Breaking the cycle
Report: Sponsorship Improves Children's Lives
Child sponsorship has long been plagued by questions of ethics and efficacy—but according to a new report from the University of San Francisco, it does seem to have a positive impact on kids’ lives in the developing world. As the BBC reports, Western donors sponsor more than nine million children around the globe, giving $3 billion annually. The study—which looked at the evangelical aid agency Compassion—compared the trajectory of sponsored kids with children in the same villages who hadn’t been matched with a donor. The sponsored children stayed in school longer, were more likely to have elite jobs, and more likely to become leaders in their communities. In Uganda, sponsored kids were almost half as likely to finish a secondary education and 83 percent more likely to graduate from university. The model of giving has often been accused of favoring certain children over others, and some child sponsorship charities—such as World Vision, which declined to take part in the study—have shifted towards a community-based approach in recent years.