I started sponsoring Jessica in Ocumicho, Michoacan Mexico 6 months ago. Initially, I was only going to sponsor her every month. However, after just 2 heartwarming letters and pictures from Jessica, I decided to utilize ChildFund's amazing business model and infrastructure in order to "take things to a different level". Some sponsors only do the $28/month and leave it at that. That's fine, because now another child has been sponsored. However, there are so many things a sponsor can do beyond just the monthly sponsorship to have an even bigger impact on their child, their community and the world. Here's are some other things I have started or completed in only the first 6 months of sponsoring Jessica. Regular letters and pictures - hard to explain the feeling, but AWESOME! Scheduled $50 birthday and Christmas monetary gifts. It is amazing to see the impact and joy such a small gift brings to these wonderful children. You are also really moved how the children allocate the money - food, educational tools and always themselves last. This takes the experience to an incredible level most people have never experienced. Send special monetary gifts if possible in addition to the scheduled monetary gifts. Same effect. Amazing! ChildFund processes these monetary gifts for a flat $3.50 handling fee. Such an amazing, cost effective and easy to use sponsor tool to utilize! The money goes monthly to the national offices, converted to local currency and hand delivered to your child. So, where can a sponsor go from there? I have chosen to do 2 other things to help make an impact. I established a university fund for Jessica. $600/year totaling $5,400 when she is ready to attend. It's invested in America Movil stock that is owned by Carlos Slim in Mexico (richest man in the world). Jessica is very excited trying to decide what type of bachelor's degree she wants to achieve. Very, very exciting! Lastly, I decided to "kick it up one last notch". I have created "The Ocumicho Project" plan with the help of the wonderful ladies at ChildFund. The project's goal is finding sponsors for the remaining 45 children in Ocumicho still without sponsors. My coworkers and friends can literally call the ChildFund 800 number, reference "The Ocumicho Project", get set up as a new sponsor and have one of Jessica's classmates immediately moved into their new sponsor account! All I can say is amazing! The journey is just getting started! What other company (profit or non profit) would offer these existing sponsor tools and new opportunities for their sponsors??? Incredible company! Incredible group of people! Get on board or the train is leaving the station without you! :)
Child Fund International is an exceptional organization doing terrific work around the globe with tremendous breadth and unparalleled experience.
As a Christian, I was quite pleased to donate to an organization bold enough to proclaim it's faith base. The name change to CFI made me wonder what other shifts in philosophy might accompany that move. Then came the rate boost to 20% for gifts made to the child. Hmmm...when I questioned my sponsored child about how much he actually received, I got two different amounts, and a peculiar accounting that made me suspect his gift was being "managed" for him At this point, I will not drop the child. I want to speak to someone in authority at CFI. I want to be able to write the child directly, without censorship or filtering through the charity. Stay tuned, let's see if someone will speak to me.
I understand your concerns and wishes to write directly to your sponsored child. I am responding but I also welcome you contacting me via my email address at email@example.com. We protect both the sponsor and the child by serving as a go-between on communications. We have a strict child protection policy, plus we try to avoid children directly asking sponsors for special assistance. I look forward to hearing from you so we can discuss this further. Your help is greatly appreciated and does make a difference to the child you sponsor. If you read our magazine, ChildWorld, you will gain a depth of understanding of how impactful sponsorship is to a child and even the community. Please contact me.
Review from CharityNavigator
I was a CCF donor for about 17 years and moved to CF when the change took place. I got a really bad feeling about where funds were going and about how long the benficiaries are kept in the program. One of my 3 "children" was getting significantly old to be called a child. In the past CCF would rotate a child out and I woul receive another younger child. I finally couldn't deal with them anymore and switched my giving to Kiva. I am pleased that I did.
Review from CharityNavigator
Hi. I have been sponsoring Rosa Vanessa Hidalgo in Ecuador for over 3 years and it has been a very positive experience. About every 3 months or so I get a letter and sometimes a picture of her explaining her progress and always thanking me. It is such a small ammount each month and such a huge impact. And it makes me feel good(I'm selfish). Like another reviewer said, if it wasn't for Child Fund, how would we donate? Probably into a large impersonnel organization. With Child Fund we get the one on one interaction. A fantastic group! 5 stars!
I first started sponsoring a child in Sri Lanka through CCF. When I sent my child cash presents, I could choose to send (or not send) a small processing fee. Childfund International now charges a 20% processing fee -- outrageous! My child now gets only $40 of the $50 I send for birthdays and Christmas. He will be 20 years old in July. I have no idea when he will age out of the program, but Childfund continues to take the donation from my credit card each month. When my sponsorship ends, I will not donate to this charity for another child.
I am a donor to many charities.After reading these comments and comments from Invisible Children I am sorley disappointed in both. I can't believe that we have to be so careful of our genorosity turning into a business opportunity to exploit the children as opposed to helping them. I was and now a true believer that most of these charities are children factories of cash flow. Multi donors to the same child and families that may or may not exist. Now that these charities are open to the internet they are naked and cannot hide behined guilting us by dangeling the children in front of us as there meal ticket!!!!!!!!!!!
Review from CharityNavigator
First I will admit I haven't really given much thought to the 20%. To know that my kid is still benefiting from my donations and knowing he's cared about is what matters to me. The way I see it is, those kids need us and without ChildFund, we'd never have them. We'd never be able to help them. Let's just say for instance the CEO/ChildFund are doing wrong by our donations and keeping to much for them, as a servant for God it's not my place to judge what they do, God will handle them if he sees His people taking away from His children. I am confident that my donation still helps my sponsored child more than if I didn't donate at all. --- My overall experience has been great with CF. Someday I hope to be able to volunteer with CF in Honduras. God Bless you all for helping all of God's children. I would recommend CF in a heartbeat if it means another children will be cared for.
