useless crap I don’t need. It’s a no-brainer, really.

  1. Hey I agree with you – I was especially proud of my 12 year old who is sponsoring a child – it takes about 90% of his pocket money. (So I compensate in other ways…)

    And I like the new look although I must confess I do miss the thongs…
    CB

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  2. Sponsoring a child is so fulfilling. Child poverty is a serious thing. My way to fight poverty is to sponsor a child. I sponsored a child through Children International and it was and is a great experience.

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  3. I enjoyed reading your post. Its so goood to read of a man who can feel as you do. You expressed yourself very well and you sound like a very generous man. I wish there were more men like you with the same way of thinking.If there were we might have our children all sponsored right now.Actually we dont have a male sponsor yet now that i think of it.Your a rare breed.I just started a blog myself still cant quite get the hang of it but if you get a chance go read about our children,we are a bit different in that we are much more hands on and connected to the childrens home we sponsor.It truly is a great feeling knowing that one can change the outcome of another life just by a small donation.
    I wish you well with both children,they are lucky to have you and if you ever find yourself in a position to add yet another child i hope you will consider one of the children at http://www.annamanichildren.wordpress.com
    take care!!

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