FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have further questions regarding your sponsorship, please reach out to the Child Resource Coordinator.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DECIDE TO SPONSOR A CHILD?
About 10 days after you begin sponsoring a child, you’ll receive a welcome packet with everything you need to begin your sponsor relationship. This includes a photo and brief information about your child, helpful letter writing tips, and other resources. Similarly, the child you sponsor will receive a postcard announcing you are now sponsoring them! Please consider sending a picture to our office or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org so the child can put a face to your name!
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A SPONSOR?
Most importantly, you are expected to encourage and pray for your sponsored child. The children pray daily for their sponsors, and we believe it is equally important for sponsors to pray for their child.
You are also expected to actively engage in communicating with your sponsor child through writing a minimum of 1 time per year and a maximum of 6 times per year, along with sending photos.
You are expected to honor your financial commitment whether it is monthly, quarterly, or yearly. See our Donation Guide for more information.
HOW LONG WILL MY SPONSORSHIP LAST?
Sozo Children sponsorships last the duration of the child’s educational career. You can discontinue your sponsorship at any time, but we ask that you prayerfully consider committing to at least two years of uninterrupted sponsorship. Many of our children aspire to attain a college degree, and many aspire to learn a trade and own a small business. We believe walking with a child every step of the way to independence paves the way to their thriving future and sustainable growth in Uganda.
After your sponsor child graduates from our program, you can choose to sponsor another child and continue to create lasting, positive change for children in need. You will be notified before your sponsored child is expected to graduate with the opportunity to send a congratulatory letter.
If you’re interested in continuing contact with your sponsor child after he or she completes the program and leaves Sozo Children’s care, you will be given suggestions for that opportunity.
WHAT IS A SEGMENT OF SPONSORSHIP?
Children who live in the Sozo Children homes and receive Total Support care are provided 8 essential segments of care including: housing, education, medical, nutrition, lead, equip, disciple, and nurture.
Children who live with their families have up to four segments depending on their level of need to provide for education (up to two segments), health care, and discipleship efforts.
HOW MANY SPONSORS DOES EACH CHILD HAVE?
On average, the children of Sozo have four sponsors. Depending on how many segments of care each child needs, he or she could have up to 8 sponsors working together to empower the child. We believe it takes a village to raise a child, and every child seeks to have unique relationships with each sponsor.
We have found that the most effective way to help children is by combining your contributions with those of other sponsors, rather than giving your funds directly to your sponsored child. Your sponsorship is truly an investment in children’s lives and futures!
CAN I SEND GIFTS TO MY SPONSOR CHILD?
You are expected to provide a Christmas donation for your sponsor child. Your Christmas donation will be due mid-September to ensure enough time to buy gifts. Your donation will be used by the Sozo Children staff and children to shop for gifts based on their needs and preferences.
You can also send a birthday gift to your sponsor child! We will invite you to provide a gift or donation for their birthday gift either in March or July each year depending on when your child’s birthday falls.
Please read our Gift Giving Guide for more information.
CAN I VISIT MY SPONSORED CHILD?
Of course! For many sponsors, visiting a sponsored child is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can see, firsthand, the tremendous impact of your support, while making an even closer and more personal connection with your sponsored child and his or her community. Visit sozochildren.org/trips for more information.
CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY SPONSORED CHILD’S STORY?
We believe every person has a right to share their story on their own terms. This is essential to empowerment. The information you receive in your sponsorship packet has been approved by your sponsor child and Sozo Children staff to share with only you as a sponsor. Some children might be willing to share more details than others, and we ask that you respect their right to disclose as much as they are comfortable with. If you have any concerns, please contact us at email@example.com.
WILL I BE NOTIFIED ON ANY CHANGES IN THE CHILD’S LIFE?
You will be notified within our guidelines of confidentiality about updates to your sponsor child’s care such as resettlement, graduation, higher education opportunities, medical or nutrition needs, and discipleship opportunities.
HOW DO CHILDREN BECOME SPONSORED THROUGH SOZO CHILDREN?
Children are either matched with Sozo Children by Ugandan government officials, or are brought under Sozo Children’s care for emergency placement based on the assessment of our child development team in Uganda. Several factors lead to a vulnerable child being brought to Sozo Children’s care including abuse, trafficking, abandonment, neglect, “runaways”, death of a parent, extreme poverty or life-threatening medical needs.
DO ALL SPONSORED CHILDREN LIVE IN A SOZO CHILDREN’S HOME?