I have been affiliated with Childfund, formerly CCF, for over 20 years, I'm on my fifth child. This is an organization I know where my dollar is going. I not only get wonderful letters from my child,the original with a drawing, and a translated typed letter, I get progress reports on her and her family's health, schooling, exactly what my Xmas money and birthday donations buy, reports on what is being done to help the community, wells, agriculture, etc. as well as what they do in that country, I've stayed with children from Guatelala. Most of us don't pay attention, but we see there are terrible famines and wars going on all over the world, and the mothers and children are the most affected. The hands on work that Child fund does in these emergency areas, food and medical aid, is incredible. most of these areas have corrupt officials and extremely dangerous conditions, and they go in anyway. I love sponsoring my child and watching them grow and share thier life. I trust Childfund completely. Stacey Greene
To the Staff person at ChildFund writing replies: First of all, thank you for your concerns and responses. Please state as of Feb. 2012 what the salary for your CEO is. Please state the amount of all other benefits to her: amount of health coverage paid by org., her pension, auto allowance, any other financial benefit. Is your Board aware of all the negative publicity concening your CEO's salary and benefits? Is your Board aware that this compensation is deemed highly excessive by virtually all nonprofit standards? Is your Board award that this compensation is what is driving down your charity ratings? Does your Board have a justification as to why your CEO's reported salary is 50% of that of the President of the United States, the most demanding job in the world?
Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns. Our CEO’s salary can be found in our 990s, which are posted on our website. It includes the salary and compensation for our CEO, which is approved by our Board of Directors. The salary of our CEO is comparable to that of CEOs of other international nonprofits. These CEOs are running multi-million dollar international operations that endeavor to change the world. If you want to know more about the compensation of CEOs in the charity world, we would encourage you to read a report that was produced by Charity Navigator. ChildFund continues to maintain its 80-20 ratio, ensuring that more than 80 percent of every dollar goes to helping children
Review from CharityNavigator
The CEO and staff are dedicated and have integrity. This is life changing charity with operations in 11 countries including United states of America. So is DialogueDirect, which raises money for Children International through face to face .
I don't understand why people want to discontinue sponsoring their child just because CFI changed their name. Does it really matter if it has "Christian" word in it? I am a sponsor through CFI for last 7 years and i am not Christian by religion. All i ever cared was that they are helping a child in need.
Review from CharityNavigator
My hope in writing this review is to encourage and prompt others to become a part of this exceptional organization. My experience with ChildFund has been a very positive one. They have given me the opportunity to make a difference in this world that I could not have been able to do on my own. My husband Joe and I began our relationship with ChildFund by sponsoring a little girl, named Patricia, from Uganda. Patricia is too young as of yet to write to us herself. Her mother, Sarah, writes us letters regularly, and sends us family photos. I am happy to know that not only does our sponsorship help Patricia, but also helps her family as a whole. This wonderful experience prompted us to sponsor another child. We recently added a boy, named Erick, from Brazil to our sponsored family. Unless you have sponsored a child yourself, then it is difficult for me to convey to you the special feeling you experience from the joy of caring. I hope that you will be inspired after reading my review to take the initiative to sponsor a child yourself. It is incredible how you feel to give of yourself without expecting something in return, besides a good feeling for doing what is right. I have read some of the reviews on this site, and I was disappointed by some of the comments from other present or former sponsors. Some mentioned how they were upset with ChildFund for changing it's name. In my opinion, this was the right move. To appeal to all individuals, this helped to broaden the spectrum of people willing to sponsor. There are loving, caring people through out the world that may not be Christians who want to be charitable, too. It is also troubling to me when people complain about ChildFund charging $9.00 for a card to donate money to their child. A greeting card in the store costs as much as $5.00 or more. Is a few more dollars so much to ask for? If it helps this great organization to keep helping these children and families to survive, is it really asking to much from us? As an individual, I say no, it is not. Please consider all the worthwhile efforts that ChildFund provides for all these children and know that your sponsorship does make an incredible difference! I am only one person in this immense world, but in my own way, I hope my thoughts have helped you in your decision to give of yourself. If you decide to sponsor a child, please do not stop there. Do as I have, spread the word, so more children may receive sponsors. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
After over 40 years of sponsoring children in India and Thailand through CCF, my husband and I have decided that, after our current child leaves school, we will discontinue donating money to what is now called ChildFund International. We always send special money gifts several times a year to our child, and last year ChildFund started taking 20 percent off the top for what they outrageously said was for the delivery of that money! In the current economy, we can't afford to send more money to our child to make up the difference, so to us it ChildFund looks like it is positioning itself to be the fat cat between financially struggling sponsors and needy children. It is a shame, but we have lost faith in the good intentions of this charity.
On behalf of ChildFund I understand your concern, however, processing special gifts/gift amounts does have an associated cost. They include transferring funds, currency exchange, creation of receipts, thank you letters, translations of the letters and postage. I hope this helps explain the fee and I want you to know it was not a decision ChildFund took lightly.
Review from CharityNavigator
Been donating for about 3 years now when the charity had a 5 star rating. Since then it went down to 3 stars. I am really disgusted with the 20% service fee the Fund takes for being overstaffed and CEO compensation. Now with the $9 BIrthday card(more money for the CEO). I would stop giving, but that won't help my child. So I buy my own birthday card and mail it. As soon as my child is of age, I'm switching charities.
It's great that you monitor the rating of nonprofits. I do want you to know that ChildFund takes the rating seriously. We dropped in our rating mainly due to the economic climate in that we are also judged on rate of growth. Our percentage spent on services actually increased as did the progress we have made. I would enjoy talking to you if you would like to contact me. I hold our donors in very high regard for your kindess in reaching out to children.
