Is this just a scam?

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Is this just a scam? We just started sponsoring a child this summer and I'm beginning to think this is a scam. We sent our first letter on paper and now use the app and attach photos etc. I have no idea if these were received, have never seen another photo of our sponsored child, it appears she isn't in school etc. My 12 year old son really wanted to sponsor a child, selected her etc. We can't see that we've done anything for a child or if she really even exists. I couldn't find a way to email anyone directly so I'm posting here.
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Posted 2 years ago

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Serena Samsel

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I am not part of the compassion staff, but I am sorry you think the organization is a scam. If you look under your letter history, you will see if the letter has a problem, in translation, or if it has been received. You will receive a photo of your child when you send a monetary gift of $60 or more. You will also receive a photo every two years. It typically takes three to 6 months for the letter to reach them.
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heather o

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Hi, I am just another sponsor but I can assure you Compassion is not a scam. My family sponsors 6 children (4 of which were our correspondent children before we assumed their financial sponsors) and have been sponsors for about 4 years. If Compassion were a scam we certainly wouldn't have picked up the four correspondent children. We are also blessed to correspond with 50+ more children whom sponsors can't or don't write to.

It takes about 4 months to get your first letter from your child. If it goes over 4 months then the staff who monitor this forum can do an inquiry for you. As for your letter, when mailed in it arrives to the mailroom at Compassion and is logged in and processed from there. They get tons of mail so that may take a bit. It can also take a while for letters to get to the projects after arriving to the country office depending upon when and how often the projects picks up their mail. Have you checked the status of that letter under the "Write my Child" tab? That may let you know if your letter has been delivered. If it has some sort of issue you can ask the staff here about that as well.

Photo updates are done every 18-24 months. You also get gift photos for gifts of $60 or more. We were blessed to get a photo of our Ugandan son and his bike he bought with his birthday money and that gift was under $60. I have received pictures of several of my correspondent children at their projects or family photos as a special surprise.

As far as the schooling thing goes sometimes there aren't any schools in the area and at that point Compassion tutors the children. Our child in Mexico has no middle school in the area to attend so she is being tutored at the project. If the child is younger it is important to know that they start school later in many countries or the child's family couldn't afford to send them to school until they became involved with Compassion.

I hope that helps. God bless!
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KristenH, Champion

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I'm so sorry that you're feeling uneasy about your sponsorship, but I'm glad you could post here to get some feedback. I've been a sponsor since 2011 and have sponsored several children. I have had the opportunity to send gifts to my children with people who were going to their country and received photos of my kids with their gifts. These kids are certainly real!
It can be difficult to get started sponsoring, especially when you don't know what to expect! Heather explained things really well though and if you have any other questions about how the process works there are quite a fee of us that would be willing to answer questions.
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No, absolutely not a scam.  I did my homework before sponsoring too.  Compassion International is everywhere and quite international.  So.... I checked first on Charity Navigator:
High score all around.  It's been around for a long time too...... then.... I noticed many churches were actively involved in raising money for Compassion International and sponsoring kids .  Talked to the pastors I know personally  and they have all visited their compassion children and many different centers.  I know people who work for Compassion International and they are honestly top-notch individuals who want the lives of children to be better.
Met a Rwandan young man who actually was an ex-sponsor kid of Compassion International who beat poverty-- his personal testimony blew my mind of what Compassion International actually did for him while growing up.  The sponsor ship money we pay, helps to pay their school tuition which was about 30 US dollars a year in Rwanda, monthly rations of food to share with the family, a nutritious meal at the Compassion Church Child Center 1x a week, school uniforms, school supplies, soap, and health check ups and when he needed hospitalization, Compassion foot the bill and basically saved his life. 
Compassion International partners with local churches and they carry out the mandate of Compassion.  There are multiple checks and also with the staff and accounting. If there is a discrepancy or any hint of fraud of holding of funds, it is dealt with swiftly.  There are enough staff around that Fear the Lord and are obedient to  Him in Love and so if there is someone even thinking of taking some funds , it is reported.  --- This was told to me by the Rwandan ex-compassion child I know .  In his personal experience, he was absolutely floored by the love he was shown at the compassion child development center and he is still in touch with some of the staff who were with him at the time.  They loved kids and Loved Jesus. 
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No, not a scam.  I have met five of our eight sponsored kids.  We have been sponsors for a little over three years.  I'm sure the social media folks will follow-up with you next week.  I don't have much to add that hasn't been said.  I will say that sponsoring our kids has been an incredibly rewarding experience.  The communication starts off slowly, but you should be getting letters.  As previously mentioned, if your gift was $60 or more you will get confirmation with a picture.  I am always amazed at how far the gifts go. 

I'll be honest with you.  When we met our first sponsored child I was trying to formulate a table prayer in Spanish.  Before I could, our then 6-year old child began thanking God for the food, the people who prepared it,  for her sponsors, and safe travels for all.  You are already important to your sponsored child. 

Don't give up on your child.  I am certain Compassion will follow-up for you.     

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I am so sorry to hear that you have been so disappointed in the sponsorship and are beginning to doubt the integrity of Compassion. Sadly, there are organizations out there that have not operated with integrity. We almost regularly hear stories on the news of organizations misusing donor funding. And the truth is that I can’t single-handedly convince you to believe that Compassion has integrity. It’s kind of like saying that I am a humble person. Our actions and our work speak for themselves. You will know us by our fruit. I do believe that it’s important for anyone who is considering giving to a charitable organization to prayerfully and thoughtfully research the organization before giving, not only to make sure that they are operating above board, but also to make sure that the organization’s mission statement matches up with the your values. Please by all means Google us, read our website, and what watchdog organizations have said about Compassion:

Since you began the sponsorship in June, I can see that you have sent four letters (two physical letters and two online letters) that have been delivered to Latifa. Thank you so much for blessing Latifa with such loving and encouraging letters! In return, Latifa has sent you two letters in the last four months. There is a note on your account that one of the letters from Latifa was sent back to us because your mailing address was marked as undeliverable by the postal service. This may have been part of the reason why you haven't heard from her or received the welcome packet yet. Please log into your My Account to view all of Latifa's letters and information and to verify or update your current mailing address. I'd be happy to send you another welcome packet but just want to make sure we are sending it to the right place. Please do let us know if there is anything specifically that we could do to better serve you as a valued supporter of our ministry. 

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