Friday, December 11, 2009

Sponser a Child Fraud

(the organizations name and the participants names are not included to protect their privacy)
One of the things that makes my blood boil is these sponser a child organizations that take people´s money and mislead them in return.  There are a few reputable organizations out there so they are not who I am talking about.

A person who I met online and now consider my friend after meeting him in Honduras spoke with me about a group where he had sponsered a child for 20 some odd dollars a month. The organization sent him a letter supposedly from the child saying that his money had built this child´s family a new chimney.  He decided he wanted to meet the family and this child.  The organization said he could have 1 thirty minute meeting in Tegucigalpa(not where the child lives) and it would cost him approximately $2,000 for the background check, transportation, and other stuff related to organization costs) That is outrageous for a 30 minute meeting.  This person wasn´t worried about the background check but felt it was crazy to spend that much money and felt they set it at this level to make it where they would not go and meet the family and he was probably right.

The friend of mine set out on an exploration of Honduras, hoping but not expecting, that he would find his sponsered child and their family.  He was lucky and found them on his second day in Honduras.  In his discovery he found the organization never built a chimney, never gave this child any school supplies or anything related to the organization.  He also found out that his child had never sent him the letter thanking him for the new chimney.  He was very disappointed.  However, they connected and now have a relationship and he helps them directly.  The organization was rather upset that he found the child..of course.

This time he came and visited and enjoyed getting to know his sponsered god child much better and assisted the family and talked to them about the needs they have. I was filled with joy that they made this connection and this man truly cares about this child.

I felt I needed to speak about this because these organizations are sometimes not on the up and up and are becoming rich off of promoting that they help the poor without helping the poor at all.  If you want to adopt a child per se(understand these people are not giving you their child, they are giving you a sponser or god parent status) then it is best to contact people inside the country that are either ex pats or someone else where you can help a child directly with funds or contact a school about paying a scholarship for a needy child...there are plenty of schools and I can provide you a list if you would like to do that.  School for children that is private ranges in prices...it can be very inexpensive to expensive and there are a range of types of private schools from non religious to religious, catholic or evangelical.  Some are bilingual some are not.  Let me know in email what your price range is and I will match you to a school.  You can provide the school with the funds if you distrust providing it directly to the family.  You can also purchase books, uniforms, etc on line or send money to the school where they can purchase them.
If you want the name of a family I can put you in contact with several in my immediate area.  I do not want your money...but I will be honest with you 20 dollars will not feed a family or the child for a month like these sites tell you.  Also, INFA and other organizations here that are orphanages will gladly take donations of food, clothing, school supplies, money, etc.  I believe an ex pat here runs an orphanage and another runs a private school(if you guys will post your information it will be appreciated and how they can provide a donation to you..even greater appreciated.) Schools run from as little as 300 lempiras a month to 4,000 lempiras a month for a higher class bilingual school like the American Academy in San Pedro Sula.

If you want to adopt a child from Honduras that is possible as well.  You can contact INFA.  It is a long process, but well worth it. http://www.ihnfa.hn/
You must be over 25 and under 51 to adopt in Honduras. I am not sure if there are any exceptions to that rule, but you may want to contact them about it if you are out of these age ranges..as I am sure there are probably exceptions to the rule in Honduras.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Laurie said...

You got spammed. Check your comments. I am concerned that if you don't mention the good ones or id the bad ones, some will not give at all. I personally worked alongside World Vision for 8 weeks in Teguc, and I saw the results. I saw the paperwork and the identifying kids in the program in the area. It can work. I also hav a friend who came to Tegu recently and visited a child she supports with Compassion Int'l. It was the real deal, as she visited the home, the school, the child and various other sites affiliated with the program. Honduras is suffering from a drop in humanitarian giving as well as remittances. Please be careful with your blog because words have tremendous ability to influence others.

LaGringaSPS said...

thanks Laurie...I have been busy discussing some things here with Dario Gamez and you are right so I will go ahead and say that the group was Child Fund. You are right and as I pointed out some are good, some are not..my intent is for people to be very careful who they select to give to as not all are on the up and up.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you decided to name the organization your new friend has been sponsoring a child through. I also sponsor a child through the same org. I too went a few weeks ago and found my sponsored child, visited her home and met the whole family. I didn't go through ChildFund so didn't inquire as to the cost they would have charged for transportation, translator (needed or not), lodging, meals etc. to set up a meeting since I was going to Honduras anyway whether I met with the child or not. I decided to just go to her instead. But I have to say that you blast an organization as less than trustworthy based on one mans account that I find rather suspicious because it doesn't parallel my experience with same organization. The child I sponsor did indeed write the letters I received from her and she showed me all the letters I had written to her as she had saved all of them. When I send her money I get the actual receipt from the tienda showing what she bought with it and she verified in person that she received the money. I've never been told by ChildFund that the monthly sponorship money does anything except be pooled with other sponsors money to benefit the community project as a whole. I think your new friend is somehow confused about something or did the org screw up and send some other kids letter to him. I don't know, but to label an organization as 'not on the up and up' based on one mans assessment doesn't seem like a very wise course of action.
Mark

LaGringaSPS said...

Laurie the reason why I had not named them in the beginning was to be fair to them, because I had considered that perhaps he had just had a bad experience or that perhaps it was just the people in that sector since in Honduras theft of even charitable funds is a problem as we know corruption is rampant and even these organizations are not immune. I want to see the kids helped is my goal as I believe it is yours and I am glad you have sponsered a child. I have directly sponsered one child and their family instead of using an organization.