Plan International USA sponsors are heroes – and we have the proof.
Today, more than 1.5 million children are sponsored through Plan. Plan's child sponsorship program offers a smart and tested way to form an inspiring connection with a child and help his or her community and country. Child sponsorship helps fund sustainable, community-led projects that bring education; water, sanitation, and hygiene; health programs; and much more to communities around the world.
Here are seven ways sponsorship makes a difference:
- Empowering children
When she was growing up in Nicaragua, Regina developed a strong relationship with her sponsor, a woman who would write regularly to both her and her grandmother, with whom Regina lived.
Through a Plan girls’ group she learned about her rights and took part in business training. Now, she has started her own business selling secondhand clothes. She has never forgotten her sponsor, who she credits with helping her grow as a person and giving her the confidence she needed to be an entrepreneur.
- Promoting gender equality
Plan’s sponsorship program has helped Nancy, from Honduras, learn about her rights. She now knows that all girls have the right to speak their mind and should be valued as much as boys. Plan is helping children in Nancy's community through scholarships, education kits, and school furniture.
- Ensuring education is a priority
Malak, from Egypt, wrote her sponsor Ellen a small note before Ellen visited.
“Isn’t it amazing that Malak got a chance to attend a good nursery school and learn to read, write, and count at the age of 5?” Ellen said.
“Plan not only provides financial support for community projects, but educates and empowers young people by motivating and encouraging them to pursue their dreams for a better life,” Ellen added.
- Bridging cultures
“I’ve been so inspired by sponsorships through Plan that I gifted our town’s school in Saddle River, New Jersey with a child in perpetuity,” said Peggy, a Plan sponsor for more than 25 years.
“So many children in our country have no idea about the conditions children their age endure. It was my hope that children could share letters and experiences with children across the globe and forge new friendships that could last a lifetime. I hosted a whole United Nations Day at the school, hoping to enlighten them on life and culture outside their bedroom community.”
- Redefining “family”
“Our interactions with Lorenzo have taught us that, despite the distance, we aren’t so different after all, and hopefully he has learned that there are people out there he can depend on, one of which is our small organization,” said Ineke, the coordinator of a Houston high school’s National Honor Society.
“We have been able to see our friend grow up throughout the years; he will always be a part of our organization and, most importantly, our family.”
- Connecting people with their roots
Theresa, a Plan sponsor, shares her letters from her Cambodian sponsored child En with her mother Kim, who is from the country.
“She doesn’t read the translated letters, she reads the original letters in Cambodian,” Theresa said. “She is turning 70 this year and she said it may be the last year she can visit so she really wanted to meet En and his family. And she wanted to do it for me so En can see that I am a real person.”
Kim had the opportunity to meet En’s entire family and learn about Plan programs in the area. She brought a backpack filled with school supplies, clothing, school uniforms, and candy for En and his sister.
- Putting things in perspective
We are so fortunate in this country,” said Gibbs, a Plan sponsor. ”I know that much of the time I take it for granted. This trip really woke me up. I plan to go back.
Here is an example: water. A simple thing we take for granted here is a big deal in many places in the world. In this case, Plan put in a pipeline to a water source high on a hill so that community members no longer had to make the long trek to carry jerry cans of water a couple of miles each day. I felt good that my small contribution helped provide it.”