How to inquire about sponsor child's caretaker's health?

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As advance clarification: I'm not wanting to contact my sponsor child's caretaker directly; I know that can potentially be dangerous, as well as be problematic for Compassion.

With that said, my sponsor child's (his ID is BF095600062) caretaker is his grandmother. I do not know how old she is, but I noticed that in his area the average lifespan is mid- to late-50s.

My sponsor child is my first priority, of course - but I'm also concerned for his grandmother, who (unless things have changed) also cares for a few other children. Along with updates on him, is there any way I can occasionally learn about how his grandmother is doing, especially health-wise?

Thank you for reading.

- Emily S.
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Posted 3 years ago

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Garry Sagel

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Good question, Emily. I don't have the answer, but will be following.
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Hi Emily. I'm another sponsor. I don't know what age your child is, but I have a child who has shared with me both concerns and also improvements about his mother's health. Perhaps if you have a younger child, the center would help with the letter and answer some questions that you ask about the caregiver. Have you tried asking some questions in your letters to your child showing an interest in the grandmother?
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My children will normally ask me to pray for a family member when they are ill (as far as I know). I have a child who is raised by a grandmother as well. She's an adult now, and her grandmother did a great job raising her. She asked me to pray for her grandmother's knee one time, but as far as I know that was the only issue. I may be off on this, but in a country with a high infant mortality such as BF, the average life expectancy will get skewed downwards more than in NA. So if the average life expectancy is mid-50's, it wouldn't necessarily mean that that is the average adult life expectancy for those who live past childhood.
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Emily, it is fairly common for grandparents to step in and help raise children in the developing world when the parents are either working in another area to support the family or otherwise not around to care for their children. You are right that the life expectancy is lower in these areas, but people also typically have children younger as well so the grandparents may still be relatively young. Sadly, we do see grandparents who are the sole caregivers struggle to care for their grandchildren or even pass away. This is one of the reasons why we have the Highly Vulnerable Children's fund and other complimentary interventions to step in when a child and family are in difficult situations and need food assistance, safe housing, case management, help finding foster families, or even legal assistance. We're there to advocate for that child and make sure they get what they need to not only survive but ultimately grow up to be responsible, fulfilled, and fully released from poverty. I am emailing you some more information about your specific sponsored child's situation. 

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