FAQs FAQ How does sponsorship work?As a child sponsor, you'll have a unique connection with a child and their family. But to ensure that your donation is spent as effectively as possible, child sponsorship funds are split between helping your sponsored child go to school, and the caregiver gaining skills to improve their income. We will train the caregiver in a number of stills including conservation farming, business, health and hygiene to name but a few. We also aim to leave a community with clean water, and a mentoring programme for school children. How much does sponsorship cost?Sponsorship costs a minimum of £16 a month – that’s just over 52p a day. 91% of this money is spent directly in Uganda. The remaining 9% is spend on UK costs i.e postage, printing, IT and office supplies. Your ‘giftaid’ is used to help with running costs. How does Gift Aid benefit Amigos?Gift Aid is a great government scheme that allows charities to reclaim tax on donations made by UK taxpayers, which means your donations will be worth 25% more to Amigos at no extra cost to you. If you Gift Aid your donations we can claim back from the government 25p for every £1 you donate, boosting the value of the donation by a quarter. Can I visit my sponsored child?Yes, it’s very possible for you to visit your sponsored child. We have had many sponsors who have had the opportunity to visit their sponsored child/family, who come home both delighted and inspired. What you need to know about visiting your sponsored child/family? You will need to have been sponsoring a child/family with Amigos for at least one year. You need to arrange your visit in advance so we can plan for a member of staff to take you to where your sponsored child/family live. While visiting your sponsored child, you'll need to pay for any expenses incurred, for example: transport, meals and accommodation. If you’re interested in visiting your sponsored child/family, please contact the UK office via phone or email. Can I make a financial gift to my sponsored child/family?Yes, a financial gift can be made any time throughout the year, but will be distributed in Uganda at Christmas time. Gifts of this nature are very much appreciated however large or small. They can be used in creative ways to boost a little business, solve a pressing need or improve family conditions. Here is a list of some of the things that have been chosen by Ugandan families when receiving a financial gift: Livestock Building materials Bikes Beds Mattresses Solar lights Pit Latrines Clothing Investment in a high interest savings account Can I request a specific gift to be purchased for my sponsored child/family?We would very much like you to leave the choice of a gift to your sponsored child/family and our Ugandan team. This is because they will know best, both with the family’s situation and how they can make maximise the benefit from your generosity. We love the saying 'it takes a spider to repair its own web'. How do I make a financial gift to my sponsored child/family?Please send a cheque to the UK office or make a direct bank transfer to: Lloyds BankSort Code 30-90-49 Account No 01070832 Please reference your cheque with the child’s name on the back, or if you chose to make a direct bank transfer, please reference it with the child’s name, and email the UK office informing them of your payment. Once your gift has been received we will acknowledge receipt and keep it safe until we transfer funds to Uganda late December. Our child sponsorship coordinators travel to where your sponsored child/family live, and helps them chose something that will benefit the whole family. We will inform you of what your sponsored child/family has used your gift for by March/April of the following year, sometimes with an accompanying photo. Can I send gifts to the child/family I sponsor?You are welcome to send letters/cards to the child you are sponsoring. But we suggest that you don’t send gifts/parcels. Beside it being very expensive to send a parcel to Uganda (postage might exceed the value of the gift) there might be custom charges that a family couldn’t afford. Sending a financial gift works both in value and effect. The child/family can choose an appropriate gift that would aid their development. How do I send my sponsored child a letter or Christmas/birthday card?The quickest way to do this is via our Ugandan P.O.Box:Amigos UgandaP.O.Box 33047KampalaUganda Your letter/card will be given to your sponsored child when our Ugandan coordinators next visit their district. January/February, April/May or August/September. You are most welcome to send letters/cards to our UK office, but these will be delivered when someone is traveling to Uganda throughout the year. Can I write to my child online?Yes, please go to 'Write to your Sponsored Child' where you will find a really easy online template. Just fill in all the fields and 'send'. We'll do the rest! When will my sponsored child receive the letter/card I send?This will depend on when you send a letter/card and when our child sponsorship coordinators are in the child’s area. Joseph and Milly will visit each sponsorship district in January/February, April/May and August/September. How long will my child sponsorship last?We aim to support a sponsored child/family for 3 years. After three years, once the family is healthier, better-off and starting to flourish, we transition to a new community. Depending on how your sponsored child/family have developed and what they have accomplished over the 3 years you have been supporting them, will determine whether we recommend sticking to the 3-year programme, or ask you if you are willing to support them for an extra year. Will my child leave sponsorship early?Yes, this can happen, but it’s rare. Sometimes a caregiver dies, leaving another family member to look after the child. This means the child can be moved to a different district that we don’t operate in, but we will still do our best to support the child as much as possible. Our hope is that a child/family is sponsored throughout, but rest assured we will contact you as soon as we receive news of a change of circumstance. I’ve received a message about my sponsored child from someone on Facebook. What should I do? If you have been contacted by your sponsored child, please let us know as soon as possible as our child sponsorship team in Uganda can investigate. We have a duty of care to protect our sponsors and sponsored children, which is why we manage all correspondence on your behalf. Please don't respond to the message, and