FAQ About Sponsoring a Child

What are sponsorships?

A child sponsorship is an earmarked financial contribution made regularly by an individual donor or an organization/company as a means of supporting children on a long-term basis.

More than 500,000 people, mostly children, in 134 countries and territories benefit from SOS Children's Villages and its kindergartens and schools.

Sponsors, through their regular contributions, help ensure the organization's financial stability so that the children's well-being, education and integration into their local community are ensured for the long-term. Money is earmarked to support a particular SOS Children's Village and the sponsor is provided one child's story from the village.

A child sponsorship costs $36 Canadian per month.

What percent is used to raise my sponsor child?

Where sponsorship funds goFor sponsorships of a child or village, 80.5 percent of your monthly sponsorship contribution is sent overseas to support your SOS child to independence and living in the community. This is a predetermined percentage that is guaranteed by our board of directors.

100% of sponsorship gifts (birthday gifts) are sent to the child's gift fund which provides your sponsor child with gifts while in the SOS Village and offers assistance as they leave the care of SOS Children's Villages.

How long does my sponsorship last?

Your sponsorship lasts as long as you want it to. Although it is our aim to establish a long-term relationship with our sponsors, you are able to cancel for whatever reason whenever you want, without giving notice. You can cancel your sponsorship either through our contact us page, or by telephone at 1-800-767-5111

How do I change my personal details?

If you would like to change your contact information you can by using the update information form. If you need to update your banking or credit card information, please telephone us at 1-800-767-5111.

Does SOS Children’s Villages provide services other than its SOS Villages?

Many villages have supporting facilities based around the SOS Children's Village itself. These can be kindergartens, SOS Schools, vocational training centres, social centres, medical centres etc. These supporting facilities are not only open to SOS Children's Village children and youths, but also to the local community. Learn more.

Can I send gifts to my SOS child?

SOS Children’s Villages advises against sending gifts as, sadly, they don’t always arrive at the intended destination. In addition to this, your sponsored child shares a home with their SOS siblings and not all of them receive extra gifts from their sponsors on special occasions like a birthday. 

What we suggest, instead, is that you send a money gift. Each sponsored child has their own savings account to be given to them once they are independent. You can contribute to this by making an online donation or by contacting the SOS Children’s Villages Canada office. This can be done by cheque or credit card and 100% of the funds go into the child’s account.

If you’d still like to send your sponsored child something, may we suggest slipping a packet of stickers or some other small gift inside a card or letter? Our children love to personalize their things and it’s something that they can share.

For further information on sending gifts to your sponsored child, please contact us.

How can I make occasional extra donations? (Such as a birthday gift or contribution to further learning)

All donations are welcome. To make a donation, simply go and fill in the online form here. If this is a birthday gift for your child we suggest a modest amount of less than $30. Please mention in preferences that you would like this donation to provide your sponsored child a birthday gift.

Often import duties and shipping exceed the costs of gifts from Canada, so we prefer donations that can purchase gifts locally. This helps provide the economic impact where it is needed most.

What do we do to protect the privacy of children?

SOS Children’s Villages values a child’s right to privacy. We do not make public an individual child's need for help and request that sponsors do the same. This is why you will not see the photo, real name, and location of any individual sponsored child listed on our website. Where we have photos of children, we have sought appropriate permission and changed details including the child’s name and/or village. Privacy and respect are important for both children and sponsors.

Can I get a receipt for my sponsorship?

Yes, we provide Canadian tax receipts once a year for your personal tax purposes. If you are a resident of the USA or the United Kingdom, please contact us and we’ll let you know how we can best assist you.

How many sponsors does a child have?

To ensure that the living costs (food, clothes, schooling and vocational training, medical care, free-time activities, co-worker pay etc.) are covered, SOS Children's Village children usually have between five and seven sponsors from different countries. $1 a day is not enough to provide a living, as well as a life for an orphaned child with no other resources.

Can my sponsored child complete further education in Canada?

SOS Children’s Villages International offers help for SOS children and youth to help themselves. Therefore we try to help SOS children to complete training in their own countries so that they are available as well trained potential employees in that country.

In some cases, further education is possible abroad, as long as the particular course is not available in the home country. In those instances, there is a proper assessment to check if the youth has both sufficient ability and interest for the course, and whether he/she fulfils the minimum linguistic requirements. For many young people, it is difficult to deal with the cultural differences, both on leaving and returning to the homeland.

Currently there are more than 15 youths from SOS Children's Villages studying and/or on working terms in Canada. SOS Children's Villages Canada helps support these youths financially and emotionally.

Do children receive financial support after leaving the village?

On leaving the SOS Children's Village facility the children and youth are paid the money that has been saved up for them either as a lump sum or in instalments.

The salary when beginning a job is, in many countries, so low that it does not cover all living costs. In these cases, SOS Children's Villages makes an additional financial contribution, to help the youth in starting an independent life.

SOS Children's Villages has started the "head start program" to help young people. This offers former SOS Children's Village children who want to run their own small business loans at a low rate of interest with flexible forms of repayment. We hope this sounds similar to what biological parents do to help their children in life.

According to which religion are the children brought up?

Each child is brought up according to the belief(s) they have taken over from her/his parents. If the parents' faith is not known, the child is brought up according to the religion which is most common in the particular culture. In many SOS Children's Villages, different faiths are represented.

Can I give a Gift of Child Sponsorship?

Yes, many of our child sponsorships are gifts. We do need to collect information about the donor (yourself) and the recipient of the gift of sponsorship, so we do ask that you call us at +1 (800) 767-5111 to arrange for the sponsorship gift.