What Happens When a Child Isn’t Sponsored?

support kids A question we sometimes hear from sponsors is,

“What happens to unsponsored children?”

Do they have to wait to receive benefits until a sponsor is found? What if someone stops sponsoring — does that child lose benefits until a new sponsor is found?

The answer to those questions is a resounding “No!”

We have some generous supporters who give to the Unsponsored Children’s Fund.

Through this fund, children begin to receive benefits as soon as they are registered in our sponsorship program. It can take months — and sometimes even over a year — for a child to be sponsored.

Until a sponsor is found, these children receive the same care that sponsored children receive, including medical care, educational opportunities, nutritious meals, and a chance to learn about God’s love for them.

When someone stops sponsoring, this fund also fills the gap so children can continue to receive support until a new sponsor is found.

For 9-year-old Happy*, this fund helped save her life.

She lived in one of the poorest villages in Togo. Happy’s father had four wives and too many kids to care for. The children were left to fend for themselves. Happy would eat clay for lack of any real food to fill her stomach. When her aunt Dunya came to visit, she found Happy with red hair and a bloated belly from malnutrition and parasites.

Dunya rescued Happy from this situation and took her home with her to the village of Hohotoé, with plans to return for Happy’s sister. But when Dunya returned, Happy’s sister had already died.

Happy’s aunt and uncle did their best to provide for her. But her uncle is an out-of-work driver and her aunt’s business making mats doesn’t earn much, so although Happy’s situation was far better than it was at home, there were still many things they couldn’t provide for Happy.

Several months after she arrived in Hohotoé, Happy was registered at one of our child development centers. When she arrived at the center, she was obviously ill, so the staff ensured that she received the medical treatment she needed for parasites.

She also receives supplementary food through the center to help her overcome malnutrition.

And this year, Happy will start school, something she couldn’t have dreamed of at home in the village.

We have provided her with a school bag, uniforms, notebooks, slates, books and pens.

Happy is still unsponsored, and all this has been provided through the Unsponsored Children’s Fund. She waits with great hope for the day she’ll have a sponsor and will receive personal, loving support through letters.

Tutors at the child development centers know how discouraging it can be for unsponsored children when other kids receive letters and they don’t. So they put extra care into letting these children know that they are special and loved.

The tutors also pray with the children as they wait for sponsors.

They see the huge difference that a loving sponsor makes in the life of a child, and they beseech God to bring sponsors to all of the children still waiting.

But until a sponsor is found, the Unsponsored Children’s Fund allows vulnerable children like Happy to begin flourishing in God’s love with the support they need.

*Happy’s story courtesy of Bernard Gbaga, Field Communications Specialist.

17 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Sara Loggins February 8, 2015

    Are there any centers who have none of the children sponsored yet? I was browsing the children who need sponsors and found KE233 lots of children there and all have been waiting for over a year. I noticed that most are from very large households 5-8 children, so there must be lots of children in that area maybe that is why there seems to be so many from that center. Are the mothers getting any education on birth control or is that frowned upon? That is not really my question, I was just curious if there are any centers who don’t have ANY sponsored children. Are those centers top of the list at seminars and workshops?

    1. Emily Vanhoutan February 9, 2015

      Hi Sara! Compassion opens many projects all throughout the year in the 26 countries we work in. Last year we opened just under 300 new projects around the world. Because of this, there are often times when projects do not have any of their children yet sponsored because they are very new. We work hard to find these children sponsor’s as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the children you see on the website are not the only children that we have in our program that we’re searching for sponsor’s for. We also find children sponsor’s through multiple avenues such as events, concerts, Compassion Sunday, etc. If a child is at an event, they are not on the website and vice versa to avoid a child being sponsored by more than one person. We place children that have been waiting for a sponsor for a very long time (several months to over 1 year) as priority however, because we do not want them to have to wait any longer.

      I also want to address your question about education on birth control. The issue of family planning varies from culture to culture and Compassion is in a unique position to positively impact thousands of youth from high-risk areas. Each Compassion country has developed a set of guidelines or a curriculum for projects to follow. These are biblically based and teach the sanctity of marriage and the value of self. Foremost, Compassion and our church partners promote abstinence as the primary form of birth control. However, in some countries it is required by law that additional information be shared.

  2. Mollie Christesson August 13, 2013

    I would like to know about the families of sponsored kids family. Does only the sponsored child get food and medical help? What about the other kids and adults in the household?? I am sure this was addressed somewhere in the website but I couldn’t find it. Thanks, Oh and my Kiddo is Gabin from Togo

  3. Nylammeg Zurc May 29, 2013

    I am so glad to know that unsponsored children are funded! Glory to God to all these great efforts!!!

  4. Marguerite May 25, 2013

    Does Happy still need a sponsor? If so, my husband and I would like to sponsor her.

    1. Jacquie Parella May 25, 2013

      Hi Marguerite! I should know if Happy has been sponsored or not by the end of June. (Her sponsorship packet was sent out to an event.) I’ll e-mail you privately either way as soon as I know. Thank you and to your husband for wanting to sponsor her!!

      1. Jacquie Parella June 7, 2013

        Hi Marguerite! I found out this morning that Happy was sponsored. I know you were wanting to sponsor her so I’m sorry you didn’t get to but so very grateful for you and your husband’s heart for her!! -Jacquie

      2. Marguerite May 26, 2013

        Awesome! We look forward to hearing from you! I should let you know that we are Canadian sponsors. Really hoping we can still make it work, if Happy still needs a sponsor after the event you mentioned.

        1. Jacquie Parella May 27, 2013

          I am sure we can! I will let you know as soon as I know more. :)

  5. Kelly May 24, 2013

    We just sponsored a child last month who had been waiting 552 days. That just broke my heart, I couldn’t let him go another day without a sponsor!

  6. Vicki Small May 20, 2013

    @Sharon: We sponsor a boy in Bangladesh who had been waiting 22 months, at the time his packet was printed. I received it in a small batch of packets, hoping to find sponsors for each child. I kept posting about him and two other children who had waited to long, but nobody stepped up, so we sponsor them. We couldn’t stand it.

    Shakil, in BD, once wrote this sentence in a letter: “I want your love.” So direct, so clear! They all want our love; so many desperately need our love.

  7. Shannon Bentley May 20, 2013

    We were in hard times a few years ago and needed a “gap” until war could return to regular sponsorship. The Unsponsored Children’s fund met our need without our children ever knowing how desperate our situation was. They all prayed for us and now we have 5 kids and even 2 graduating this year. We truly believe their prayers have lifted us out of the miry clay.

  8. Stacey May 20, 2013

    When I felt the call to sponsor a child, I asked for the child that had been waiting the longest…… It is fantastic!

  9. Sharon May 20, 2013

    What’s the longest a child has ever waited for a sponsor? Has there ever been one who went through their entire time in the program and never had a sponsor? That would be sad.

    1. Shaina Moats May 21, 2013

      Hey Sharon! We do our best to find sponsors for children as quickly as possible, but some children do go quite a while without a sponsor unfortunately. No child has ever gone through our program without ever having a sponsor, but some do wait years for a sponsor.

  10. Amber May 20, 2013

    Oh thank God. This is such great news because I’ve been worried what will happen to my Muthenya in case I get laid off and become unable to keep sponsoring him. I join in spirit with the tutors in beseeching God to keep providing for him through me and Thank You, Lord for the Unsponsored Children’s Fund!

    1. Sharon May 21, 2013

      If you get to a point that you can’t sponsor him, you might still be able to keep writing him.

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