simply continue communicating with your sponsored child through the normal letter writing process. We want to do all we can to protect our sponsors and our children, which is why we manage all correspondence on your behalf and will investigate any concerns you have about social media. What happens if I need to stop my sponsorship?Please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help. We understand that sponsors' situations change, and there may be a number of reasons why you have to end your sponsorship. Please contact us personally as well as cancelling your Standing Order with your bank. If you do decide to end your sponsorship, your child will continue to benefit from the Amigos child sponsorship programme, as we’ll try to find another sponsor for them as soon as we can. How do I contact Amigos?Please get in contact by post, phone, email or via our Facebook page.. Amigos Worldwide3 Boutport StreetMermaid WalkBarnstapleNorth DevonEX31 1RH Tel: 01271 377664 [email protected]Massage: www.facebook.com/AmigosKiraFarm Our UK office is open from Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. How does Amigos choose a child/family for sponsorship?We work through local churches and community leaders who are very often best place to identify vulnerable children with particular needs and who are orphaned or currently unable to attend school regularly.One of our main aims is to support and train the caregiver moving them from dependency to dignity. Here are some of our selection criteria… A child should be orphaned (maternally/paternally or both), or have physically disabled or elderly parents. Between 6-8 years old. Any child will be considered irrespective of race, colour, religion, gender, national origin (ancestry), disability or sexual orientation. Children/families should be selected from areas where Amigos farming groups operates, and in conjunction with local church, be resident in a district for not less than one year. Children selected should be a walkable distance to the local school, and church that is implementing the programme. Caregivers must have access to land and is joined to an Amigos farming group in that area. The family must be prepared to develop an income generating activity, however small. The caregiver needs to be committed to the education of the children in their care. When will I receive a letter from my sponsored child?We do our best to send you 3 letters a year, although sometimes this might not possible for a number of reasons: Our Ugandan team visits each sponsored child/family’s district 3 times a year, mainly in school holidays. These are the times when your sponsored child will write a letter to you. Sometimes unbeknown to us a child might be sick, with another relative or involved in a family activity away from their village. This only happens to a small number of sponsored children, and we do our best to rectify this as soon as possible. Can I write to my sponsored child?Yes, our children love receiving letters from their sponsors. It means so much to a child and their caregiver to know there is someone on the other side of the world willing to support and encourage them. Your letters will be cherished by your child and the whole family. How do I write a letter to my sponsored child?Please introduce yourself and your family. Take time to share about your work, pets, hobbies, where you live, if you have children and what school is like for them. You may not think your life is very interesting, but children will be fascinated to hear about where you live and your everyday life. You are most welcome to accompany your letters with photos. Please encourage your sponsored child by admiring any pictures they draw, and compliment them for the letters they write to you. Please remember that English is your sponsored child’s second language, so they might appear to be more simple then you expected. Letters take a while to be hand delivered in Uganda, so please understand if your sponsored child doesn’t respond to your questions right away. Can I send my sponsored child a birthday gift?We suggest that birthday gifts are incorporated into Christmas gifts, as we are unable to administer a gift more than once a year. We also suggest that birthday cards are sent three months in advance to ensure they arrive on time, and when our Child Sponsorship coordinators are visiting the area. How often will my sponsored child write to me?We aim to help your child write to you three times a year. You can write to your child as often as you like, but we suggest two or three times a year also. Please bear in mind that letters take a little while to get to Uganda, and then hand delivered as there is no postal service like we have in the UK. I would like to send a cheque to Amigos?If you would like to send a cheque to Amigos, please make it payable to Amigos Worldwide and write your child’s name on the back and send it to: Amigos Worldwide3 Boutport StreetMermaid WalkBarnstapleDevonEX31 1PZ What happens if there is more than one child in the family?The great benefit of sponsoring a child through Amigos is that you’re helping to move the whole family out of poverty, towards sustainability.We generally sponsor only one child from each family, but your generosity is benefiting the whole family with training in conservation farming techniques, alongside a whole host of other skills. Why are the questions I ask in my letters not answered?There can be a number of reasons why your sponsored child may not respond to questions in your letter: It may take a while for your sponsored child to gain confidence in writing. I may be because your letters have overlapped. It’s possible your sponsored child didn’t bring your letter to the district letter writing event. Ugandan culture sometimes doesn’t allow a child to ask questions, leading to a reticence in a child to share their feelings. You might like to draw attention to questions by underlining or highlighting them. What happens if I cannot continue as a sponsor?If your circumstances change and you can no longer sponsor a child/family, we totally understand. We will, however, need to find another sponsor for your child/family as soon as we can, so please let us knowif you decide to end your support. Can I decide the gender and age of my child?Unless you make a specific request, we will send you the details of the child/family on our books who is in greatest need of your support. If you would prefer to sponsor a child of a specific gender and age please talk to us and we'll do our best to help.