Sponsor a Child
We are all quite familiar with the lifesaving benefit of child sponsorship in the life of a third world orphan child. It is not a new concept. It’s value has been proven over and over in numerous successful non-profit organizations. Pay It Forward Ethiopia Inc. has reached a point where sponsorships will allow us to rescue more children from street life and child trafficking. We have the infrastructure in place as we transform the lives of nearly 60 children as you are reading this plea. There are still an estimated 100,000 orphans barely surviving on the streets of Addis Ababa today. The international market for trafficked children has found its way to the streets of Addis Ababa. These incredible, beautiful, vulnerable children are being exploited and it is absolutely heart wrenching. Our service model and partner NGO, Hold My Hand, has been recognized nationally several times by the powers that be through Ethiopian media outlets. It is a progressive, modern approach to orphan care that focuses on providing forever homes for the children with live-in, 24/7 house moms and social workers. We are creating forever families for these children. Our program is providing a tangible exit strategy from generational poverty and homelessness, as well as a much needed social safety net. It is working, and you can become an integral part of the ongoing solution.
I would like to attempt to describe the “what’s in it for me” part of the equation. This is the most difficult part… We tend to have a pretty narrow idea of “family”. We identify immediate family, extended family, blood relatives, and a host of other labels. The naked truth is simple and easy to fit into our definitions; family is the opening of our hearts to the vulnerable and the oppressed. We encourage you to make the commitment to come alongside these most vulnerable children. They are all so receptive to building a long-term relationship with someone on the other side of the world. You will be given the tools and support to develop a familial bond with your sponsored child or children. I am so blessed to be able to interact with the children on a regular basis, and I can’t describe the emotional, spiritual lift I get from each visit, whether it be via video chat, or in person meetings. You will be blessed as well.
How It Works
We will encourage you to develop a strong bond with your sponsored child, primarily through letter-writing and picture exchanges. As your relationship grows and evolves, we will be able to help you initiate occasional video chats and special occasion recognition. Our staff will read and translate your correspondence on both sides of the letters. Your sponsorship dollars will be used to insure the best practices in healthcare, education, emotional, and spiritual guidance for your child and the entire family home they live in. You will be able to experience their daily lives through our webpage updates, and through a soon-to-be written blog. We are developing a special Facebook page just for sponsors and supporters of Pay it Forward Ethiopia and Hold My Hand. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the daily challenges and struggles of your child and their Hold My Hand family. You will be able to virtually enjoy the house celebrations and milestones, as well as experience any setbacks and heartbreaks…just like your local family.
We will encourage you to provide your photos and short biography to help the child visualize their new family dynamics.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my contribution go directly to the child I am sponsoring?
Your contribution goes towards the children’s home’s costs as a whole. There isn’t a separate account for each child. This allows the funds to go where they are most needed. Every child is cared for equally providing them all a safe, stable environment to learn and grow.
In the future we will notify you whenever a team member is planning to travel to Ethiopia. This way, if you’d like to, you can send along a small gift for your sponsored child. Shipping gifts is also a possibility. You can reach out to the same email address that you use for correspondence to discuss options.
How do I contact the child I am sponsoring?
We live in a digital age. This enables us to digitize hand-written communication to expedite delivery. When you send a letter or picture to the mailing address we will provide you, we will scan them into digital form. Your letter will be translated in Amharic and sent to leaders of Hold My Hand in Ethiopia. From there it will be given to your child.
You can also email your letters and pictures to us through the email address provided. We strongly recommend hand-writing letters and scanning them to attach to the email. There’s just something more special about receiving a hand-written letter. Even though your sponsored child may not be able to read English they will still see your handwriting, adding a personalized touch.
Can I contact the child directly?
We strongly discourage direct contact. This is for your safety and theirs. There are topics and conversations that may not translate well and we don’t want misunderstandings to result. It’s also inherently dangerous for your contact information to be available in a foreign country. We don’t want scammers to pretend to be your sponsored child and take advantage of you. By going through our network of volunteers and translators these risks are alleviated.
Do you remove anything from my letters?
If you include any direct contact information or last names we will remove them from your letters. This is to prevent direct communication, for your safety and the safety of the child. For more information see the question on direct communication.
What do I do if I have more questions?
If you have any questions please contact the email address that is provided to you for correspondence. A team member will get back to you.