While we may complain about not being able to buy this toy or not being able to go on that trip, most of us enjoy quite the charmed lifestyle. Compared to many other people around the world, we are incredibly fortunate. I don’t have to worry about putting food on the table or getting access to clean water, but these are everyday concerns for so many people.
That is why you may want to consider sponsoring a child through Plan Canada. This organization aims to change the world, one child at a time. I should note that while this is a sponsored review, the opinions expressed are wholly my own and have not been influenced by the nature of the sponsorship.
What is Plan Canada?
According to the about page, Plan Canada is part of a larger global movement for change, “mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries.” In short, you can sponsor a child and Plan will aim to help these children “realize their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity.”
This starts with enabling the children and their families to meet basic needs, like clean water, sanitation, medicine, and food. The funding is also used to build relationships and advocate the rights and interests of the world’s children. They have a particular interest in overcoming gender discrimination.
Why Sponsor a Child?
I certainly believe that we should re-invest in our own communities, but we should also recognize the pressing needs of people all around the globe, particularly those who live in some of the poorest regions in the world.
Plan Canada does not expect you to change the world on your own, of course, but by pooling the resources of all donors, they can work toward saving many children from unnecessary poverty and mortality. The funding can be used to build infrastructure, provide proper nutrition, and educate people on how they can be self-sufficient in the future.
How Does This Work?
Plan Canada says you are sponsoring a single child, but that isn’t the whole truth. Instead, the contributions are pooled together and used to fun programs that benefit the sponsored children.
That said, you are still connected to the one child you are sponsoring. You will be provided with their story and pictures. In turn, you have the opportunity to send pictures back and even visit your sponsored child if you so choose. However, you cannot send gifts directly to the child you sponsor, as this can pose security and jealousy problems in the community.
Looking at the main page, I noticed that it said about 80% of all donations go to the programs benefiting the children and their families. The remaining 20%, presumably, goes toward administration costs.
However, when I click through on the link for accountability to donors, I get an empty page. This seems to be part of the old site design, so I hope the Plan Canada webmasters update this very important page soon.
Where and How Much Can I Donate?
You can choose to donate monthly or annually. The minimum sponsorship level is $35 a month ($420 a year), which works out to just over a dollar a day. Your sponsorship can be higher, should you so choose, and you can end your sponsorship at your discretion at any time.
The donation form gives you the opportunity to choose the age, country and gender of the sponsored child, but Plan Canada encourages you to leave these fields blank. This way, the sponsorship can go to the child who has been on the waiting list the longest. They have sponsored children from Bangladesh, Ecuador, Malawi, Thailand, and more.
Plan Canada is a registered Canadian charity so you also get the associated tax benefits from your donation.