Depending on their need, a child may receive Total Support sponsorship where they live in family-style children’s homes on Sozo Children’s land with one caregiver and up to seven “Sozo siblings.” Children may also remain living with their biological families, and receive Family Support sponsorship in order to go to school, receive medical care, and discipleship opportunities. Family Support sponsorship enables families to stay together and allows parents to provide for the basic needs of their children. In both circumstances, children are able to thrive through the support of their sponsors.
WHAT KIND OF SCHOOL DOES MY SOZO CHILD ATTEND?
Our children are in private school year-round, and performance on standardized tests alongside assessments by Sozo’s child development team in Uganda determine which school each child attends. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DO I CHANGE MY DONATION INFORMATION?
Please see our Sponsorship Donation Guide for more details.
DO ALL SEGMENTS FULLY COVER A CHILD’S CARE?
While true cost of care for a segment often exceeds $35.00/month, we offer sponsorship opportunities for a minimum of $35.00/month per segment of care. If you are able, we ask you to please consider giving above the minimum sponsorship level. Sponsors may choose to cover between 1-8 segments for the child.
IF A CHILD WITHIN SOZO CHILDREN IS NOT FULLY SPONSORED DO THEY HAVE LESS OPPORTUNITY THAN FULLY SPONSORED CHILDREN?
All contributions to Sozo Children, along with revenue from Sozo Trading Co. and fundraising events, enable us to ensure all children within Sozo Children attend the best schools, are involved in extracurricular acitivites, and receive the best care and opportunity possible. When you choose to give beyond the $35 per month minimum to sponsor a child, you help us continue to provide for every child when unanticipated needs exceed the average cost to raise a child (such as an illness that requires extended treatment).
DOES MY MONTHLY SPONSORSHIP DONATION GO DIRECTLY TO MY SPONSOR CHILD?
100% of all sponsorship donations go directly to provide for our children and their care in Uganda. If there is an extra opportunity or emergency in your sponsor child’s life, we will reach out to you personally about the opportunity to prayerfully consider how you may be able to help cover the associated costs.
CAN I SEND LETTERS AND PICTURES TO MY SPONSORED CHILD?
When you write to your sponsored child, you are sharing the love of Christ and deepening the impact of our work. As a sponsor, we ask that you commit to sending a minimum of one letter per year and a maximum of six letters per year. Children of Sozo receive letters three times per year (May, August, December). Every Sozo child is required to write one letter to their sponsors each year, but they aim reply to every letter you send.
Letters can be sent via email at email@example.com or to the Sozo Children office. Occasionally, we will provide you with seasonal stationary you can personalize to send to your sponsored child. Find out more in our Letter Writing Guide. If you choose to mail your letters, please mail to:
Sozo Children Attn: Child Sponsorship 4 41st Street South Birmingham, AL 35222
WILL I BE ABLE TO TALK TO MY SPONSORED CHILD DIRECTLY?
We offer the opportunity once per year for you to video call your sponsor child if he or she is 14 years old or older. Sponsors will also receive letters, pictures, and updates throughout the year from their sponsored child. You can also talk with your child by visiting in person! Check out our Communication Guide for more information. Find out more about going on a trip to Uganda today! www.sozochildren.org/trips
CAN I TALK TO MY SPONSORED CHILD ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Social media is prohibited for children of Sozo if they are under the age of 18. When a child is over the age of 18, their social media use is monitored closely by their Sozo Children social worker to ensure our children are not exposed to communication and potential relationships that could be harmful to their overall well-being.
ALL communication between a sponsor and EVERY Sozo child must be monitored to ensure protection for all parties.
If a Sozo child attempts to “friend” or contact a sponsor through social media, it is the sponsor’s responsibility to deny the request, and to report the incident to us at (childsponsorship@ sozochildren.org). At that point, a Sozo Children staff member will take initiative to check in with the child and remind them of this policy for their own safety. If it is discovered that a sponsor is “friending” or interacting with a Sozo child via social media or communicating with them outside of the guidelines for Child Sponsorship, whether initiated by the child or the sponsor, the sponsorship may be discontinued to ensure we maintain the best interest of our children and supporters.
CAN I SHARE MY SPONSORED CHILD’S STORY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
In today’s digital age, children are exposed to new risks. For your sponsor child’s protection, please do not post any information online, including social media, that could be used to identify or locate your child such as a last name, school name, or community name.
We also believe every person has a right to share their own story, so we ask that you respect the privacy of your child’s background and testimony.
However, we do encourage you to share about your sponsorship experience on social media. By telling others about your sponsored child, you are being a voice for the voiceless! These steps are essential to ensuring the safety of sponsored children and your safety as a sponsor. We take child safety very seriously, and any violations of our policy may result in the sponsorship being discontinued.