$50/month can sponsor an orphan from Group A
$60/month can sponsor an orphan from Group B
$75/month can sponsor an orphan from Group C
Each day millions of children across the world face incredible hardship. Struggling to survive amongst wars, disasters, drought or disease – they all too often become orphaned as a result. Sponsor an orphan today and help transform the lives of children around the world.
“…the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise…” (Bukhari)
For many orphaned children, the reality of poverty is a daily burden. Left wondering: where will my next meal come from? Where are we going to live? If we get sick and can’t afford medicine…will we survive? – every day is a challenge.
Deprived of much-needed educational support, health care and critical age-appropriate safe places to play and grow, these children are incredibly vulnerable and face a bleak future.
They need critical care and support – and that’s where Islamic Relief comes in.
Sponsor an orphan today.
Here at Islamic Relief, we believe that every child deserves a positive start in life and the hope for a bright future. That’s why we’re supporting orphaned children affected by war, bereavement, poverty and ill-health, offering them the chance for a better future.
We build safe villages for children across the globe, providing clean water, healthcare and education. We protect children from dangerous child labour, we provide food security and critical psychosocial care and crucially; we also help carers to enter into work/increase their household income to provide long-term sustainable support.
Striving to ensure that these children are safe, protected and loved, we’re transforming lives.
We already support over 63,000 orphans around the world – help us to support even more.
Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the Orphan Sponsorship Program that you can use for further guidance:
Child sponsorship is an effective way of giving that sets up a connection between a donor and a vulnerable orphan. The donor will receive an annual update on how their support is assisting the sponsored child and their family.
No, it is not. The child you sponsor will have a family of their own, but sponsors play an important role in the eyes of the child and their family by providing funding so they can meet their basic needs.
According to Islamic tradition, an orphan is usually a child who has no father. The child will remain an orphan until the age of maturity/understanding.
Due to Islamic Relief’s humanitarian mandate and based on our extensive experience with the communities with which we work, we include children who have a father whose whereabouts has been unknown for two years or more, or one year for refugees and internally displaced people.
In line with the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child (CRC) of which nearly all countries are signatories, Islamic Relief has extended this classification to define a child as any human being under the age of 18. However, it is still possible to continue to sponsor a child beyond the age of 18 in order to support the education of an existing orphan.
We understand that some non-orphan families within the same communities may be worse off than orphan families, but we are unable to include them in the OSP at the moment. They may, however, be included in other Islamic Relief programmes, – such as livelihoods or healthcare or education projects – which can be supported through a one-off or regular donation. Donors can also contribute to a Children’s Fund if they would like their donation to go towards other children who are not necessarily orphans.
You can sponsor an orphan by calling our supporter relations team on 0207 593 3232. A member of our team will be happy to set this up for you. Alternatively, you can do this online by visiting out website at https://www.islamicreliefcanada.org/about-us/what-we-do/orphans-and-children/
Can I sponsor more than one child?
You can sponsor a child in 26 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and eastern Europe. These countries are:
No, you cannot sponsor a child in Canada. We only offer sponsorship outside of Canada – there are 25 countries to choose from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and eastern Europe.
No. Islamic Relief supports people of all faiths and none. It is our duty to support those who are most in need.
No, you cannot choose the gender, age or location of your child. We wanted to ensure that orphans of all ages/gender/backgrounds would have the same opportunities of becoming sponsored and felt that removing the element of choice would be the best way to do this.
Yes, it is possible as a school or group to sponsor a child.
It is possible to sponsor more than one child, but it is not possible to sponsor a school because not all of the children in the class or school may be eligible for sponsorship. However, if you do wish to support a class, school or project, we can review this on a case-by-case basis.
Yes, the sponsorship is 1-2-1. Your money covers all the basic needs of one child within a family. The funds go to the guardian so they can spend it in the best way possible to benefit the sponsored child and their family. However, we are looking to reform the programme to provide more support with a focus on sustainable livelihoods.
