Sponsor African Child

Children in Africa have become poster kids for charity, but they deserve more than just pity—they need real help. Many people think all they can do is donate to charitable foundations, and while it’s certainly a step in the right direction, they can help in much bigger ways without necessarily lifting an extra finger. One way to do this is to sponsor an African child.

Child sponsorship works in different ways. Some work through individual sponsorships in which donations are channeled to specific programs in education, health, or shelter, depending on the child’s needs. Others are project sponsorships, which combine several people’s donations to fund a group of initiatives in a certain community, making life a little better for all the children. Many groups work in both ways and will let you choose what kind of sponsorship you want to do.

In most cases, when you sign up to sponsor African child you are allowed to choose your child from a set of photographs and biographies. This helps you get to know your beneficiary better and form a bond even before you send in your first donation. Some people feel an instant connection to a child when they see them; others are touched upon reading their stories. Either way, it’s your means of making sure your money goes to someone who needs it the most.

Once you’ve started the sponsorship, you will be given regular updates on how the child is doing. The group may show you pictures, medical records, and school report cards to show that your beneficiary is getting the most of your donations. You may even receive handwritten letters from the child himself, or from one of his siblings or parents if they are too young to write. This is one of the most touching aspects of child sponsorship—hearing from the little boy or girl whose life you made possible, and feeling their gratitude through words and pictures.

The sponsorship group may also get in touch with you during holidays so you can send a gift, card, or both to your child. Some will even provide special stationery so all you have to do is write your message and send it in. Of course, nothing’s stopping you from sending something independently, whether or not there’s an occasion.

However you decide to help, the mere decision to help a young African is no small feat. You don’t have to transform an entire community to make a difference. Sometimes, just giving someone a hand can turn their lives around—and to think it costs little more than a fancy cup of coffee.

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