A couple of months ago, I sponsored a brother and sister. The demographic information listed on the computer reflected they were the only children of a family living in the Dominican Republic. This lead me to believe I was the only sponsor for this family. The computerized demographics also reflected the father was a daily worker earning $100 dollars per month and that they lived in a 2 berm house with only 2 beds which lead me to believe the siblings slept together. Based upon this information, I believed the family needed some immediate relief and could probably use some extra money for food and essentials such as another bed. Subsequently, I gifted several hundreds of dollars allowing Children's International to supervise the needed items to the family thinking the monies would be used for basic necessities for the family. Now, I am receiving pictures, correspondence, and information from Children's International that their are 7 children total with 4 other sponsors for the family. Additionally, I have received documentation and pictures advising me that my hard earned money went to buy bicycles for both children, multiple toys for not only my sponsored children but for other children in the household that I did not sponsor nor was I made aware of their existence at the time of sponsorship. Very few groceries, to include a pack of diapers, were purchased and given the size of the household, such groceries would last only a day or two. I consider them token groceries intended to justify the allocation of the monies. I have contacted Children's International to basically ask them what the heck is going on here. They did did acknowledge there are more children and more sponsors for the family. They are checking into the reported 2 bed situation and hopefully the reported income. I seriously doubt either is accurate and if they are, why were my monies used primarily for toys. I want to know who is responsible for this bait and switch. Is it the family providing false information or the Children's International office who input the data into the computer. I am glad the children liked their toys; however, I do not appreciate the bait and switch or the abuse in the spending of the funds I provided for what I was lead to believe would go primarily for basic necessities and not toys. I wish I had not paid in advance for a years sponsorship for both children. I am seriously at a loss as to what to do as I have already established a relationship with the children and they are not responsible for the bait and switch scheme being perpetrated here. I wish I had donated my monies to the local food bank where my funds would have been used better.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a sponsor with Children International for years. They truly connect you with your children, one to one, by providing you with extensive information on your child's progress. The impact it affords the sponsors is as rewarding as that it is for the children. I've experienced other charities in the past. Children International exceeds all. I'm blessed to be a part of this organization.
I have sponsored a little girl for six years - who is not so little anymore. I love the letters & pictures of the progress, growth, & resources that my sponsorship furnishes for her. It is wonderful to be able to communicate directly through letters & pictures. I just had the blessing of sponsoring another child. This time I choose an older child, in a different country, that had been waiting a while. It is exciting to know that one person CAN make a significant difference in the world. One child at a time.
I started sponsoring 3 children in the Philippines in March, 2013, after researching several similar programs. I have been so impressed by the work that Children International does, and the responsiveness they have demonstrated after terrible typhoons hit the Philippines in 2013 and 2014.
When I saw the incredible benefits my 3 sponsored children received for the modest monthly payment, I added 4 more children this year. And I can honestly say that sponsoring these kids has been one of the most gratifying things I've ever done in my life. From their letters, I learn about how their lives have been changed by these benefits. The kids have great hope for the future, and are working hard in school to achieve the dreams they'd never dared to dream before Children International.
My husband and I have been sponsoring a child through Children International (CI) for 5 months now, and it has been such a positive experience for us that we decided to sponsor a second child.
I chose this organization because it had one of the lower sponsorship fees ($28/month) and we felt we could afford this amount. I also liked the fact that CI is a secular, not a religious organization – I believe that a person's spiritual beliefs are very personal, and would not want our sponsored children to have an organization's religion forced upon them in order to receive benefits.
Children International encourages letters between the child and the sponsor, and makes it very easy for the Sponsor to write a letter "online" and attach photos if desired. CI then prints out my letter and photos and delivers them to our child! It is such a thrill to receive a letter from Paola or Luis, and feel our "heart connection" across the miles! CI also encourages visits between the child and Sponsor, and we hope to visit our sponsored kids in Mexico in the next year or two.
