Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is ICC’s Child Sponsorship Programme?
The programme allows you to walk hand-in-hand with your sponsored children, helping them lead a better and more fulfilling life. Your monthly sponsorship will help provide a safe and stable home for them with 24-hour holistic care that covers medical treatment, special education, therapy and other life skills or vocational training.
2. What is special about ICC’s Child Sponsorship Programme?
Due to the special needs of ICC’s children and their continued care, you can expect to build a long-term relationship with your sponsored children (unless the sponsorship has to end under special circumstances), witnessing their growth and development into adulthood as they reach their full potential.
3. Does my sponsorship go directly to my sponsored child?
Your sponsorship donation goes directly into supporting the costs of living and care services (such as medical, therapy and special education) for the community that your sponsored child lives in. This means that you are not only walking beside your sponsored child, but also impacting those they live alongside.
4. Will my sponsored child have more than one sponsor?
To cover the costs of living, medical care, therapy and special education for each child in our care, your sponsor child will have multiple sponsors. Although you may not be the only sponsor, you may build a personal relationship with your sponsored child through writing letters to them.
5. Is there a minimum sponsorship period?
No, there isn’t a set term because the sponsorship period varies according to the needs of each child. However, under normal circumstances, a stable sponsorship of at least a year or above will be beneficial to both sponsors and sponsored children in reaping the fruits of sponsorship.
Although ICC strives to provide lifelong care, it is possible that a sponsorship has to end for various reasons (e.g. a child being adopted). Should this happen, we will inform you and arrange another child in need to continue the sponsorship with your consent.
If you need to discontinue your sponsorship, please contact our staff at your local ICC office. We will try our best to arrange another sponsor as soon as possible, but we sincerely hope you will consider resuming your sponsorship when possible as your support is very important.
6. Will my sponsored child exit the programme?
While ICC is committed to providing lifelong care for each child as long as it is appropriate, Chinese government regulations mandate that adults and children cannot live in the same setting. Therefore, it is possible that when your sponsored child reaches the age of 18, they may be transferred out of our care. Many sponsors develop a personal connection with their sponsored children as they move from childhood through adulthood. In the event of a child being adopted, becoming self-sustaining or being transferred from the care of ICC, sponsors will be notified and provided the option of connecting with another child in need.
7. Who is my ICC contact person?
ICC’s Sponsorship Department is based in Hong Kong but we encourage you to contact your local ICC Office for ease of communication and follow up.
8. What updates will I receive as a sponsor?
As a new sponsor, you will receive a Sponsorship Welcome Pack that includes a personal profile and a photo of your sponsored child, along with information to facilitate your communications with him/her. Each year, you will receive three updates about your sponsored child, learning about his/her daily lives and development progress through the year.
9. How do I send letters or cards to my sponsored child?
You can send letters to your sponsored child by mail. Pre-printed address labels with your sponsored child’s postal address in Chinese are included in the Sponsorship Welcome Pack. Additional labels will be sent to you each year together with the updates on your sponsored child. Should you require extra labels during the year, you may make your request here.
10. What am I allowed to say or include in my letter?
The young people in our care all love to receive letters and photographs of their sponsors and their families. Many of them will stick the photographs on the wall next to their beds! You can also include small items such as postcards or stickers that fit within a standard postage rate envelope size. As you write to your sponsored child, please be aware of the local environment and culture and avoid sensitive issues like wealth, politics and religion. To protect your privacy, please do not disclose your contact details, such as address, email or phone numbers, in the letters. While your sponsor child greatly appreciates receiving your letter, as there are very few translators and bilingual staff in our projects, we are unable to reply to the letters.
11. Can I send packages or cash gifts to my sponsored child?
Please DO NOT send gifts other than cards, photos or stickers at times such as birthdays or holidays. In China, each gift received is held at the post office and attracts a collection fee that must be paid by ICC prior to being released. We simply do not have the financial or human resources to cover gift handling. We also try to avoid any unnecessary comparison or conflicts resulting from unequal treatment. Your understanding will be highly appreciated.
Money in the form of cheque or cash must NEVER be sent directly to China. Any donations you wish to make should be made on our website or through your local ICC Office.
12. Can I visit my sponsored child?
At this time, it is not possible for overseas visitors to access our care centres. You will be notified when this situation changes.
13. Can I share information or photographs of my sponsored child or young adult through social media?
We love to have our sponsors sharing their joy of sponsorship. However, to ensure the safety and protect the privacy of your sponsored child or young adult, please DO NOT disclose their personal details (e.g. family name, identification number, project location and address) on social media.