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I sponsor a little girl called Ann, who lives in Kenya. I researched the charity I would select quite throughly, and in the end chose Out of Afrika, as it is a small charity, and the founder responsded to my queries almost instantly via email.
It costs £15 a month and for that Ann gets her uniform and other clothing, books, medical care, general care, stationary and extra tuition. I know from contact with the workers out in Kenya that they decide which each child's family needs and directs the money specifically for each child.
Ann is an orphan, who lives with her older brother and sister. The charity have bought her brother two cows, so that he can provide for his sisters. He is apparently very close to his cows, and treats them like children!
I get Ann's school reports sent to me, and letters from her. I also get updates from the workers out there, so that I can know the direct influence I have had over her family's life.
Out of Afrika also have an online shop, where you can purchase additional gifts for your sponsored child. These range from shoes, clothes, books and food. The workers are happy to inform you, via email, which are most needed by the family of your child.
The charity seems to be very aware of the need to make sure the other children in the village do not feel 'left out', and many of the projects are to support everyone in the school.
The charity also encourages people to visit their sponsored children, which I plan to do in a year or two. They do not charge for this privilage, and I do not believe that most charities would support this idea.
It only costs 50p a day to give a child an education. This enables them to support their families and raise themselves out of poverty. We take education for granted here, but it should be a right for ALL, not just children in the Western world.
I do not want this review to sound like an advert, but I can only speak about the experience I have had with one charity. I know there are many other charities that also do wonderful sponsorship programmes.
I have since edited this review by uploading a picture of Ann.