Child Sponsorship

World Vision’s child sponsorship programs focus on improving the well-being of children in need, especially the most vulnerable. We are uniquely equipped to go to the world’s most broken, heart-wrenching places. Places where it’s hard to be a child. Places where other child sponsorship organizations don’t often go.

We take a holistic approach, working alongside communities to tackle the root causes of poverty and create sustainable change. For every child sponsored through World Vision, another 4 children will also benefit. That’s because we work to strengthen the whole community, so all children can thrive.

Our child sponsorship programs are:

Ending global poverty in our lifetime is possible. It starts with one child, their family, their community—and you.

Child Well Being Indicators

We measure child well-being in our sponsorship communities by monitoring these four indicators and outcomes. Our goal is that all children should:

1. Enjoy Good Health

Making sure children and families are well-nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.

2. Be educated for life

Giving children opportunities to learn and develop their talents, equipping young people for the future, and bringing families and communities together to support children’s education.

3. Experience the love of God and their neighbors

Helping children and families grow spiritually, strengthening local churches to demonstrate Christ’s love in practical ways, and encouraging people to live at peace with their neighbors.

4. Be cared for, protected, and participating in their community

Ensuring Boys and girls are safe and valued, well cared for by their families, and participating in their communities as agents of transformation.

Some of our favorite child sponsorship stories

“Without World Vision, I would not be a doctor today”

When Bernard was young, his town in Haiti lacked access to healthcare. He dreamed of becoming a doctor to help care for his community. When he became a sponsored child, he worked to make his ambition a reality.

How a sponsor’s letter inspired a girl to become a teacher

Dassari was 15 and living in a violence-plagued community in Honduras when she received a letter from her World Vision sponsor that changed the course of her life. She now works as a teacher in her community and wants to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of girls, just as she was once encouraged by her sponsor.

Chileleko chooses her sponsor

Watch as Chileleko, a Zambian girl, chooses her sponsor, and read her new sponsor’s reaction to being chosen.

Our favorite child sponsorship videos

Over 60 years of experience has taught us that the best way to help a child in need is to strengthen the child’s entire community. We take a holistic approach, working alongside local staff, families, and community partners to identify critical needs and tackle the root causes of poverty.

Our unique development model brings lasting, sustainable change that continues to transform the lives of all children in the community long after we’re gone. Focused on results and accountability, we continually measure the progress of our work and provide evidence of impact to our child sponsors.

We work with families, communities, and partners to ensure that children enjoy good health, are educated for life, experience the love of God and their neighbors, and are cared for, protected, and participating in their community.

4 million
children registered in child sponsorship programs worldwide.

Thanks to sponsors around the world in 2016.

communities impacted by child sponsorship programs.

Thanks to World Vision donors from around the world in 2016.

1 million
children worldwide with sponsors here in the U.S.

Funded by World Vision sponsors from the U.S. in 2016.

Our Child Sponsorship Approach

What is World Vision child sponsorship and how does it work?

Child Sponsorship is an opportunity to personally connect with a child, family, and community in need. You’ll walk alongside them as they work on lasting solutions to fight poverty and help vulnerable children reach their God-given potential.

When you become a child sponsor, you’ll start to build a relationship with one special child. You can connect with your child by writing letters and emails or sending cards and gifts. Knowing that someone far away cares about them and their future will be a great encouragement for a sponsored child.

Our decades of experience have proven that the most effective way to help a child is to strengthen the child’s entire community. We do this by pooling your monthly sponsorship donations with those of other sponsors to provide the assistance that children and families living in poverty need most. Your generous donations will help your child, their community, and other children in need by providing vital resources like clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, education, economic opportunities, and more.

Each community that we work with faces different challenges and has different needs, so the work we do is unique to each community. We listen to the people in the community to understand the issues hindering children from reaching their full potential and partner with them to address their short-term and long-term needs. We also work with local groups—such as churches or government organizations—to build stronger communities.

How is World Vision child sponsorship designed to improve the lives of children?

We believe the best way to change the life of a child is to change the community in which he or she lives. The well-being of children is the focus of all World Vision does, and our work centers on improving the lives of vulnerable children.

Each World Vision Sponsorship project is designed to meet the most pressing needs in a sponsored child’s community, and all projects are regularly measured against these goals and objectives. Projects are designed to make sure that children are healthy by local standards, are receiving appropriate education and receive spiritual nurture. Other goals are determined by what the children and community need most: clean water and improved sanitation, better income opportunities for parents, improved agricultural production, etc.

Many of our programs are directed towards developing the skills and capabilities of adults, parents, governments and/or communities with the ultimate goal being to improve the well-being of children. Because the well-being of a child is tied to the well-being of their family and the community where they live, the work we do to help improve the life of your sponsored child is based on meeting the challenges that their community has identified.

How does World Vision work with a community to plan and implement child sponsorship programs?

We work in communities where our presence is requested and welcomed. Before a sponsorship project begins, World Vision workers meet with local community leaders to listen and assess the needs of the community and determine appropriate and effective responses.

Together, we develop a plan for project areas and activities that will address their needs and priorities. A plan of operation with a proposed timeline, budget, specific goals and objectives is created. This plan includes the number of children and families that will be assisted through the various components of the project. A majority of World Vision project staff are local residents who are best suited to evaluate and serve the needs of their community.

As we earn trust and credibility within the community, community members participate in and take ownership of the projects. While projects are in progress, the work is evaluated to ensure it is having maximum impact. This can last 10, 15, or even 20 years. Within the last years, the community prepares to carry out the development work after we leave.

By partnering with local people in the project communities, we empower them to bring about change themselves and to sustain progress in their community long after the project goals they have established with World Vision have been achieved.

Learn more about our model for implementing programs.

How long does World Vision work in a community?

We help children, families and their communities by supporting sustainable, long-term development projects. Sustainable development work takes time—approximately 15 years. We may stay in a community for less than 15 years, or longer, depending on when the development goals we set out to achieve have been completed. However, at times we may have to leave a community or country because local conditions—often involving political issues or stability—have changed.

Because we want to ensure that children continue to flourish after we leave, our exit is planned from the start. From the very beginning of our child sponsorship projects, we work with the community to build lasting systems that will enable them to maintain and build on what has been achieved so their children can continue to thrive after the World Vision project has ended.

We work with communities to establish priorities and the time it will take to achieve the goals. Addressing the root causes of poverty involves building trusting relationships, breaking mindsets, changing attitudes, and providing tools, skills, and training – all of which requires a great investment of time.

The goal of child sponsorship in a community is to help break the cycle of poverty so children and families can step into the future with well-founded hope. When these goals are met, World Vision can move on to serve children with great need in other communities.

Child Sponsorship Resources

Sustainability: Child-Well Being Report (PDF)

See how World Vision integrates sustainability into child sponsorship programs with a child-centered approach.

Ways to Give to Child Sponsorship

Sponsor a Child

Find a child to sponsor and change a child, family, and community for good.

Child Sponsorship Assistance Fund: $100

Your donation will help child sponsorship programs continue to change the lives of children and families in communities around the world, providing them with access to vital basics like clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, education, and more.

We work hand in hand with each community to address their unique needs — and achieve lasting change.

Choose one and see how our work gets done.


Poverty in America

Economic empowerment

Clean water


Christian faith

Disaster relief

Child protection

Gender equality

Disability inclusion

Refugees & fragile states

Child sponsorship