Explanation of technological access by sponsored children

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  • Idea
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Implemented
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Our family has sponsored since the 1990s and so we are pretty familiar with how and where Compassion works; however, in the past year or two we've been hearing more and more about sponsored children (especially teens) having access to Facebook, cell phones, etc. and having televisions and video games in their homes.  Our family cuts some costs by not owning Smart Phones, not paying for cable tv, etc., so it is hard for us to understand why families in Compassion's programs would have what we consider to be luxuries, when physical and educational needs are not being met without help from Compassion sponsorship.  I think that Compassion needs to address this with sponsors and potential sponsors by some means-- Compassion Sunday video, article in the Compassion magazine, written section in the advertising literature, etc.  I think it's likely that potential sponsors, who may already be skeptical about child sponsorship in general, will think that if families can afford luxuries like televisions, cell phones, etc., then they are either A.) not that poor, or B.) not spending their resources wisely.  I want to say that I trust Compassion; I love my sponsored kids; and I firmly believe in Compassion's mission to release children from poverty in Jesus' name.  I just think this is something that Compassion needs to address in an open, honest, and informative way.  Thank you.
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Laura Allen

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  • Confused and concerned

Posted 6 years ago

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Susan

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Laura, We so appreciate your long term support of our ministry and your feedback is very important to us! I'm so sorry for the confusion and concern that we've caused as a result of this issue. I sincerely apologize for our silence and lack of education for sponsors on this subject. We have been considering writing a blog post about our children's access to technology and will definitely write one now that you have posted this. We understand that technology access and lack of knowledge on the situations in which their sponsored children live can make some sponsors nervous and even skeptical, especially when they make sacrifices to send support to their sponsored children each month. 

In the mean time, let me explain a few things to hopefully put you at ease a little bit. It is very common for children in our programs to have access to the internet. Many places in the developing world have what is called an "Internet Cafe" where people can pay to use the internet on a public computer for pennies per minute. Since Facebook and other social media websites are free, many of the teens in our programs have social media accounts. It is also very common for people in the developing world to have cell phones. The phones that they use are not iphones but are cheap versions of phones that we maybe used ten years ago. In most parts of the world, you sign up for use of a phone by the minute and you do not have to sign a contract. This means that people can pay a dollar or less and have access to phone calls, text, and even the internet on their phone for a time. Our families often do not have to choose between food and technology when they can access technology for pennies. 
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Laura Allen

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Thank you for your quick and kind response, Susan. That does help, and I'll look forward to reading the blog on this topic.

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