Children bring perspective to child sponsorship approach
by Hannah Porter, communications officer, Sponsorship Transformation Program, World Vision International
For the first time, children had a say in how sponsorship should improve their lives in a way that would influence how World Vision approaches child sponsorship across the board. From diverse places around the world – Armenia, Ethiopia, Ghana, the Philippines, Peru, Senegal, Vietnam and Zambia – children reflected on how sponsorship works in their contexts and offered suggestions for how it could better serve them.
In the Philippines, children shared that it was important to focus on empowering and protecting themselves from abuses in the digital age of sponsorship.
Children from Ghana expressed a desire to see the most vulnerable children in their communities (e.g. children with disabilities) reached through sponsorship.
Armenian children talked about the implications of supporter engagement, saying “Sponsors’ transformation, care, commitment and love help children to be transformed as well and care for others.”
In Zambia, children spoke about the potential for better life-enriching experiences by building more engaging connections and relationships with sponsors.
The Child Sponsorship Transformation team used the children’s feedback to revise the Partnership’s child sponsorship policy, along with significant input from national offices, regional offices and support offices. The Partnership policy, which has now been approved by the World Vision International board, replaces an older Partnership policy from 2003. It updates World Vision’s approach to child sponsorship in line with other organisational strategies and policies, and supports World Vision’s work to transform child sponsorship for a new generation.
The diversity of perspectives contributed to the development of a framework for sponsorship for children’s well-being and supporter transformation. The policy includes principles for children’s participation and voice, domestic sponsorship and the alignment of marketing and communications with programming, global branding and positioning. It also covers updated principles on the use of child sponsorship contributions and establishes an accountability framework for management standards.
Reflecting on the policy revision process, Madlen Muradyan, child sponsorship manager – World Vision Armenia, said “This was an exciting opportunity to hear children share their insights into how we do sponsorship and to learn about their ideas and aspirations while they gave input to the policy.”