Review from CharityNavigator
i have been donating for over twenty five years.... my first sponsored child to whom my ex-husband and i donated to for almost 15 years went on to college and is now a registered nurse in kenya. her family named her after him - her name: rosemary peter. we lost touch but i think often of the impact we had on her life and how she now must have impacted many others with her hard work and dedication in the profession she was able to chose with our support. currently, i have a 3-yr old boy in indonesia (in honor of my own daughter's favorite teacher, a special friend who was born in indonesia) and a 10-yr old girl in sri lanka (whom i sought out after the tsunami)... when you receive their cards and letters - especially the ones from their mothers and fathers you can feel the love and gratitude they feel for us here. the heartfelt thanks for helping them is palpable on the page. the list of household items like soap and socks - these little things that they can now purchase! my little girl's family planted a tree in my name that she cares for by watering and pruning... it's her way of honoring me and my presence in her life. how beautiiul... donating is a gift to ME as much as it is to them - that i can show my gratitude for the blessings i have in my life... by GIVING BACK!! i am a single mother, i have a limited income and even when times are tough i still know that here in america, i have more than these families do. so small a sacrifice for us - but a world of difference to them... we have so much, and they have so little... "be the change you want to see in the world..." ~ gandhi
I am from Mexico and my husband is from Bolivia, we now live in the States, we have been very fortunate in life and have always wanted to give back to our people, the difference between giving 1 dollar to a child in the street vs giving 1 dollar through CF is huge. In our countries many times parents carry their children in the street so people would feel pity and give more money, this money can very well be spent in alcohol for the father or actually food, however this children don't go to school. I refuse to give my money in such a way! Through CF, I have the confidence that my money is making a positive impact, they actually partner with local organizations so that the money is also used to improve the community of the children and they provide education for parents and involve them. This 2012 my husband and I decided to sponsor 2 children, a 5 year-old girl from Mexico and a 6 year-old boy from Bolivia. We are very excited, already received brief information about their communities. In Mexico, CF and their partner organization is funding a honey project, so families get trained in honey production. They have also partnered with a chain restaurant called Toks, they have restaurants all over the country and they use in their menu this honey. We are still waiting for my complete package to be mailed so we can start communicating with them, we are so eager to get to know them!! Please don't hesitate to donate.
Someone from this charity just came to my door. I shouldn't have answered at all, but because our house is on the market I thought it could be a real estate agent and went to check. The representative used tactics that seemed shady, at best. I asked what percentage of the funds went to the children, and he showed me a sheet of paper that said, in large print 100% of the funds were sent to children, but then in smaller type said something like "and their families, after administrative costs." That seemed sketchy, at best. I told him I wouldn't be able to donate at this time, and he literally stuck his foot in the door to ask me more questions. When I apologized and said I really couldn't help them, he told me I was "really mean." Thanks. Will never, ever consider donating to this charity that uses deliberately misleading figures, aggressive techniques and resorts to childish name-calling.
I would like to talk/email you if you will send me your email address or phone number. ChildFund has never claimed that we spend 100% on program services (we are proud of the 82.5% we currently spend on program services). Nor would we ever condone such tactics and we would like to try and find the person who did this. We appreciate all of our donors's support and are very sorry this happened to you. Please contact me (Alison at 804-756-2700). Thanks.
Review from CharityNavigator
Have been donating for years, and watching the associated service fees rise, as well as the salaries of administrators. The latest pitch is the $9 birthday card (preprinted on a computer printer) for your sponsored child's birthday. Note the $ goes to "offset expenses" of delivery. Get serious: mailing a birthday card does not cost $9. This is the latest of many "service fees". As a rule, for every $10 contributed, the child gets 8 and the institution 2. Their CEO reimbursement is over a quarter million per year...I am very concerned with the direction of this organization. In the meantime, with a child's well being hanging in the balance, I pay the "tax" and increase the donation so the child gets what I wanted him to receive...you can't just stop giving, but I sure wish you could, and I will not increase my donations to support their staff, though I will increase my donations to my sponsored child: caveat emptor!
Review from CharityNavigator
I am an educator. I first heard of Childfund when I got involved with the programs of the Cordillera Parents Federation, Inc. I have seen how Childfund works not only in helping the child but more on building a better world by helping children and their family as well as their schools develop to give them the learning they need to live in this world. Through Childfund, the recipients develop life skills they could use as individuals that would aim to build a better family, school, community and may even spread to a better country and even world. The approach of Childfund goes beyond superficiality, which I truly admire.
I am an agriculturist by profession but heavily involved and matured in community development, particularly in the field of social development. Currently, I work with the Cordillera Parents Federation that is a partner of ChildFund Philippines working in the Northern Provinces of the country. We are catering to the needs of the Indigenous Peoples here in the locality focusing on the fundamental rights to survival, development, participation and protection. We are very glad to have ChildFund working and enhancing partnerships with the different local non-government organizations and the mandated local government structures to augment the development efforts in our country.
I am a social worker for years now and been working with non government organizations. Nine months ago, I was employed with the Cordillera Parents' Federation, Inc. (CPFI) working with ChildFund. CPFI is located here in Baguio City covering the province of ifugao, Mountain and Baguio - Benguet. One thing that I really admire about ChilFund is the dedication and commitment on the welfare of the children. It is always them first before anyone else. It is true that some of the children and their family's life improved financially because of sponsorship but it is not all what ChildFund is all about. ChildFund and their partners are on the total family approach. They are not only concern of the child but his/her family as well and the community even. And what else more important is the promotion of the child's wholeness development and to reach his/her full potential as an individual. It's just like help a child, help himself/herself. I still remember when we had a youth coalition in one of our area and a partner agency commented on a youth on how good he is in delivering his speech and I answered, "He's one of our youth leaders." The partner said, "Ah, that is why he carries himself differently compared to other youth here." With that comment, I was filled with happiness and beamed with delight. I say I am proud to be a part of his main support and I am happy and proud to be a part of this organization who is committed enough to change the world for a better place for the children and everyone else. Blessed BE!
