There are a number of ways you can continue to support children in their family groups and communities. We have a new page on our website that outlines the many options available to you.
- Clean water makes a big difference in the lives of children at home and at school, so if water and health or education is your passion, then choose one of our themed options.
- If you would like to keep supporting children and communities in the same area, we have specific projects in South Africa and the Philippines.
- You can choose to transfer your sponsorship to a child-focused centre such as a school. There are 10 schools to choose from in a number of countries. See the information below.
We would love you to register your sponsorship preference by completing the form provided with the change taking effect on 1 July 2018. Many sponsors support a number of children and/or centres and in this case it may be easier if you request us to contact you by phone to discuss your options.
As a child leaves the program, either by finishing their schooling or the family moving to another location, we will call you to discuss your sponsorship options and this change will take effect immediately.
The Australian Government determines the tax-deductibility status of donations to International Development. Providing direct support to schools, hospitals and residential care facilities falls outside the tax-deductibility guidelines. Therefore, after 1 July 2018, centre sponsorship will be deemed non-tax deductible.
We can confirm that after 1 July 2018 we will be offering support to 10 centres through non tax deductible sponsorship:
- Kuywa Special School - Kenya
- Joyland Special School - Kenya
- Thika School for the Blind - Kenya
- Joytown Special School - Kenya
- Matumaini School of Hope - Tanzania
- Mi Casita Day Care Centre - Ecuador
- The Great Bay Basic School - Caribbean
- Study Guide Program - Myanmar
- Thalampitiya Preschool - Sri Lanka
- Indonesia - Remote Schools
You are welcome to come across on the same rate as your existing sponsorship or upgrade to a higher level of giving at any time.
The International Development team has worked extensively with other Salvation Army donor territories around the world to ensure that the areas where Australia is ceasing support are provided for. The good news is that, in many cases, children who have one or two parents have returned home. Many parents thought that if their child was sent to a residential centre they would have a better chance of an education. By empowering parents with training and a small business loan, they can provide for their family, and the children can continue to be schooled through education-focused projects.
Globally, The Salvation Army is changing to group or community-based sponsorship. This is in countries that implement sponsorship, such as Kenya, and those that fund sponsorship, such as Australia, Canada and Sweden. The Salvation Army Australia has consulted with implementing countries to determine how the model of sponsorship would be implemented in their country.
Where The Salvation Army Australia supports individual children and centres, countries that would like an expression of sponsorship to continue will receive ongoing support either from Australia, through our new sponsorship model, or another donor territory such as Norway, Canada, USA etc.
For sponsored children whose school year continues after July 2018, The Salvation Army Australia has committed funding for the remainder of their school year.
The centres that will be supported through the Education Centre Sponsorship (non-tax deductible) are those recommended by our implementing countries as having the greatest need for support.
This change is being made with consideration of many factors, but most importantly with great thought into how we can best serve the children under The Salvation Army's care. The key benefits include:
- The inclusion of more children as sponsorship beneficiaries. One of the constant challenges with the current approach for sponsorship is that there can be significant disparity between children who have a sponsor and those who do not. Moving to community sponsorship provides equal opportunity for all children in our programs to reach their highest potential.
- Greater sustainable change for children, their families and the wider community. Providing training and development programs to families within the community not only addresses the root causes of poverty, but can enable parents to increase their income and fund their own children's education themselves.
- More effective use of your financial support. Your sponsorship funds will be combined with other sponsors paired with the same program, making a more significant difference in not only meeting essential basic needs for the children, but also by enabling life-skill training programs and supporting the continuation of the program in the community that they serve.
- Enhanced efficiency in administration. This change will immensely lighten the administrative load for the sponsorship staff around the world so that they can focus their time and attention on where it matters most: meeting the needs of the children in their program.
Having a twelve month timeframe allows us to develop a transition plan in consultation with overseas secretaries in the developing countries. Your continued support will have a huge impact on your sponsor child's life allowing them to feel supported no matter how long or short your sponsorship. We ask that you continue to support your child until the end of June 2018.
A review of sponsorship is taking place with other donor Territories throughout The Salvation Army, including Sweden, Norway, Canada, USA and New Zealand. Through this review process we will endeavour to equally distribute support and maximize the number of children who can be assisted through our community focussed sponsorship program.
Actually, the majority of international development charities made this change long ago. Most charities now direct their sponsorship money to community development projects, not to individual children. This includes the largest child sponsorship charities like World Vision and PLAN International.
So why can you still select a child to sponsor from their websites?
These charities match a sponsor with an individual child who's already participating in a development project. Because of this, these charities still allow you to exchange letters and photos with your individual sponsor child, but the money doesn't go directly to that child - it is used to fund community development projects that benefit that child's entire community.
This approach is commonly used by many charities for sponsoring overseas children, and would be clearly explained in the terms and conditions of sponsorship for those charities.
So why isn't The Salvation Army using this same approach?
In short, because we want to ensure your donation has the biggest impact possible. For staff overseas, the process of matching a child with a sponsor, and of coordinating hundreds of letters and photos, takes an enormous amount of time and energy. When resources are already so tight, we want to ensure that our overseas staff are making the biggest difference possible. By freeing them of the need to coordinate letters and photos, they will have much more time for meeting the needs of children. This in turn means your donation stretches further and has even greater impact on children in need.