It's important to me that an organization provide not just a "handout" but a "hand up" to a child in poverty. Children International has Community Centers in each of the areas it serves, which allow it to provide many services to the kids, including nutritional, medical, dental and educational programs. As the children grow up, CI offers an array of programs for youth/teens to help them break the cycle of poverty, and to become leaders in their community: https://www.children.org/youth-development
A program CI offers that benefits me personally is a social networking site for sponsors called “My Social Center”, which allows us (the Sponsors) to communicate with each other, sharing letters and photos from our sponsored kids, asking questions of each other, encouraging each other, and meeting new friends, who share our values, care and concern for children and their families over the world.
Choosing to sponsor a child through Children International is one of the best decisions we have ever made - we am happy and proud to be part of their wonderful work!
My husband and I sponsor three wonderful children through Children International. We have found the organization to be nothing but helpful and courteous in every way, shape, and form. Watching "our" kids grow and knowing the difference we are making in their lives is so rewarding! And it's not just "knowing" the difference, but it's "SEEING" the difference! Our kids write to us, send us drawings and pictures, we have been able to help out with several projects for them to make their lives easier (by our own request, not by CI's), and someday, we plan to visit all three of them. This has been just a remarkable experience and is one that I wouldn't trade for the world. I highly recommend!
Barely a month before my trip to visit family in New Delhi, I learned about the Children International's Teresa Tilden center during a CI SF Bay area luncheon meeting. Being a part of CI for the last 2 years, I have always wondered how CI worked at the ground level and this was a perfect opportunity to find that out!
I met up with the CI staff in New Delhi and was immediately struck by their warm personalities. As we walked around on a tour of the community center, I was pleasantly surprised by how well planned and organized everything was: the nutrition center, the health clinic with the orderly health checkups, the well stocked library and an up to date computer center. The thing that struck me the most was the genuine passion and caring nature of every one who worked there. The center acts like an oasis of hope to the community (which we visited later) where children run bare foot in a neighborhood overwhelmed by poverty, chaos and garbage.
I also took part in some of the activities that the center hosts for the children. The first was the computer literacy class; I was highly impressed by the smart kids, who haven't touched a computer before in their lives, showing me how they use MS paint! In the library session that followed, 7-8 year olds read out loud from books, some with confidence, some with sheepishness; but all of them incredibly adorable! Then I had a career counseling session with the youth of the community; discussing their ambitions as they looked for jobs, hoping to break out of poverty. It was heartbreaking to see the teenagers coming to terms with the reality of the outside world, but also heartening to see how CI has provided them hope where they now feel they can achieve their dreams.
The true enormity of the task on CI's plate hit me then: helping children break out of the circle of poverty can't be done with education alone. I was very encouraged to see CI taking steps to address the fact that the children need support and help in all aspects of their lives: physical and mental health, a stress free social environment and support from surrounding communities. The whole staff is passionate, dedicated and employ ingenious ideas to solve problems; tie ups with local medical centers and job agencies provide the much needed support. All in all, I came back with optimism, a sense of pride to be associated with CI and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to all the people involved in this effort. I am signing up to sponsor another child soon.
I sponsor two children with Children International. This experince has been everything that I could hope for. The difference that one can make with auch a small effort is amazing. I know that people can spare 30 dollars a month to make sure that kids can just eat food and drink clean water. It blows my mind that the issues Children International has to deal with are still even issues. The fact that I'm writing this review from my Ipda while some kid is currently fighting to find clean water is upsetting. It really boils don to selfishness, people can justify why these issues are happening all day long but when it comes down to it if more people gave leas people would die and that's the simple truth.
I have been sponsoring children for over 15 years and have found the experience to be rewarding and enjoyable. Service from Children International has been consistently superb. David K
I have been sponsoring two children in India for more than a year. It has been a wonderful and touching experience. It is astonishing that for such a tiny amount of money I can make such a big difference in couple of lives.
I am impressed at the scale at which they operate and how comprehensive their help is. The children are definitely given a great chance at having a normal life that we take for granted.
CI has opened a new chapter in the Silicon Valley and I am extremely impressed with the energy, commitment and excitement shown by the CI folks, particularly Maria Elena Franco and Lianne Heller.
I wish them luck and will do my best to help them succeed.