Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Who does Islamic Relief support through our Orphan Sponsorship Program?
Our Orphan Sponsorship Program targets orphans younger than 18 and their families when they fulfil either of the following criteria:
The father or both parents have passed away
A child whose father’s whereabouts have been unknown for two years or more (one year or more for refugees and internally displaced people)
A Sponsorship can continue past the age of 18 up to the age of 24 if the orphan is in higher education or if the orphan has medical needs which require the sponsorship to continue.
Children who are identified for sponsorship are usually within a family home, living with their mother or extended family members such as aunts, uncles, or grandparents.
Islamic Relief sponsors children regardless of race, gender, religion, or ethnicity, if they meet the requirements set out in the program selection criteria.
How is an orphan selected for sponsorship?
To select an orphan for sponsorship, Field Offices use a scoring system which analyzes the orphan family situation based on five main criteria:
Through using a scoring system covering the above factors, the field offices are able to prioritize orphans based on their needs.
Official documentation is required to confirm an orphan’s sponsorship, and the selection of children must not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, age, gender, or disability.
Why should I sponsor with Islamic Relief Canada?
The Orphan Sponsorship Program is one of the oldest running programs within Islamic Relief, having started in 1986, and has since grown to support over 80,000 orphans worldwide. It serves orphans around the world, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, where we have Field Offices.
The program provides life-saving necessities to orphans, improving their health and nutrition, implementing projects within the community and supporting the orphan educationally, socially, and morally.
This program is uniquely a true 1-1 sponsorship model which means donors are paired on a one-to-one basis with an orphan. This allows for the life of the same orphan to be continuously transformed long term, which means they are able to truly rise above their circumstances, gain the opportunities they deserve, and build a better life for themselves and their families.
Many orphans also benefit from other Islamic Relief run programs such as, micro-finance, Ramadan food parcels, Qurbani packages, water projects, social activities, health, vocational and educational projects.
Do you only sponsor Muslim children?
As an organization, Islamic Relief works with a wide range of communities, both Muslims and non-Muslims. We do not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race or ethnicity but give aid to those who are most in need.
For those who are interested, our orphan sponsorship program is Zakat eligible. If you would like to designate your orphan sponsorship as part of your Zakat donations, kindly let us know. We can pair you with a Muslim orphan.
Financial and Payment Inquiries
How much of my sponsorship money will reach the orphans?
The amount received by the orphan is usually 80% of your donation, with possible variations due to exchange rate fluctuations.
The operational expenses entail the extensive field office work Islamic Relief conducts to ensure best practices are in place for your sponsored orphan. Orphans are monitored through both regular home visits conducted by our social workers and group gatherings to ensure that they are receiving the full benefits of sponsorship. We are able to use monitoring gatherings for awareness sessions on the sponsorship process, how to maintain good health, the importance of education, and various other topics.
Does the orphan receive sponsorship money every month?
The donations are transferred to your orphan’s guardian on a quarterly basis. This allows a consistent income, not only for your sponsored orphan, but for their entire household.
Sponsorship funds are used for vital necessities such as:
Health care needs
*Kindly note, if you have a recurring donation and your payments have not gone through for more than 2 consecutive months, the sponsorship will be closed and your sponsored orphan will be reassigned to another donor.
How long will the sponsorship continue?
We encourage a minimum sponsorship time of one year but you may sponsor an orphan for as long as you wish until they have graduated from our sponsorship program.
Will my sponsorship always cost the same amount?
2023 was the first time we reviewed the sponsorship prices in 20 years, and introduced a new price model of $90/month (or $1,080/year) for all countries. Due to inflation and the dramatic increase in the cost of living, we found it increasingly difficult to meet the basic needs of the orphans’ families in most countries with the previous pricing model.
To accommodate a higher cost of living globally while remaining true to our values of excellence and sincerity, Islamic Relief has decided to increase pricing and ultimately make a greater impact for orphan families. Learn more about this through our
Pricing Increase FAQ.
The program may be reviewed as needed over the course of the sponsorship to improve its design, inputs, deliverables, objectives and impact. Thus, the cost of the sponsorship may rise over the course of the sponsorship.
You will always be notified about any changes to the sponsorship cost.
What happens if I wish to cancel my sponsorship?
If possible, we ask that you give us a 3 months notice, so we can find another donor for your orphan. If this is not possible, the orphan will be supported from our Orphan General Fund until another sponsor is found.
You can support our orphans through contributing to our Orphan Care fund that allows us to cover any immediate costs related to educational or medical expenses for orphans, as well as projects that support orphans and their well-being.
Will I always be sponsoring the same child?
Sponsorship may be terminated by the field offices if the orphan is over age, gets married, has a significant increase in income, moves out of an Islamic Relief working region, or if the family/orphan does not cooperate.
In this case, we immediately redirect your donations towards a new orphan and provide an update. In case of death, sponsorship may be transferred to a sibling if they are eligible for the program.
If you would prefer to sponsor a child other than the one we’ve chosen for you, you can call us at 1-855-377-4673, Monday – Friday 9am-5pm (EST) or email us at [email protected]
Connecting with Your Sponsored Orphan
What information will I receive about the orphan I sponsor?
When you start your sponsorship, you will receive a biodata report that includes a photograph and detailed information regarding your sponsored orphan. In addition to the initial report, an annual report is sent based on availability from the respective field office. Donors may request their orphan’s annual progress report via [email protected] if it has been past 15 months of the start of the sponsorship or if they choose to cancel their sponsorship after 12 months and haven’t received the annual report yet.
*Please note, there may be a delay in receiving the first report depending on the country selected by the sponsor.
Can I write a letter to my sponsored orphan?
Yes, the sponsor and orphan can exchange correspondence via Islamic Relief Canada!
We encourage donors to send letters and pictures to their orphans annually. You can email any letters and photographs to your orphan to [email protected]
We monitor all letters to ensure they are suitable and remove any contact details. Your letter will then be forwarded to the relevant field office.
Please note that a confirmation or a response can take months due to various factors including political conflict, orphan location (as most of our orphans live in remote areas), field office workload, natural disasters, and security, amongst other factors outside of our control.
Can I meet with my sponsored orphan?
Yes, a supervised virtual or in-person meetings can be organized with the field office through prior arrangement with Islamic Relief Canada.
We will send you an application form that needs to be filled out at least 8 weeks prior to the meeting once we receive your request as well as our Orphan Meeting Guidelines that needs to be read and signed.
Can I send a gift to my orphan?
Of course! 100% of your gift goes directly towards the orphan and his/her family with no overhead costs. If you wish to give an extra monetary gift to your sponsored orphan, you can visit islamicrelief.ca/orphangifts online.
Kindly ensure you include the orphan ID if you are sponsoring more than one orphan to ensure we send the gift to the correct orphan. Gift donations are transferred on a quarterly basis.
Islamic Relief is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all individuals involved in the sponsorship programme including children, their families and guardians, and donors. As such, any personal data collected for administering the sponsorship program will be strictly processed (stored, used and disposed) in accordance with this policy, Islamic Relief’s Archiving and Record Management Policy and relevant data protection and privacy related legislation.