A Change to Sponsorship During a Crisis

What about my sponsored child?

Child Impact International operates in six countries: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Zambia. Eighty-five percent of the children reside in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, students were near the end of their school year and leaving for their school holiday. Currently, all the schools in these six countries are closed because of the pandemic. While some isolated schools may open sooner, we believe it will be September or later before they will all re-open. The current situation in the countries where we operate is getting worse every day. People live in densely crowded villages where testing and medical help is very limited.

What is the situation at the Adventist mission schools now?

  • The schools are Adventist mission schools and either under the Division, Union, or Conference. The staff are permanent church employees, with a serious situation due to the schools receiving little funding. A large part of the year’s income is received at exam time, but the schools closed before the exams, and they always lack cash reserves. Most schools have teachers on fifty percent wages or less and many have not been paid for up to three months while most of their casual staff were laid off.
  • Child Impact has been requested by the church in Bangladesh and India to assist directly with wages. This is beyond our capability.
  • Child Impact is making emergency food distribution to school staff focusing on those who have not been paid. It will continue to do this from its emergency rice appeal while funds are available.

How can I support my sponsored child?

  • With its sponsorship program, Child Impact pays schools monthly. This includes time during the school holidays for the schools to operate for teachers, teacher’s training and some children who stay there. Sponsorship is only a part of the school’s income. Child Impact realizes that since the schools have not opened, the children are not receiving sponsorship benefits and donors want to know how they can help those they sponsor.
  • This is a huge crisis and not easy to resolve. To contact children and get funds or food to them is very difficult because they live in hundreds of different villages, some very remote.

New emergency sponsorship procedure?

Child Impact International has studied all options, and although no solution is perfect, has decided to implement the following procedure beginning in July

  • In Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar, Child Impact field staff have formed emergency teams who, with school staff, will by phone, contact the child or someone in the village to conduct a welfare check. Since travel is not possible at this time, we believe that we will be able to reach over ninety percent of the children by phone.
  • If we can positively identify the child, then fifty percent of the child’s sponsorship will be sent as an “emergency support payment” to the child by bank transfer or mobile bank transfer. This will be applied monthly beginning with August and continue until the schools open.
  • The other fifty percent will still go to the school to help ensure it survives and can open when they return.
  • If the child cannot be contacted or identified clearly, then the fifty percent of the monthly sponsorship will be held for when they return to school.
  • In Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Zambia, sponsorship will be held until schools open. Students and staff are receiving supplies of rice and food relief.
  • When schools open, Child Impact International will ensure that the school receives rice and food support for every sponsored child for at least six months.
  • Child Impact International is also ensuring that as many schools as possible will receive health education, and have hand sanitizers, thermometers, and face masks.

Is my sponsorship money safe?

  • Child Impact International only sends funds to its country partners monthly and in return the funds are sent directly to the school monthly. If you have paid in advance, your funds are in a restricted fund at Child Impact USA. Money is only sent monthly to the field as required.
  • All funds paid for sponsorship are strictly controlled for the specific child and are kept in a restricted fund by Child Impact International.

What if my child does not return to school?

  • This may happen since some parents will be concerned about their child’s safety. Child Impact will update its database weekly to be able to know which child has returned and which has not. After a certain period, our field staff will contact the child who has not returned and evaluate their situation. We will assess what support is required and what their plan is for school.
  • If your child must be dropped, we will advise you and offer you another sponsorship, or you may cancel.

Will there be updates and information for sponsors?

  • Child Impact is working with its IT partner to develop a way for you to see your child’s status online. We will update regularly on the overall situation by email and on our website. You can call or email us at any time for an update.
  • Please ensure that we have your correct email and contact information.

What if we cannot afford our sponsorship right now?

We understand this is a difficult time for some. You may put your sponsorship on hold and we will pay from our “Unsponsored Child Fund” in order for you to keep your child.

What else can we do?

  • We must pray for our children and the teachers; the pandemic is affecting them far more than what we endure.
  • Please pray for the Child Impact International staff in the U.S.A. and in each country. We are committed to the children.
  • Support our Rice & Health Appeal through your donation. This will ensure that the children are fed and staff receive assistance. The need for the Rice & Health fund is urgent.

This is a gravely difficult logistical situation. Our primary focus is the children, and therefore we ask for support and patience from you, our sponsors, and donors. Operating in these countries during this crisis is not easy, and what we do may not be perfect, but Child Impact International and its staff are working hard to ensure the best for the more than three thousand children we serve.

We ask sponsors and donors to please continue your support so we may continue to do our best for the children during this crisis and to ensure that our Adventist mission schools can re-open and operate when the time comes.

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The Child Impact International board is very excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Tom Evans as the new CEO. Dr. Tom L. Evans is excited to join the team at Child Impact International as CEO beginning in August. Tom states, “God has called each of us to make a difference in this world. Investing in a child can change the trajectory of their entire life. Child Impact delivers hope and a brighter future.” Tom would like to affirm the visionary leadership of the current CEO, Jim Rennie, and the Child Impact team, along with the board of directors. As he prepares to assume leadership responsibilities beginning in August, please lift their family and the growing and life-changing ministry of Child Impact International in prayer.