of the Orphan Ministry
at the LBS Mwika (HUYAMWI)
paper 4: sponsorship from overseas
Released 24.2.04 – Author: Rev. Dr. Martin
Many people in Germany and Overseas are
ready to give money to sponsor a certain child. Organisations like “World
Vision”, “Kindernothilfe”, “Plan International” have arranged about 330.000
sponsorships in Germany.
The reason, why they are so successful is,
that the sponsor get something individual as a reward for their money. A
picture of the sponsored child, a personal letter from the beneficiary etc. So
the sponsors get the feeling, that their money is used in the right way.
However other organisations like “Brot für
die Welt” don’t arrange sponsorships, because they see the disadvantages : By a personalized
sponsorship only a selected child receives help, his or her friends in the same
village receive nothing. Another disadvantage are the high running costs, of
translating and distributing the personal letters in both directions.
However the modern concept of sponsoring
children provides also money for projects within the community of the sponsored
child. So a certain part of the donations
is not used for the child personally but is spent on community-
development projects like health.- or water-projects. Also the big sponsorship
organisations have shown, that the can do the required linking between the
sponsor and the beneficiary
effectively and at low costs.
Our task as advisors
in the arrangement of sponsorship/ scholarships.
We have to see the needs of the
The sponsor wants to give money, but
he wants to have a feed back.
He/ She wants to know the one, who received the money /
personally ( having the name, a picture etc).
He wants to establish a long term
relationship of responsibility.
The sponsor want to understand, why
this child is chosen to be sponsored.
He want to have security, that the
money is used properly, there fore he choose a personalised form of help
instead of spending money only for non-personal purpose, like running cost etc.
Because this person can be asked theoretically, whether the help reached it
The sponsor wants to spend his money
in a small, reasonable area. Large organisations and concepts are suspicious to
We have to see the needs of the receiving
The receiving congregation has a lot
of orphans, even more than there are going to be sponsored.
The congregation has the (hard) task
to explain to those, who are not going to be sponsored, why they are not chosen
and the congregation needs to keep peace and unity with all orphans even while
a scholarship program is running.
Therefore the receiving congregation needs also
to run a program carrying for the
other orphans not being sponsored.
The congregation can not use a lot of
time to prepare reports documentation etc for those being sponsored and neglect
those who are not sponsored.
The congregation needs to react
quickly to urgent needs of some orphans and to use even more money for some
special cases (for example repair of houses of orphan and widows)
The congregation needs to evaluate the
needs of all orphans regularly in order to adjust the scholarship-program to
the actual needy families.
We have to mediate between the sponsor
and the receivers.
We have to reduce the expectations of
the sponsors concerning the expected feed back.
We have to raise the awareness of the sponsors to see the need to run a
program for all orphans not only for selected ones.
We have to raise the awareness of
sponsors, that the receiving congregation needs the legal possibility to
distribute the available funds according to the actual needs. This means, there
must be an allowance for special cases, and the possibility to change the
amount of the distributed money or
to change the final beneficiaries, if necessary.
We have to educate the congregations
to use the tool of sponsorship effectively, transparently and righteously. This
means all steps and decision of the receiving congregation concerning the
scholarship-program must be documented and this type of documentation must be
made accessible to the sponsor. The receiving congregation must use the
criteria of justice as far as possible.
The problems of a classical direct sponsorship.
Definition of a direct sponsorship
One individual sponsor (normally in
One individual receiver
A certain amount of money is given per
year, which must be spent for the receiver only ( after taking away a certain
amount of money for the running costs of the mediating agency)
Running over a long period of time:
normally from primary-school up to the end of higher education.
Problems for the receiver
On the first glace the establishment of a
long-lasting relationship seem to be a relieve for the receiver and seems to be
a replacement for the lost financial security provided by the deceased parents.
However money can not replace paternal love. If this money is provided without
the guarding love it can lead to some psychological problems:
Lack of responsibility for the use of
the provided money, because the money is given without the providential
parental guidance, which normally will withhold further payment of the money if
the child shows any kind of misbehaviour.
