CHILD SPONSORSHIP FAQs

Why children?

What is child sponsorship?

What is child sponsor?

What is NCM’s holistic child development model?

How long does my sponsorship last?

How does NCM process my monthly contribution?

How does NCM child sponsorship ensure that my support benefits my sponsored child?

May I send extra gifts to my sponsored child?

How is my monthly gift used?

May I communicate with my sponsored child?

Will I receive letters from my sponsored child?

What process does a letter go through before it arrives?

What happens if I discontinue my sponsorship?

What happens if my sponsored child leaves or graduates from the program?

How can I prayerfully support the child sponsorship program?

What are other ways I can be involved in the church’s work through NCM?

Why children?

The answer starts in Genesis: “Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind.’ ... So God created humankind in his

image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26- 27, NRSV). More than 2 billion children are living in our world. Each of them is valuable because he or she was created in God’s image. NCM’s child sponsorship program equips local churches around the world to walk alongside children living in poverty and oppressive circumstances, equipping them to become the people God created them to be.

 

Jesus told His disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Luke 18:16, NRSV). In the midst of a culture that did not value children, Jesus made it clear that He does value them. Through child sponsorship and church-led child development centers, children have an opportunity to learn about God’s love for them and to learn about faith

in Christ.

What is child sponsorship?

NCM child sponsorship facilitates a personal relationship between sponsors and children, providing children with

the opportunity for education, social and physical development, and spiritual growth through NCM’s holistic child development model.

Who is a child sponsor?

A sponsor is an individual, family, group, or congregation committed to providing monthly support for a child

enrolled in an NCM-supported child development center (CDC), which is set up and run by a local congregation. A sponsor may also choose to support the child of a pastor living in poverty as a way to assist the family in meeting their child’s needs. Your monthly investment helps children grow through a holistic child development model.

 

Because sponsorship is based on a one-to- one relationship, we encourage sponsors to pray for and write to their sponsored child regularly. The encouragement provided through correspondence is invaluable in reminding children of their value, building their self- confidence, and challenging them to succeed.

Sponsorship is not limited only to members of the Church of the Nazarene.

What is NCM’s holistic child development model?

NCM’s holistic child development model seeks to simultaneously address key aspects of a child’s life—spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, and relational—through learning opportunities and age-appropriate interventions. Through this model, children gain skills and opportunities to interrupt the cycle of poverty, dream about their futures, experience God’s love in tangible ways, and grow into the people God created them to be. The holistic child development model helps children in  five key ways:

 

  • Physical: To ensure healthy development, children need support such as supplemental nutrition, hygiene education, health care, and safe spaces.
  • Emotional: Many children live with the scars of emotional trauma as the result of poverty, war, abuse, or natural disasters. Connections with caring sponsors, counselors, and local church families offer a path toward healing and growth.
  • Relational: Learning to work and play with other children, along with discovering wisdom through committed sponsors and local staff and volunteers, enables children to build strong, healthy relationships and to love and serve God and others.
  • Intellectual: Gaining an education helps children develop their minds and provides opportunities for future employment and well-being that will benefit children throughout their lives.
  • Spiritual: Local churches seek to help children understand that God loves them, they are valued, and they can experience salvation through a personal relationship with Jesus. Churches walk alongside children, providing support, encouragement, and opportunities to grow and mature into faithful disciples.

How long does my sponsorship last?

The goal of NCM child sponsorship is to help children receive the assistance they need to grow, learn, and mature into healthy young adults. In light of this goal, many sponsors prefer to sponsor through the end of a child’s secondary education (usually high school) in order to offer support from childhood through young adulthood. The age of graduation varies by country. Family situations, natural disasters, civil unrest, and other situations can delay a child’s educational progress. Occasionally, a child is not able to complete his or her program for various reasons. In those situations, we will let you know and help you  and another child to sponsor.

 

Although we encourage sponsors to create lasting relationships and support children through graduation, sponsors may discontinue their sponsorship at any time by contacting our office.

How does NCM process my monthly contribution?

Sponsors commit to giving $30 each month. Payments may be made monthly, quarterly, or annually. When we receive and process a contribution, sponsors with a valid email address will receive an electronic receipt and child sponsorship statement. Sponsors may opt to receive paper receipts and statements by contacting our office. We also offer options for automatic withdrawals through a credit/debit card or bank account, and payments can be made online at ncm.org/payment.

 

Occasionally, sponsors may forget to send in a contribution. If the sponsorship account gets behind by two months or more, we will send a letter and personal statement as a reminder of your sponsorship commitment.

How does NCM child sponsorship ensure that my support benefits my sponsored child?

Child sponsorship uses the accountability structures within the Church of the Nazarene (at the local, regional, and international levels) to ensure that children receive the promised support and participate in a church-led holistic child development program. These programs and the families of participating children also commit to meet certain requirements that provide you with updates on your sponsored child’s progress.