My family (wife and 3 young kids) and i are walking across India from the West to the East Coast travelling over 800kms in the process. We decided to do this walk in partnership with ChildFund India and ChildFund Australia. Yesterday it was organised for us to do a couple of project visits and then we were invited to be part of a presentation to provide the items we were fundraising for directly to the children who would benefit from them. The whole day was just the most incredible day of our lives and the work from Prem Kumar from the Indian National Office was amazing and incredibly professional. My three children were able to stand and deliver the bikes, school kits and water filters to the literally hundreds of children and see and feel the wonder of giving to others. We are only at the start of our journey and have many more such events planned. We all reflected that ChildFund was an incredible organisation who gave to us the best day of our lives.
My relationship with ChildFund International started as a consultant delivering leadership programs. I have worked with the organisation now for many years and am constantly inspired by the passion and dedication of their staff. The organisation has in recent times set forth on a new and ambitious strategic direction that is responsive and targets their efforts to enhance their efforts to empower and support deprived children. On a recent visit to Nairobi I was fortunate to have two moving experiences. The first was to visit one of the ChildFund projects in Emali just out of Nairobi. Here we were able to see first hand the wonderful work this organisation does. I was so moved by the experience I pledged a donation to support the fit out of an early learning centre we visited. On the same visit I met up with one of the ChildFund staff currently working in Afghanistan. Again i was so moved by the woman's strength and courage that my family pledged a further donation to support equipment for a school in Afghanistan. My family and I are currently in discussions with ChildFund Australia and the staff in India to fund a major project in India later this year. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to work with and provide funds for an organisation like ChildFund.
The interventions of Saamasang Federation through the support of ChildFund has been very instrumental and effective in the improvement of disease prevention and control over the past years. The most significant support covered the areas of Environmental sanitation and provision of safe drinking water. In these areas, a total of 22(twenty two) communities and 8 (eight) schools benefited from environmental sanitary tools linking these Institutions and Communities with the National Environmental Agency and the Local Council enhancing regular sanitation exercises and monitoring the exercises. These activities have greatly reduced the incidence of malaria in Kombo Central by almost 35% compared to June 2009 when their three years Area Strategic plan was developed. On the provision of safe drinking water, a total of 6 (six) communities were provided with each a concrete line well fitted with a hand pump benefiting a total population of 6780 people out of which 2570 are children between the ages of 1month to 12 years old. A total of 2(two) Lower Basic Schools got pipe born water benefiting a total school enrollment of 4875 students whilst one community with a population of 1760 was provided with pipe born water. These interventions have seriously reduced the incidence of water borne diseases especially on children and pregnant mothers as observed by the Brikama health Centre. Bravo to ChildFund and all their benevolent donors and sponsors. They are relevant and transparent.
The support the communities of my Federation has received from childFund is multi dimensional cutting across all aspects of the lives of the poor. Over the past years over 30 cluster associations of about 10,000 inhabitants were supported with farm inputs in the form of fertilizers primarily to boost farm production and help in addresing hunger. The fertilizers were given as garnt to the clusters who inturn gave to their members on loans. Moat of the gropus supported have set up their own revolving funds using the repayments from the fertilizers given. Out of the funds they give micro loans to members for investment in micro enterprises. Some buy additioanl fertilizers that they give out to their mebers on loans. Out of the funds some have begun to support the eduaction and health needs of their children.In conclusion the farm input support has proven to be effective tool of poverty allevaition at the level of the grassroot communities in the KairaNyining Federation. Another livelihood venti=ures suppoted by ChildFund include horticulture throug the enhnacement of vegetable production and processing. in this regard support was gven to a number of women vegetable schemes in the form of irrigation water provision and fencing materials. The gadens helped women to grow vegetables for both consumption and sale.The incomes earned from the sale of vegetables are used to provide food, and clothing as well as for other needs of families including education and helath.Another significant achievement of ChildFund in my area is in the area of youth empowerment through skills and entreprneurship development. A skill tarining has been established where youths undergo training in variousslill disciplines such as tie dye, batik and soap production. Upon completion they are linked to the junior achievement program also funded by ChildFund where they undergo training in business management. They are further linked to the credit union of the kombo East youth and children alliance , an umbrella organistaion which is also supported by ChilFund in variety of ways where they can have access to investment credit to operate their small business for self employment.Under the JUnior Achievement program a toatl of over 120 youths have been trained and provided with capiatal to run their own companies and individual business ventures.
I was reunited with my “son” on Facebook.
Omeja Moses, a young boy from Uganda, came into my life in 1996 after I saw a late night TV ad on child sponsorship for ChildFund, formerly named Christian Children’s Fund. I immediately decided to sponsor a child.
Omeja and I grew close through letters, photos and drawings shared between us for over 10 years. I encouraged Omeja, to mind his mother and do well in school. “I told him to take what he learned and teach someone else and he would be rewarded.”
I lost touch with Omeja after he graduated from the program in 2005. I immediately sponsored another child from Uganda named Fiona, who I still sponsors today.
I started a Facebook page to stay connected with family, friends and people I knew through business.
About two years ago I received a great surprise when a message came through, “Hey Mum, remember me? It’s Omeja.”
I was crying, I couldn’t believe it, he found me. We picked up where they left off and are still messaging all the time.
Omeja, graduated from the local University and is looking to come to the states to get his masters! I often wondered during those years if I had indeed made a difference. I know now that I did.
We have sponsored a child in the Philippines for 3 years now and are grateful for the experience. It may make Totoy's life a little brighter and we know it brightens our day when we receive a letter or drawing from this sweet and grateful little boy and his family.