Lack of initiative of one’s one.
Because the sponsor will take care of most of the financial needs of the receiver,
the receiver will have no need to develop strategies to raise sufficient funds
for his personal living costs. True paternal love will always educate children
to be independent and reliable.
Isolation from his extended family,
because other member of his clan will look suspicious and with jealousy at the
one, who received the chance and possibility of a higher education and material
Note: One of the reasons we introduced our
trainee program is to prevent these types of problems, because our trainee
program focus on the personal development of the orphans, before we release
them into any kind of sponsored higher education.
Problems concerning the family system
of the receiver.
Of course if one member of a family will
get a chance for higher education this is great joy and sign of hope for the
whole family. But we need t o see, that concept of the
family will cause some problems to comply with the idea of a individual direct
The individual sponsorship will be
misunderstood as a general support for the whole family of the receivers.
The family of the receiver will expect
help from the sponsor also in areas outside the defined help.
Clever family members will use the address
of sponsor to bypass the mediating agency to write directly to the sponsor to
get additional help for special problems. This attitude may continue for
life-time, even if the original beneficiary has already left the official
Other family members expect to benefit
from the received help, even if they
are not needy person.
The receiver of the help will
experience pressure from his older relatives, which he can not resists, because
a younger person can not speak against his/her older relatives.
After receiving help from outside, the
other clan-members will change their behaviour: They will expect help from the
beneficiary, instead of providing help for him/her. So help from outside is
killing the natural help and responsibility within the family clan.
Problems concerning the community / municipality, where the receiver
is living in.
The provided help for individual
persons will divide the local community into two division: the receivers and
The receivers will try to maintain
their status as the receivers and will not be ready to accept any changes
cutting down the once promised help.
The provided help will also open the
door for any kind of corruption, because to get a sponsorship is a good chance
to live without sorrows for a long time.
The above described division in the
society will prevent, that the community really sees its responsibility to care
for needy person. Instead there will be a war about the issue of the right
distribution, which really hinders the society to find a solution for all
orphans who need help.
The above described problems show, that
direct sponsorship, if it is understood only as a help from individual to
individual is not the way to supply help. If direct sponsorship is not handled
properly it will cause more problems, than it is going to solve.
In fact even the big NGOs providing
personal sponsorships are using a part of the given money to cooperate with
family and the local community.
Direct sponsorship providing a certain
amount of money for an individual is not a solution state-of-the-art .
A part of the money must be used for
the benefit of the family and of
the community also in order to include the basic social environment of the
A long term sponsorship is creating
dependency on both sides without the possibility to revaluate the needs and to
adjust the full program to the changed situation. A regular evaluation of the
sponsorships also reduces the danger of corruption. Also it make it possible
that there is a rotation between receivers and non-receivers.
An integrated sponsorship program.
Our sponsorship program will integrate
the different shareholders.
A classical “Direct sponsoring”
program includes only the sponsor,
the receiver and a mediating agency . An integrating sponsorship program
includes also the social context of the receiver.
The individual sponsor and his local community (in our case for
example the congregation of Heikendorf)
The individual receiver ( the orphan)
The family of the receiver
The community of the receiver (in our
case the congreation)
The mediatig agency ( in our case LBS
Qualities required by each shareholder
He/she must take over responsibility
for the whole program as well as for his/ her way of decision making and the
way how she/he is participating in the program.
He/she must be ready to provide
transparent information to other shareholders
He/ she must be ready to communicate
with other shareholders.
Dangers and problems of the integrated model
It is more complicated, than a simple
It is slower in decision making
It needs more communication, and
therefore on first run it is more expensive.
Benefit and advantages of an
It is more just than the “direct sponsoring model”
It prevents corruption and misuse of
It helps the individual, the family
and the congregation to develop their own potential to solve the orphan crisis,
instead of keeping this potential down.
It helps the society to cover really
the needs of a maximum of needy orphans and providing the most sufficient way
for them to get proper education and selfsupport, instead of helping only
randomly selected orphans
The rule of the local community
In the direct sponsoring model normally
only the sponsor and the mediating agency is involved to make decision about
the distribution of funds.
