We are committed to safeguarding children in our programs from all forms of abuse and exploitation, following Christ’s mandate to care for and protect His little ones.
- Cultural customs and traditional practices must not take precedence over the biblical guidelines for human relationships.
- Our heavenly Father declares the value and dignity of human life.
- Adults and children are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139).
- God's Word must have the final authority in regulating compassionate treatment of every human being, including children.
All of our church partners share and support our values of respecting and caring for children and youth. They:
- Provide a positive and safe environment where children can learn and play.
- Engage the caring adults who surround and care for the children with dignity, respect, and integrity at all times.
- Prevent and/or reduce the risks of abuse through enforcing child-protection policies, strategies, and procedures.
Each of our child development centers is required to implement a local plan of action for child protection, and we regularly monitor implemented policies to ensure that expectations are fulfilled.
Group Trips and Custom Visits
We believe the vast majority of our sponsors and donors share our values of respecting and caring for children. But it's possible that some people may seek to use our Child Sponsorship Program to gain access to children for inappropriate reasons, which is why we require a background check for everyone 18 and older who interacts with any beneficiary of our program.
To further address this reality, our child protection policy guides interactions between sponsors and children occurring on our group trips or individual custom visits. It is meant to protect the children in our child development centers from abuse as well as protect visitors from any wrongful allegations.
Our child protection policy must be agreed to before a custom visit can be arranged or when participating in a group trip.
Communicating With Your Child
Sponsors who meet their sponsored children on a trip or visit are in the unique position of directly communicating with their children.
In this situation it's normal to want to share personal contact information, or to request such information from the child or the child's family. However, any direct communication not facilitated by us could potentially expose the children or sponsors to unnecessary risk. As a result, personal contact information cannot be exchanged.
Additionally, as part of our correspondence process we will not deliver any letters, to or from the child, which contain personal contact information (e.g., address, phone, email, etc.).
As social media and Internet access becomes more prevalent in developing countries we recognize that sponsors and children may have the opportunity to connect online. The convenience that online communication offers comes with increased privacy and safety risks; we do not facilitate such correspondence at this time.
We cannot help protect a sponsor's or child's privacy if we are not involved in the correspondence. Being involved in the correspondence process also allows us to help navigate the ocean of cross-cultural sensitivities and avoid inadvertently writing something inappropriate or offensive.
Any sponsor communications, photos or materials deemed inconsistent with the shared beliefs and Christian values of our church partners and our statement of faith are not forwarded to the children.
Information About Your Child
We believe it is critical to protect children not only from abuse but also from exposure that could make them more susceptible to abuse.
Many children living in poverty experience health and family issues that are personal and sensitive. We are committed to protecting each family's privacy and preserving the child's dignity. Likewise, we expect our sponsors to handle child information and child photos in a respectful and sensitive manner.