The child sponsorship program was started in July 1994, and has become a central program of IIMC. There are currently more than 4000 children sponsored by individuals and groups from over 15 countries around the world.
A small monthly contribution enables sponsors to give a child access to education and health care reducing their chances of illiteracy, poor health and poverty. The program is successfully changing the lives of children and their families and we are proud to run such an important initiative.
How It Started
Soon after IIMC began, we realised most people coming to IIMC couldn’t read the prescription given to them by the doctor; and they didn’t know how to get and stay healthy. This lack of literacy, education and financial income meant medical problems were ongoing and hard to treat.
It was clear that people need at least primary education and this is how we started with ten sponsored children in 1993. After the first year, the results were very encouraging. All the children were healthy, clean and thriving. So health care and education ultimately changed the whole family’s situation and health. We now believe it is education, first and foremost, that will bring health improvement to the people of West Bengal.
Why We Sponsor Children to Attend School
We believe that educating children is one of the most important ways of helping families break the cycle of poverty. Poor people have a preconception that school is not for them, that only children from rich families deserve to go to school. But we believe that all children have a right to go to school, and change their health and future.
That is why we started IIMC’s sponsorship programme and why it continues to grow.
By supporting us you can play a vital role in the life of a child that extends far beyond financial support. By writing to your sponsored child, you will see the difference your words of hope and encouragement can make in their life.
If a child knows they are valued and supported, it helps them develop their confidence and dreams for a better future.
How We Run The Sponsorship Program
IIMC prides itself on running a successful program with over 4000 children sponsored so far. We do this by:
- Careful selection of children that need to be sponsored – usually one child from a family who is living in poverty. Most of these parents work as a day labourer, rickshaw puller, street hawker, house servant etc. but desperately want their child to go to school.
- Complete assessment to ensure the parents are motivated and committed to send the child to school.
- A sponsor family will either choose a child waiting to be sponsored, or we will match a sponsor family with a child.
- We ask the sponsor child to write to their sponsor family at least two times a year to update them on their progress.
- We invite the sponsor family to write to their sponsor child to encourage them and motivate them throughout the year. This often results in the child staying committed and doing well at school.
- We encourage the sponsor family to continue their support of the child until the child completes higher secondary (Class-XII, 18 years old). After that, they have a solid basic education, and can work to earn money for their families. Some are very bright and will continue up to University (21 years old).
- If some children cannot continue their study, we inform their sponsoring parents to stop sponsoring. But if the sponsor parents want to sponsor another child, we will propose a new child that is waiting to be sponsored.
- If a sponsor family can no longer sponsor the child, we endeavour to find a new sponsor family so the child does not have to stop going to school.
What Your Sponsorship Pays For
Your sponsorship pays for your child’s school fees, study material, uniforms, shoes, socks, school bags, books, midday food, private tuition fees, everything whatever they need for their education.
Although schooling is our primary focus, your support achieves far more than just educating your sponsor child.
You are also enabling us to provide:
- Social and moral courage and guidance
- Free medical treatment for the child and their whole family
- Financial support for the child’s mother if she needs it through our Micro Savings and Micro Credit Scheme.
- Family counselling
How to Join our Sponsorship Program
You can choose to sponsor a child yourself, or join with a group of family or friends and sponsor a child.
- Please contact us directly or our coordinators in your country.
- Choose the child you would like to sponsor or allow us to match a child who is waiting for sponsorship.
- Your sponsorship is paid directly into our account every month or as an annual amount if that is suitable for you.
- Typically our local coordinators in your country will communicate with you.
Once you decide to sponsor a child, you will receive:
- Your child’s file, including a photograph, family history and living conditions.
- A School Progress report every year after annual examination.
- The child will write on her/his birthday and the New Year.
- IIMC Education Coordinators will keep you informed regularly with the reports of the school the child is attending.
- You are welcome to write to the child as often as you want.
- Your personal visit to Kolkata, the project and the child’s home is very welcome.
Contact us today!
We at IIMC believe that education is one of the best way you can help India and promote child human rights & social dignity. Thank you for helping us to reduce:
- Abuse and exploitation
- Child labour
- Social & economic injustice
- Caste problems
Can I donate more than the basic sponsorship rate?
Yes! If you choose to add an extra amount to your monthly sponsorship you will be helping us to provide for additional educational facilities (such as playgrounds, lighting, and wells) medical services (such as outreach clinics, immunisations and malaria prevention programs), and our successful community development activities.
All sponsored children benefit from initiatives or activities supported by these extra donations throughout their time in our programs.
If you would like to make an extra monthly donation, or make a one off donation, please contact us today.