How does a sponsored child get braces on her teeth?

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I have sponsored my child for several years, and she is now 16. In a recent photo I noticed she has braces on her teeth. I’m wondering how does a sponsored child get them? Are they expensive like they are in the US? Compassion portrays these children as living in poverty, homes with dirt floors and no windows, etc. Yet, my sponsored child in Bolivia has braces, which are usually cosmetic. I think one reason it bothers me so much is we could not afford braces when my son needed them. We are hard working people who have had many times we were living paycheck to paycheck but still sent money for our child because we didn’t want her to go hungry, or without health care, etc. , and to see her with braces really shocked me. I’m also shocked as I read that some people have had their child contact them via the internet and through cell phones. I don’t see pictures of any of these things in the brochures.... This is the first time I have felt “duped” by this organization.
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Karla McCowan

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  • confused and mislead

Posted 2 months ago

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Katie

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Hi Karla! I'm not sure about the braces, but I recently read this article (also from Compassion) about technology in the developing world and it speaks to the question of cell phones and internet. https://www.compassion.com.au/blog/why-children-in-poverty-may-have-a-mobile-phone
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Karla, 
First of all, we want to thank you so much for your dedicated support over the last seven years! It truly means so much to us and we pray that we can help you understand this situation better so that you do not feel duped!
With that said, we unfortunately do not have access to information that tells us exactly how your child received her braces. There are many things that may have happened. For example, braces may be something that she needs, rather than for cosmetic purposes and therefore her family has been saving everything they can to make this happen. However, they may have also been paid for by Compassion. Compassion does have a medical fund that is used for children in our program when they have a need that goes beyond what the $38 monthly support can cover. If these braces were needed for a specific health reason, this may be how she received them. Also, we do see many times where the church will partner with missionaries or other organizations where they will have access to health related care such as dentistry or orthodontic care. The truth is, there are so many things that could have happened to help her get braces. If you would like to know how she received them, I would encourage you to ask her in your next letter. I am sure she would be happy to share with you! 
In addition, the article that Katie posted is really good at helping us to understand the use of technology in countries like this. Please read that article and let us know if you still have any questions. Thank you so much! 
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Karla McCowan

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Thank you for your reply. I will ask her in my next letter.