We believe that the Orphan Sponsorship Programme model is cost-effective and has no evidence to suggest that the many-to-many model is more cost-effective. However, we are always looking for ways to improve our sponsorship programme. We are looking at the strengths of the current Orphan Sponsorship Programme, and complementing it with proven livelihood components. It’s important that the majority of the people we support are empowered to become self-sufficient.
The sponsorship programme has been running for over 30 years and is very popular with field offices and donors alike. Regarding sustainability for families, we link one donor to one child, but the family benefits as the funds go to the caregiver of the child (usually the mother, or a member of the extended family, such as an aunt, uncle, or grandparents).
We always attempt to link our sponsored families with other programmes Islamic Relief is running in the same country, such as micro-finance or sustainable livelihoods projects, so they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to support themselves in the future.
Based on our own experience and independent reports by respected agencies, such as UNICEF, we find this dependency does not happen in the overwhelming majority of cases. Many families use the sponsorship funds to invest in their livelihoods, such as buying livestock, or setting up small scale businesses.
The sponsorship programme is for the most disadvantaged families in a target area. We must identify first those orphans who are living in a family with the lowest income. Limited resources means we must prioritise when selecting beneficiaries. We use an open and transparent process to do so.
Selection for Orphan Sponsorship Programme means choosing beneficiaries eligible for the programme based on agreed criteria, usually after a target area or community has been identified. The standard scoring criteria covers the following points:
We look to cover the most basic needs of the family, in terms of nutrition, health and education. The cash transfer empowers the family to utilise the funds for their immediate needs. Based on our experience, sponsorship funds are life-changing for families, offering support and opportunities they would otherwise not receive.
Our front line staff carry out regular home visits to ensure funds are utilised correctly.
When you start your sponsorship, we will send you basic information about the child as well as a photo. If you are paying via direct debit, you will receive this information once we receive the first payment. This is usually four to six weeks after the direct debit has been processed. If you have made payment for the whole year via cheque/credit or debit card/postal order then you should receive the information within two to three weeks. We aim to send you a report on your sponsored orphan every year – this annual progress report is written by the field officers who are responsible for visiting the orphans and contain information about the child and the progress that they are making at school etc.
You can email any letters and photographs to your orphan via the following email address: [email protected]. We will check the letters are suitable, remove contact details and forward to the relevant field office. Responses depend on your sponsored child. In some cases, the child or guardian may respond straight away; others may take several months to respond or may choose not to respond at all.
It may be possible to organise supervised visits after gaining agreement from the local Islamic Relief office, the child, and their guardian. Please note that visits cannot be made directly to the orphan’s home in line with our Child Protection Policy, so the meeting is likely to be held in the local Islamic Relief office. Any UK-based individual requesting a visit will have to be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) approved. You may only visit your child and their guardian once a year.
You would be responsible for your own travel arrangements at your own expense and risk and for providing evidence of a DBS check. You would also need to pay for the travel, accommodation, and food costs of the child and guardian if they had to travel a long distance and stay overnight in the location of the Islamic Relief office.
Letter-writing is an important part of your relationship with your sponsored child and his or her community. But instead of writing lengthy letters, we suggest writing hand-written messages on coloured postcards, so the family can put them up on their wall if they choose to.
We also recommend that you keep your sentences relatively short and simple. Please bear in mind that only a few sponsored children speak English, so your messages will need to be translated into their local language by our field staff. Children like to know more about you, your family and friends, where you live, what the country is like, what pets you have, what animals are in the country, what sports you like – anything that makes the connection more personal.
It is possible to do this, but there are strict parameters: the guardian needs to give their consent; then the child and their guardian need to come to the local Islamic Relief office – and the donor must cover the transport costs of getting them to the office. The call must be made to the office; it can last a maximum of one hour; and it can only take place once a year.
If a child wants to send the sponsor any correspondence, this is sent to us electronically via the field office. We then forward it on, but the child is not obliged to do this. There may also be comments from the orphan directed to the sponsor in the annual progress report. We are working to make improvements to what we can offer to sponsors.