We receive a photo of our sponsored child at least once or twice a year and a report of how his life is going as far as his education level, family status and responsibilities. We get an inside look at what life is like for those living in his area in the Philippines. It's very interesting. Childfund also provides statements of our donations and other ways to contribute but it is NOT overwhelming and there is no pressure at all. Their pie-chart for expenses reflects fairness.
It's good to know that we could affect and improve the life of a child and his family with such a small donation each month.
Overall, Childfund provides adequate communication and updates regarding the child. I like receiving the reminders for Totoy's birthday and Christmas. It makes it easy for me to wish him and his family a good holiday and I'm confident that they get the messages.
Thank you Childfund... for ALLOWING US TO 'PAY IT FORWARD' AND IMPACT OUR WORLD ... ONE CHILD AT A TIME!
I have been a sponsor for CCF and now Childfund International for the past 4 years. I beleive this charity does make a difference in the lives of many impoverished families. I too get a little steamed over the $9 fee for Christmas and birthday cards but feel the 20% charge off the top for any additional monies donated monthly is really out of line. As for the 255K salary for the CEO it is probably in line for most large charities. I just look at the outlandish salaries for CEO's in the public sector and wager that she could probably do much better outside of Childfund International if she desired.
After visiting Childfund projects in the Phillipines and Kenya, I could not be more impressed with how our donations are being spent. The emphasis on "sustainable" community development has resulted in solid gains in children's health, standard of living and education. Childfund's local staff are remarkably skilled, effective and dedicated.
What Childfund is accomplishing around the world with its partners in Childfund Alliance, could serve as a developmental model for governments and other international NGO's.
I could not be more comfortable as a donor with how contributions are used.
I have been involved with ChildFund for several years, as a sponsor, participating in field visits, and by serving on the Board. I have seen first hand the impact ChildFund makes to deprived and vulnerable children as well as the communities they live in. I know ChildFund is committed to ensuring that over 80% of every dollar raised goes straight to children. I have nothing but positive things to say about this great organization.
I have been involved with Childfund International for 3 years. I have sponsored children, and have visited Childfund programs in Ethiopia and Ecuador. Childfund makes a profound impact on the children it serves and the communities they live in. I have seen first hand that the absolute minimum of funds are spent towards administration to maximize the impact that can be made to children. On my trip to Ethiopia I remember a conversation (through a translater) from a 35ish year old woman and her teenage daughter. She explained that when she was a child, she couldn't go to school due to the daily task of walking miles for water. A Childfund water pumping system and treatment facility helped the community have ready water access, allowing the next generation to go to school. I have a picture of these two women in my office to remind myself every day about the impact Childfund has.
I am Ram Halady. I am a software consultant and also an author of Children's stories (series of "Reuben's Adventures on Uncle Ram's Farm").
We don't have any kids of our own - Jeanne and I love Child Fund. It is the best organization of its kind in the world. We have 5 "kids" now, and been a proud sponsor for more than 10 years. One of these days, we would take a trip to see these.
I love CF for the following reasons.
1) More than 80% of my contribution goes directly to the kids, family and the projects.
2) Can see the progress made and what difference a small contribution makes in their lives. We get constant updates and interactions.
3) I have truly become "Uncle" or "Father" of these kids. The family members of these kids take turns to write, till the kids are old enough themselves.
4) I make year-end donations to additional causes.
5) Last but not least, they have transformed into a non-religious group with one single focus - helping the kids across the world, and making a difference in meaningful manner - help educate the kids who otherrwise would be left behind or worse, lost.
Thank you for all you do and making it possible for me to participate.
I am John Boniface Kulu-Idambi. I am a lawyer by profession. I was sponsored by Child Fund International right from Primary School, High School and at the University where I graduated as a lawyer. Without their sponsorship, I would have dropped out of school
I am a Board Member of Child Fund International (Uganda National Office). I work with the Ministry of Justice as a Senior State Attorney in charge of prosecuting criminals in society. I appear before the judges of Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court of Uganda.
As a prosecutor, I ensure that those who break the law are finally brought to justice. Hence reducing crime in society by sending hard-core criminals to jail. I am the Secretary General of all spokesmen/women in East Africa in the Association called East Africa Public Relations Association. I am the president of the Child Fund International Alumni Association (an association of former sponsored children in the world ). Our patron is the president/CEO of Child Fund International, Ms Anne Goddard. I am as well a member of Uganda Law Society Human Rights Committee.
I thank Child Fund International for sponsoring me because I am from a humble origin. Without their sponsorship I would not have managed to hold such big positions in society. Their sponsorship was equivalent to someone giving his child a fishing net instead of fish.
I am Besy Wandera a former sponsored child by Child Fund. I was sponsored for the the better part of my primary and secondary education and the Fund also gave me a base for University Education.
I am now a dedicated member of the Child Fund Alumni Association in Uganda.
I surely give all the honor to God who who has blessed the sponsors of child fund with such giving hearts.
Thumbs up for child Fund International
I have been a sponsor for a few years now, and let me say that I do enjoy hearing from my two children and believe that I have helped them and their families. I was saddened that this organization bowed to political correctness and changed their name, but I could live with that since it seems to be the way of the world. The thing that bothers me is the fee for sending gifts and the 9.00 for sending a card. I am not a wealthy man and live paycheck to paycheck and I find it harder and harder to justify this extra cost. My girls are only 7 and 5 but unless something changes, I will not sponsor any more children and when mine turn 18 I will drop the program. I too feel that 255,000 is too much money for a CEO.
Review from CharityNavigator
I'm a former staff member who proudly worked with ChildFund for more than 6 years, serving the most needy communities and children. ChildFund has been driven during the past 5 years under the current President to achieve even higher levels of accountability and transparency, to ensure that maximum funds are spent on program work in the field. I can honestly say that based on my broad exposure to organisations in this sector, I believe that ChildFund is one of the most transparent and most 'lean' in terms of operational overheads. I'm confident that having worked at Executive level in ChildFund, I have the real picture of the operational management costs - and I happily recommend my own family and friends to sponsor children through ChildFund knowing that the money is going to the kids. This is an outstanding organisation with real integrity and lots of heart. The passion and commitment of the staff around the world has to be experienced to be understood.