In the integrated model also the
community is involved to make decisions, e. g. who is receiving help, and which
kind of help. The community has to collect the data of the needy person and to
evaluate them and has to present the persons and their needs to the sponsors.
The local community has also the task
to monitor the scholarship program and to adjust it to the change of needs.
Therefore it has to evaluate the sponsorship program regularly.
The local community has also the task
to balance the sponsorship program with measures reaching out to all orphans.
The local community has therefore to
prepare a balanced plan to provide scholarship and support to all needy orphans
(see paper 3)
The rule of the sponsor
There are two models of sponsoring depending,
how much the sponsor is integrated in the decision making process.
The sponsor(s) will promise a certain
amount of money. According to this
fund the community is providing a plan of sponsorship, presenting the
sponsor(s) names and the amount of
money needed for each child. By this way of sponsoring the community can really
make a reasonable plan, because it knows the budget and it can divide this
budget according to the actual needs.
I know even some organisations, which use a
total blind sponsoring: This means they are not
reporting the names of the sponsored students, to avoid the problem of identification in case that a
student needs to be drawn from the
program because of incorrect conduct or insufficient results.
The community will present needy persons
and their needs to the sponsors, who then will decide, who is going to be
The disadvantage of this method, is that
the community will be forced to present “many poor cases”, in order to get the
chance to get more sponsors. Also the danger will be there, that some orphans
may not be chosen by the sponsors, because of less important motives like the
attraction of the presented picture. An other danger is, that a well tuned
program of the community will be sponsored partial, and so again a just
distribution of funds may not be possible.
However the Selective sponsoring
method has the advantages, that it
includes the sponsor in the decision making process and he/she has also the
possibility to control the development of the program.
Compromise between selective and blind
sponsoring: cooperate sponsoring
First of all it is very important, that the
local community will provide accurate data about the orphans and their needs
and the plan of the local community to help these orphans. It needs to build
confidence. If this confidence is build the sponsor will be ready to sponsor
also an overall plan for all orphans. The sponsor needs also to identify with
the community and must take over responsibility for the whole community and all
its orphans. The sponsor must understand, that he is not able to help one
individual orphan effectively without sponsoring an overall plan for all
The identification is easier if the sponsor
himself is organized in a cooperated identity, like a congregation a company, a
society , an association etc. An
alternative to the individual sponsoring (“ I help you”) must be a
cooperate sponsoring. “We are
sponsoring you (Plural)”
A cooperate identity will have the
possibility to be a equivalent partner to the local community carrying out the
ministry to the orphans and therefore it can develop together with it a plan to
help the orphans.
For example: An association is collecting funds to help orphans. Each member of the association will
be a shareholder given a certain amount of money for example 50 Euros a year. The collected amount of money
will be presented to the community here in Tanzania, which will be asked to
present a plan of use for this fund. The plan of the community can know be discussed by the
association and can be accepted. By this way the association keeps the control
of the use of the funds and the possibility to make adjustments. After making a
final agreement the money is transferred and used according to the agreement.
However the single sponsor in this type of
program, will not directly sponsor a certain orphan, but he can identify
himself with one of the sponsored orphans, whose pictures and names may me sent
to the association. He even may choose symbolically one picture to identify
with one of the sponsored orphans.
The rule of the family of the receiver
The family needs to be informed about
the ideas and rules of sponsorship.
Within the released sponsorship there
must be funds available for the benefit of the whole family, like providing
shelter, food and other important things to the brothers and sisters of the
Periods for sponsorships
The sponsorship may not be given
unconditioned for a long period of time. Each year the sponsorship needs to be
evaluated and needs to be discussed with all shareholders, the recipient,
his/her family, the local community and the sponsors. This is necessary to
adjust the sponsorship according to the needs and development of the recipient
and his family.
However to avoid long communication
processes each year there may be a shorter evaluation each year and a general
discussion about the renewal of the sponsorship after two or at least three
In case of a secondary-school
sponsorship, the sponsorship may be promised for four year, but under the
condition of good and sufficient performance at school.