May I send extra gifts to my sponsored child?

You may send  at items such as paper bookmarks, stickers, and musical greeting cards to your sponsored child. However, we are unable to send other gifts. We are also unable to accept monetary gifts outside of your monthly sponsorship contribution. Additional monetary gifts can disrupt the economic structure of the child development center or a child’s home and damage the integrity of the program by creating the appearance that certain children are favored over others.

 

Although we cannot accept extra funds for special occasions or gifts, your regular contributions include funds set aside for birthday and Christmas gifts for your sponsored child.

How is my monthly gift used?

At least 80 percent of all funds received are spent on direct services and developmental interventions that provide your sponsored child with support and resources to achieve a brighter future. No more than 20 percent of funds are used for program administration or fundraising in our international and regional offices.

May I communicate with my sponsored child?

Yes! Writing letters and sending cards and photos is a way to build a relationship and offer much-needed encouragement and hope to your sponsored child. When sending correspondence, we ask that you please write in print, not cursive, to make translation easier for the  field staff. To ensure proper delivery, all items should have your sponsored child’s nine-digit ID number printed on them (example: 123-123456). Correspondence should be mailed to:

 

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Attn: Child Sponsorship

17001 Prairie Star Pkwy

Lenexa, KS 66220

 

For the safety and protection of both you and your sponsored child, we keep all personal contact information confidential, and unsupervised communication with your sponsored child is strictly prohibited. We ask that you not share personal contact information, including your email or phone number. Any communication using social media sites or instant messaging systems is also strictly prohibited. If your sponsored child contacts you through prohibited channels, please notify our office immediately. Any violations of this policy could jeopardize the eligibility of the sponsorship.

Will I receive letters from my sponsored child?

Sponsored children, with the support of their families and program leaders, commit to meeting the participation requirement of writing four letters each year to their sponsors, as well as sending photo and grade updates periodically. However, when political, cultural, or environmental conditions compromise the security of children and their families, they are unable to send or receive letters. Our office will notify you if this type of situation arises with your sponsored child.

 

If your sponsored child is too young to write, a parent or guardian will write for the child. In some cases a child will send drawings or other personally created items; in other cases, a photo or newsletter with updates may be sent to a sponsor.

What process does a letter go through before it arrives?

It can take two months or more for a child’s correspondence to reach a

sponsor. These important letters travel great distances! First, a child’s family or child development center (CDC) sends the letter

to a child sponsorship coordinator. In places where communication and postal services are inefficient, parents and CDC directors have

to arrange a meeting to pass letters to the coordinator in person. The coordinator then processes the letter, which includes translation into English when needed. Processed letters are sent on a monthly basis to the NCM international office. When the letters arrive, NCM child sponsorship staff and volunteers prepare and mail them to sponsors.

What happens if I discontinue my sponsorship?

If you need to cancel your sponsorship before your sponsored child completes his or her secondary education, please be assured that you have provided an invaluable gift to a child regardless of the length of your sponsorship. If you need to discontinue your sponsorship for any reason, please contact our office. Your sponsored child will continue to be supported through our unsponsored children’s fund until another sponsor is found. We will do everything we can to  find a new sponsor within the month you discontinue your support.

What happens if my sponsored child leaves or graduates from the program?

You will receive notification by mail if your child leaves or graduates from the program. Due to the large volume of active sponsors, we are unable to contact sponsors

individually by phone. However, if your child experiences any significant life change or event, we will contact you by phone.

 

If your sponsored child graduates or leaves the program, we will tentatively assign a new child to you. We try to stay consistent with any preferences you previously specified. However, if you desire to sponsor a different child, we will work with you to  find a new child in need of your sponsorship. We encourage you to send a  final goodbye letter to your sponsored child if he or she has left or graduated.

How can I prayerfully support the child sponsorship program?

Prayer is a vital part of the mission and ministry of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. There are many ways you can prayerfully support your sponsored child and other children in the child sponsorship program. Know that your sponsored child very likely prays for you, too! Pray for the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual, relational, and spiritual development of your sponsored child. Pray for your sponsored child’s family, community, and community leaders. Pray for the holistic child development program your child attends and for the workers who care for the children. Pray for children who are still waiting for the loving support of a sponsor. Pray for child sponsorship staff at the local, regional, and international levels.

What are other ways I can be involved in the church’s work through NCM?

  • Go to ncm.org to learn more about the work of the Church of the Nazarene through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and how you can participate.
  • To subscribe to NCM email updates, go to ncm.org/connect.
  • Stay connected through social media @nazcompassion.
  • Sign up for a free subscription to NCM Magazine at ncm.org/magazine.
  • Learn more about ways you can advocate for children in need at ncm.org/advocate.

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