Review from CharityNavigator
I have continuously sponsored a child, one after another, with CCF - now ChildFund - since 1981. It was discouraging to see the name changed in July 2009 to ChildFund International. For all interested in reading a history of ChildFund, there is a good write up to be found on Wikipedia. I relate to many of the other reviews posted and quite frankly can't stand the tone of the new excessively dramatic commercials or the MBA driven approach in mass mailings plus the ridiculous gift fees. My current child is nearing the end of ChildFund support and I find myself for the first time in 30+ years debating whether to sponsor another. I'm truly saddened by the new approaches to donors used by ChildFund and am hopeful Anne Goddard will return the tone to charity versus retail business that has occurred.
Review from CharityNavigator
I've been a donor for about 15 or more years. I first thought very highly of Christian Children's Fund. Now I'm starting to get very disenchanted. They are NOW taking a 20% admin fee for every gift you send your child above the monthly support amount. I think that is outrageous! And if I could find a way to send the money directly to my child (course they have that all sewn up), I would not go through them anymore. And once this child turns 18, I will not sponsor another one through this organization.
Review from CharityNavigator
First, I don't like being labeled "venomous" for expressing disappointment in the new direction of this organization. I sponsored children over 30 years through CCF, and never felt "used". They also put a "cap" on gifts so that one child wouldn't be receiving lots more than another. Childfund has really ramped up the "guilt trip". $9 to send a Christmas card is excessive. Asking the donor to consider a gift for $50 is also costly. Now I'm under the impression that my sponsored child will feel underappreciated and neglected if I don't fork over $59 in Christmas gifting - in addition to sponsorship. Another time it was a request to buy the child school supplies with her engraved name. Many of us have maintained our sponsorship despite our own financial setbacks or unemployment. My child is almost 18, but now I'm seeing posts that the sponsorship gets extended. I feel badly, but will likely bail from this organization in 2012. I really resent the guilt trips, and the thoughts that some children are significantly more compensated in gifts and money than others, whose sponsors have more limited funds.
I sponsor 22 children, ranging in age from 4 to 23, in 17 countries (including the U.S.). I have been fortunate enough to visit ChildFund projects in Kenya and Ethiopia, and to see in person the wonderful successes at cooperatives and projects in both countries. Meeting the children I sponsor, along with their mothers, was wonderful -- I saw firsthand that I am truly helping those children and their families to change their lives for the better.
I am very proud of ChildFund’s work to help communities break the cycle of extreme poverty, enabling their children to not only survive, but thrive and become contributing members of society.
I witnessed a beautiful example of this during a visit to Ecuador this spring. We toured a village that, years before, had been in dire straits, with malnourished babies and children neglected while parents left in search of food and water. The circumstance of this village was a heartbreaking, and some might think, hopeless situation. As we toured the school, the reservoir, the irrigation system and even some homes, it seemed each person, young and old, was anxious to share his personal success story.
One of the village elders summed it up best in an emotional thank you to ChildFund and its donors. “You made us whole. We can now take care of ourselves and our families. We do not need you anymore because we are a strong village. Now you can leave us to help other villages like you helped ours. We are so thankful”.
I have worked with many international NGOs over the past 35 years, and ChildFund stands out in numerous respects, but most importantly for the quality of the programs they deliver in the field. Sure, the organization manages donors' money carefully. Many organizations can make this claim. But ChildFund delivers where it's most important: changing the lives of the children, their families and their communities.
The return of ChildFund International to 3 star rating is most appropriate and timely, since this great organization is achieving new heights in helping children and youth and their families and communities around the world. ChildFund is one of the few organizations that is based on research and evidence of the most effective ways to support development of children and youth by enabling them to live up to their potential. In addition to literally helping millions of children and young people, we are most touched by experiencing the growth and development of our sponsored child in Northern Uganda who has emerged in the post-conflict era into her adolescence and young adulthood with the support and help of this special organization.
My husband and I have four sponsored children through ChildFund. Like many, we did not like the name change from CCF to ChildFund. However, we would never considering withdrawing sponsorship on the basis of a name change!
We consider the work of ChildFund to be sincere and exemplary. This charity works hard to make a difference, and they do make a difference.
Their communications are very, very good. The flow of information and contact between donors and sponsored children is excellent.
Only one negative really: on the fundraising front, they spend a lot of energy approaching existing donors to donate even further. We can understand this: existing donors have already 'bought in' to the philosophies and philanthropy of this type of giving. However, it is emotionally wearying to have sad letter after sad letter turn up in the mailbox, outlining further tragedies requiring action. Particualrly when you already donote regularly, and have several sponsored children.
We would prefer to see ChildFund direct the majority of their fundraising energy towards signing up new first-time donors. Much harder, and admittedly expensive - but this type of growth is essential.
Review from CharityNavigator
I'm writing again because I continue to be amazed at the venomous comment by donors. First, the charity changed its name--Childfund is a much better name since it was never a church related organization anyway. Second, the 20% fee is fair. If you don't think so, you have never ran your own company. Read the detailed explanation from one of the staff in Kenya (scroll through reviews) and you will see what it takes to get your gift safely to the your child's/family's hands. Third, I assure you every other charity is spending as much or more of donor donations to get the donation to the family, they are just hiding it rather than being up front.
I have had a number of interactions with the India director regarding my two girls and their families. I have found Childfund to be responsive and helpful at every juncture.
Many of the comments here I believe are unfair and petty. Of course, they is just my opinion. I run a company, so I understand that it is expensive to deliver services effectively and well.
