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.
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 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.
In the 3+ years I have served on the ChildFund board, I continue to be amazed by the level of care, integrity, and professionalism with which this organization is governed -- both by the staff and the board. It truly is a shining example -- in both the non-profit world, as well as among the Fortune 500 organizations I have had the privilege of working with -- of how to organize effectively to achieve stated goals on time and on budget. ChildFund is singleminded in its mission (to assist deprived, excluded, and vulnerable children and those that care for them) -- and pursues that mission efficiently and effectively. I have met mothers suffering from AIDs in Ethiopia who had gainful employment and could support their children, thanks to ChildFund. And ChildFund helped to provide children and youth in rural Ecuador with a local health clinic, pharmacy, and doctor, when formerly they would have had to travel 2 hours by bus to receive care.
I have served on the ChildFund board for four years and I couldn't be more impressed with the delivery and quality of the programs in the field. The children have access to education, health facilites, clean water, and along with their parents are helped with developing agriculture and other sources of healthy foods. The kids are happy and entusiastic. A combination of internal and external audits assures that the money is spent as it is intended. The staff makes this organization and I am convinced that it is excellent and highly motivated.
ChildFund International and the ChildFund Alliance have a strong, clear mission and program model: to work with communities to build sustainable programs to help every child sponsored and every child enrolled in that community. They work with preschool, school, and youth age groups. I have visited ChildFund programs in 5 countries and I serve on the Board, working with program, finance and oversight. Our donations definitely are put to direct use to benefit children and their communities; our funds are carefully audited and well spent; the staff are dedicated and very hard working. ChildFund has a 70+ year history and experience. An outstanding organization we should support and be proud to support by sponsoring a child or supporting programs (preschools, schools, water, women's health, microcredit, youth, HIV/AIDS, and others).
I have served on the boards of a dozen non-profits and this wonderful organizaton has been the most rewarding because it very efficiently helps so many of the world's most vulnerable children. I have seen so many lives that seemed hopeless have an opportunity to achieve their potential through the work of the dedicated staff of ChildFund. My only hope is that ChildFund is able to raise more money to help even more children. We recently visited a project in Ecuador where life 20 years ago seemed hopeless for the children but with 20 years of help this community has been able to achieve good education for most(80% finish high school and 20% go to college) and also develop clean water systems and use water for irrigation and raise crops for market and have an opportunity for the children to grow up and have good jobs. This community is now ready for ChildFund to move on to another community to give them the same opportunity.
I serve on many non-profit boards but am particularly impressed by ChildFund International and the ChildFund Alliance (which it helped launch) for 3 reasons: (1) the program model is based upon a framework created by research involving affected children, youth and communities; (2) the services and Programs empower beneficiaries to " be all they can be" by helping them live up to their potential, and (3) a special effort is made to develop national and local people as volunteers and staff. ChildFund's focus on the next generation is critically important at a time when the population most developing countries are predominantly young people. Improving their health, education, skills and well being is a proven way to improve themselves, their communities, regions, countries and thereby improving the world in which we all live