Child Sponsorship FAQs

We get asked all kinds of questions from Sponsors about a variety of different subject so we've put together the top 10 most frequently asked questions to help you out. 

1. What kind of updates will I receive?

Every summer, you will receive an Annual Progress Report detailing the health and educational status of your sponsored child, as well as the achievements his/her community has made over the past year. This report will also include an updated photo of your sponsored child. Once a year we will also send you our Child Sponsorship Update magazine. This magazine tells our sponsors all about the activities and projects that are taking place in all of our Area Development Programmes (ADPs) – thanks to your generous sponsorship donations.

2. How does my sponsored child and his/her community benefit from my donation?

Experience has taught us that the best way to change a child’s life is to change the community in which they live. When you sponsor a child with World Vision, your donation supports the community your sponsored child lives in. This support helps build education and health facilities, infrastructure, as well as water and food security projects. Over time, all children in the community will benefit from improved access to: Health care facilities, including vaccinations and health education programmes Educational opportunities for a brighter future Clean water and sanitation, leading to less disease and healthier children Better harvests because of improved farming techniques and better protection against crisis such as drought.

3. Can I write to my sponsored child?

Yes – and just like children here in Ireland – your sponsored child will be so excited to receive a letter! Your Welcome Pack contains the postal address of the World Vision office in the country where your sponsored child lives. All letters are translated by the World Vision office – yours to your sponsored child, and vice versa. Please do bear in mind that many sponsored children live in remote areas which are up to a day’s journey from the World Vision office which receives the post – and one of our ADPs can only be accessed by boat! At other times of the year such as rainy season, flooding can cause disruption and slow down the channels of communication. But we will always do our very best to deliver your mail to your sponsored child – even if it takes some months to get a reply back through your letterbox!

4. Can I send a small gift to my sponsored child?

Yes, you can. We recommend that gifts are modest and no bigger than an A4 size envelope and must be flat. Possible gifts include: Colouring pencils and colouring books Colourful stamps/stickers Football cards Hair accessories (slides, hair ties etc) particularly for girls in West Africa All gifts go through the World Vision office in the child’s country. It is not possible for them to handle large gifts for various reasons: the community’s remoteness and distance from the World Vision office. the possibility that large items may get damaged. large gifts could, and are likely to, incur customs taxes and duty which are only applied at the point of entry into the country. We cannot allocate any funds to release these items, and the cost of the administration is too great to allow the sponsor to provide the cost of this themselves.

5. Can I send Birthday or Christmas greetings to my sponsored child?

Yes! World Vision is delighted to help you send a message to your sponsored child at these special times of the year. A short time before before your sponsored child’s birthday, you will receive a personalised card to send birthday greetings to him or her if you wish. Each year you will receive a personalised Christmas card to assist you to send greetings to your sponsored child. You will also receive a card from him or her. And if you wish, you can even include photographs or drawings with your greeting.

6. How is a child chosen for sponsorship?

World Vision works with community leaders and representatives, and it is the community themselves who put forward all eligible children. We then ask the children’s families if they want to be part of the sponsorship programme and explain how it works. In most cases, only one child from each household is available for sponsorship, so that as many families as possible can be linked with a sponsor in Ireland.

7. How does World Vision choose which community to work with?

It depends on the circumstance. Sometimes a collection of villages will have approached the World Vision office in their country to ask for support. Sometimes areas that we supported in an emergency (such as drought) will become an Area Development Programme (ADP) where we assist on a long-term basis. Child sponsorship programmes are started in communities where children lack access to the essentials they need to reach their full potential, such as healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation or nutritious food. The decision to start a sponsorship programme is made in partnership with the communities involved and is the result of many months of discussion and assessment carried out by local World Vision staff in consultation with the community representatives, local authorities and other non-government organisations working in the area.

8. How long does sponsorship last?

How long child sponsorship lasts will be different for each sponsor. If you start sponsoring a child in Africa at a young age, then you could potentially sponsor that child for anything upwards of ten years if that is what you wish to do. You are not locked into a contract of any kind – some sponsors join us at the beginning of our work in their sponsored child’s community and others join us near the end (typically after 12-15 years of World Vision involvement). Sponsorship usually ends when a child reaches the age of 18 but each child child’s circumstance may be different – a sponsored child may finish school or begin to earn an income, or the sponsored child’s family may move away from the community in which World Vision is working. If a sponsor has joined us in the later years of our work in their sponsored child’s community, we will let you know well in advance when our work is nearing completion and share the good news of this community’s achievements with you. Whatever the reason, we’ll notify you when your sponsorship comes to an end and at that time offer you the opportunity to sponsor another child.

9. Am I the only sponsor for my sponsored child?

Yes – World Vision only links one sponsor with one child.

10. How do I contact World Vision’s Supporter Care Team?

You can phone our Supporter Care Team on 01 498 0800 or email us at if you have specific questions about your sponsorship. You can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter, if you have general comments or questions about World Vision’s work, or would like to keep up to date with the latest news.

And that's it! Our top ten most popular questions from sponsors. Did this help? If not, you can always give us a call on 01 498 0800 or email

If you have further questions, or if you find that there is something important that we haven't covered here, we are always happy to receive feedback and suggestions from you. Just give us a call or drop us an email.