Rather than simply measuring percent of overhead, I would like to see Charity Navigator measure results--actual results in the real world. Success is what matters.
Review from CharityNavigator
Although I see some nice things being done by Child Fund (which has a new "strategy" changing its name removing Christian from its title), it troubles me that I am sponsoring a family instead of one of the many many orphans first. I have been supporting my "child "and his entire family for close to 10 years now and since then they have had two more children totally 4. I fear that my compassion may be doing some harm to them as it seems ChildFund has created a welfare system rather then a charity. Ultimately with Child fund's cooperation with foreign governments, it leaves them dependent on Child fund / Government. I have to question the motive here now. I would support a struggling family with my own heart anytime knowing that my own heart's motive is only to love my neighbor as myself. I am not trusting in man and the agendas of government and sadly I do not trust this new "strategy" by Anne Goddard.
Review from CharityNavigator
I was very pleased to join the Christian Children's Fund but have been very dissapointed since they became Childfund International. It seems since then I am constantly getting solicitations for more money, many more than prior to the name. I sometimes get more than one a week. I wrote to the Agency to protest this but never heard a word from them. Also, they now charge $9.00 to send a cash gift to my sponsored child and that was not the case before. I am seriously considering dropping my sponsorship and may well do it. Finaly I am dissapointed to see that the woman who heads the agency up earns $255,000.00 per years. That seems excessive for a charity as does the 20 cents of every dollor I give that does note go to the child. I restate that my dissatisfaction all started when the name changed. It seems there must also have been a change in management or ownership.
Review from CharityNavigator
My self is DK Behera, a Development Professional associated with many NGOs in the state of Orissa. I know the activities of Child Fund India ( Previously CCF) since 2003-04 as some of my NGO friends are partners and have seen their activites in the field. The various activities undertaken by the partner ageny with the support of Child Fund India is highly appreciable & exempalery. After seeing the work,one can really feel that the Child Fund has taken a sincere efforts to bring a qualitative change/ improvement in the life of the most needy and disadvanteges children , their families and community at large in an integrated and holistic manner.
I am Director of Association for Stimulating Know (ASK) which is a capacity building organization working out of India and have had experience of dealing with Child Fund India and its partners. We found them to be working in the remotest of areas in the country, reaching out to the neediest of groups such as Dalit and Tribal Children in remote rural locations and helping children come out of hazardous work situations such as the bangle and glass factories of Firozabad. What we particularly like was the design of the interventions where Child Fund India could make holistic interventions in the lives of the children, their families and communities on education, health and sustainable livelihood, which makes the intervention quite inclusive in nature. The long term partnership ensures building blocks for achieving measurable results. W have noticed that Child Fund India ahs moved for activities oriented to result orientation and now also looking for financial sustainability through local fund raising. The staff of Child Fund India are professional, the leadership is visionary and at the same tome down to earth and totally incorruptible.
I am Bijoy a Health Coordinator VARRAT a partner organaisation of ChildFund since 1997. The programme initiatives taken by ChildFund through its partners in reducing infant mortality, maternal mortality and morbidity and common endemic diseases in collaboration with Government line departments is definitely praiseworthy. The PD/ Hearth concept to reduce malnutrition is unique and the same practice is adopted by ICDS after 3 years of intervention by ChildFund. I feel proud to work in a ChildFund supported project. It is highly beneficial for the communities.
Myself N.K.Mishra ,am privileged to be associated with ChildFund .This is one of the organization which works for bringing qualitative improvement in the lives of not only children but their families and community in an integrated manner. It's the organization which knows the importance of 0-3yrs in the child Development and plans the programs for the children and caregivers accordingly. Implemented the Relief and Rehabilitation Program in the Super Cyclone affected Village of Mahakalpara in Kendrapara district India successfully . The web site provides complete information on all the projects and programs being implemented for the children and their families. I wish ChildFund should continue helping children worldwide
As Education Coordinator looking after children at schools and strengthning them through co-curricular activities through child clubs . Training children on different aspects that would break there resilience and develop life skill of these tribal children in rayagada district of orrisa was my responsibility in a CFI partner NGO.The Reading Improvement Package (RIP) program was one among the success full programs of CFI .RIP has developed reading skill of hundreds of children under my supervision and monitoring during my five years association with CFI partner NGO at rayagada , orissa .
"Jagarnath saraka of std-4,whom i could not make read his book with all my effort,But after attening your RIP class for three months he is able to read his book and has become regular to school. Please give me a set of RIP cards and teach me the methodology to use it . I want all my children to be like Jagarnath saraka" Said Pradeep sahu,HM jamulalibadi UP school,Kolnara block, rayagada,orissa. this can well say about the education program of CFI
Im Sezaro, coordinator of one community based association called Associacao Kurera Wana located in Gondola-Manica-Mozambique finaced by ChildFund Mozambique.
Im very happy to be part of the work done by this international organization because a lot of things are done and the wellbeing of the children in our community was improved a lot.
Im here to talk about School Garden one of the activity done by our association finaced by ChildFund. This activity is very important becasuse while to giving fish for these children enrolled in the activity we are giving them chance to know fishing while to give them a fish. This mean that is possible continue improving their social life at home producing vegetables to improve their diet and selling excedents for income generation.
Also at school we are improving the diets for all children because there are possibility to prepare soap for the children important to figth against malnutrition. Malnutrition is one of the problem that affect children in our community, doing this we are giving them capacity to grow well. These activity influence the community arroud the schools and now is possible to see positive changes.
We are working with 5 primary schools located in rural area benefiting directly 150 children enrolled in our
programs and more than 5000 children that are indiretly involved.
We need more in other to integrate more schools.
