India (MNN) -More than a billion children around the world live on less than $2 USD per day.
These multitudes represent a stolen future. Alone, the picture is bleak. They need help to break the never-ending cycle of poverty where hunger, unsafe drinking water, and disease keeps them from reaching their potential.
Recently, Christianity Today published an article about the effectiveness of child sponsorship, entitled “WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD? SPONSOR A CHILD.”
It caught the eye of Bibles For the World co-founder Mawii Pudaite because it outlined the strategic reasons why sponsorship works. A significant part of their ministry is a sponsorship program in India.
The article is the result of a research study conducted by a leading development economist and professor at the University of San Francisco in partnership with a prominent Christian child sponsorship organization. Pudaite explains that first of all, sponsorship provides a path to education. As a result,
sponsorship makes children 27% to 40% more likely to complete secondary school and 50% to 80% more likely to complete a university education.
That translates to the economy of the community, she adds. “When sponsored children grow up, they are 14% to 18% more likely to obtain a salaried job and more than 35% more likely to obtain a white-collar job. They are also more likely to become community and church leaders.” Most importantly, she says because programs like theirs also provide an introduction into Christ and a study of God’s Word, “Sponsored children display significantly higher levels of hope, optimism and overall happiness.”
The findings were merely confirmation that such programs are effective in transformation. “Behind the facts I can see so many individual faces. Faces of our sponsored children and so many others who have grown up to be teachers, government leaders and ministers of God’s Word who have led thousands of life in Christ.” For example, Pudaite points out how sponsorships intervened at critical times for children
such as Lala, now a Judge; Dr. Chawng, a highly skilled and respected Surgeon; Debory, who is serving the Lord as an Administrator of a Christian Hospital; Rev. Kawla, an outstanding preacher.
Acknowledging that each life is “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of the Heavenly Father, she says, “the nurturing, care, protection and learning opportunities that a child receives can make the difference between achieving their God-given potential – or becoming just another one of poverty’s tragic statistics.”
Programs like this sound like they’d require lots of financial support. It really boils down to something less than a dollar a day. Pudaite explains, “Your sponsorship commitment of only $29 dollars a month (less than $1 a day) will provide opportunities that their poor families simply cannot afford. ”
A sponsorship will help kids go to school, be fed and be mentored. Bibles For the World doesn’t neglect the spiritual side of this. Bible is one of the school subjects with an emphasis on memorizing God’s Word. “This year”, she says proudly, “they (sponsored students) are memorizing the gospel of John and Proverbs.”
It’s not just children whose lives are changed by sponsorship, Pudaite adds. “I often hear stories from sponsors about how the sponsorship experience has changed their lives too as they have watched the children they have loved and supported grow into confident, productive adults.”
Opportunity plus potential equals accomplishment. This is the formula for change. Sponsorship works. Help change the world, one child at a time.