Sastur was one of the severely affected villages by the killer earthquake of 1993 which hit parts of Osmanabad and Latur Districts of Maharashtra .SPARSH is the Rural Hospital which was started with funds from ChildFund (formerly Christian Children's Fund)and UNDP on the land given by Government of Maharashtra and managed by PRIDE INDIA.The Rural Hospital concentrates on providing comprehensive health care services .Under one roof all the services are provided to the patients at nominal cost.This hospital was awarded as best Rural Hospital twice by the Government for the services provided to the patients. On an average 200 patients avail the benefit of the hospital daily.
SOVA, the partner NGO, is affiliated to ChildFund India since 2004. Many milestones have been achieved through Child Club mechanism in Koraput district of Orissa state. ChildFund India is a pioneer organization working for the holistic development of the children in India. It is really a child and community friendly project which has been trying to address the root causes of exclusion, vulnerability and deprivation of those who are living in remote areas and have been facing exclusion and discrimination on the grounds of caste, race, gender and legal status. It has been making a long time commitment as it knows that long term problems have no short term solution. It has been transforming the lives of millions of children across Koraput district with its asset and partnership-based approach. It has been promoting the development, protection, wellbeing and rights of children through incorporating health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation and livelihood interventions. It believes that changing the life of a child is the first step towards changing the world. It considers children as the pivotal point of development. It is also initiating activities meant for children with special needs and children infected and affected by HIV & AIDS. It empowers all the children to thrive at all stages of life by equipping them with the skills and resources they need at all stages of childhood. It always gives priority to children’s voice as it knows that best solutions comes from them only and they are the key factors who will bring an enduring and positive change in the community they belong to.
I was a staff of ChildFund in India for over 8 years. I have personally seen the differences that the projects of ChildFund have brought about in the lives of hundreds of children in India. Through the implementation of RCH program, complete health awareness was brought about among the youth and eligible couples, resulting in safe delivery, family planning, reduction of infant deaths and over 95% complete immunisation of children in the operational areas. Large number of children who were malnourished were rehabilitated. In many project locations, enrollment and retention of children in schools increased to over 98% and quality of education improved. Members of the Children's Clubs ensure that no child is dropped out from the school and in many cases the children have brought back the children to the school and hence, dropout rates are reduced. There are also many youth who were provided with employable skills and are now self-reliant.
As a professional, I can vouch that ChildFund is one of the Organisations which brings about lasting chages in the lives of children in the real sense of the term.
Myself Vasant More am associated with the project supported by ChildFund in raigad District of Maharashtra in India.I was involved in the training of the Children's Club Members on The Child Protection and Child Participation aspects.Not only children but other stake holders were also given training on the creating awareness on the rights of children.The family , school and Society play an important role on the above aspects.
Myself Mrs Anupama Sheth am associated with the project supported by ChildFund in Raigad District of Maharashtra State in India.I am working on the project for 0-3 years which is Called Home Based Intervention. ,Health,Love ,Security and Affection are the four important factors which play an important role in the overall development of child.
I have sponsored children through ChildFund for the past five years, and my experience has been entirely positive. I stay updated on my three sponsored children--two in Uganda and one in Kenya--through regular letters from their family members, as they are too young to write themselves. Their letters leave no doubt that my sponsorship dollars are being put to good use in their families and communities.
I have occasionally seen the objection that ChildFund uses a larger percentage of donations for overhead costs than do other agencies. I have never objected to this--in fact, I chose ChildFund in part because they do prioritize the infrastructure of their work. Without good staff, solid relationships in partner countries, and a sound balance sheet, the mission would suffer.
Overall, I highly recommend ChildFund.
being a child fund beneficiary is a great privilege for me. It changed my whole life. I experienced extraordinary things that a normal child can ever have. I had my first ride in an airplane through childfund. I travelled lost of places in the Philippines because of it. I cant emagine my life without the support of child fund and my sponsors. They are people behind my success :)
I really like ChildFund India's work on the ground mainly because it works for children....Earlier it used form SHGs and promote livelihood opportunities but anyhow it doesn't continue but from child centric point of view i attach my full appreciation to this organisation...Many times I observed various programs implemented in villages....Good! Keep it up!
I have deep respect for the kind and way of works carried out by ChildFund India for around last 8 years at the poorest areas of MP, India. I highly appreciate it for its Sponsorship program..So noble cause it is....I personally know many children who are regular into schools only because ChildFund India's interventions and sponsorship. Go ahead ChildFund India.....
Myself Mr.Rupesh Yerunkar had seen the work of the organization supported by ChildFund.Their emphasis is more on Child's Health and Education.If the child needs any kind of medical assistance even costly treatment at Mumbai this organization sees that the child gets the best treatment at Mumbai.A social worker of the project accompanies the family ,meets the doctors and make sure the child gets best treatment .
Vijay, Country Representative, Fontilles
I have direct experience with Child Fund sharing a partnership with my previous organisation and by visiting villages in Andhra Pradesh where it works. The organisation has all professional qualities to work with vulnerable communities, children and women and has enriched the lives of many. I found the right mix of emotional strength and professional expertise in the Child Fund team. It has helped many children in attending schools and building their career. It has also worked strengthening local structures in a sustainable development model.
Vipul Credit Co-op.Society was initited with support from ChildFund supported project in Mahad of Raigad District in Maharashtra.The mothers of the sponsored children are the members of this credit coopertaive society.It is running successfully for the past 23 years.When people are comitting suicides because of the inability to repay high interest rates charged by the money lenders,this society's interest rates are decided by director board who are the beneficiaries themselves.The reasons for the loans are decided by the members.With minimum paperwork loans are given
Iam Mrs.Ashwinin Gharatkar an ex sponsored child and presently working as the Primary Teacher.I completed my education with support from ChildFund.I got many opportunities to take part in different competitions which helped in shaping my overall personality.The organizated supported by ChildFund helped in the disaster affected villages by running relief camps and working the rehabilitation program.Iam also elected as a member with local goverment body.