Learn more about our child sponsorship tiers and other FAQs
What does the child sponsorship money cover?
Your sponsorship money contributes to a variety of needs. Our program provides a 12-level ESL education, which includes cost of instruction, curriculum and materials, along with counseling services. Additionally, every January we outfit each student with the required uniforms and supplies to attend public school. Additional needs-based services include select medical, nutrition and shelter support. When a child is fully sponsored, that monthly support amount ensures we can fully provide for that child’s educational, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.
Is there a set of ratios for how monthly sponsorship is spent?
Yes! While allocations may shift due to fluctuating costs and ever-evolving needs, the $2,000 allocated for every student annually is divided as follows: 45% Education, 30% Health, 25% Other Services. If you are interested in a corporate level sponsorship, please reach out to our operations team who can provide you with our current fiscal picture.
Do the child or parents get to choose how to spend the monthly donation?
No, they do not. However, parents and guardians can regularly share their child’s educational, health, and physical needs with our program director and staff psychologist to ensure their child is receiving the support they need at any given time.
What does “partially sponsored” mean?
What are the three tiers of child sponsorship?
Our three tiers of sponsorships are intended to allow you to sponsor a child impactfully, while still fitting your budget. To learn more about what each level provides for your sponsored child, please see further above on this page.
Can I write letters to my sponsored child? Will they write back?
Absolutely! Your sponsored child loves to receive mail! Due to the logistics of getting postal mail from the United States to rural Nicaragua, we invite you to use our team to relay email messages, photos and attachments to your sponsored child. We always encourage the child to reply within a 3-week period.
How does learning English help children in impoverished communities?
Learning English opens a door and provides a pathway to a brighter future for these children. In many countries, well-paying jobs are in the tourism and hospitality or customer service care industries, which require a good grasp of English. In addition, learning English allows these children to serve as future translators or potentially travel to other countries for added employment opportunities.
Will I ever get to meet my sponsored child?
We hope that one day in the future we’ll be able to offer service trips to Nicaragua and other countries. Until then, we hope you’ll join us for one of our day trips to Mexico!
Do you do service trips to Nicaragua?
Service trips to Nicaragua are on our hearts as an organization. We hope that one day we’ll be able to lead groups of volunteers to meet the children, our teachers, and to see this wonderful community. In the meantime, please join us for a day trip to Mexico, view upcoming dates on our Volunteer page.
Can I adopt a child?
We do not offer international adoption services nor are we equipped to assist with adoption or foster placement. We do, however, encourage you to sponsor a child in need to provide for their educational needs and mental health care.
Does my sponsorship money cover food or other necessities?
Yes, at times it does. However, in most cases that need would be met through our Nutrition 4 Change program. You can also choose to give towards that fund if you are specifically interested in meeting children’s nutrition needs.
How does U4O hire and pay ESL teachers?
All teachers are qualified in the country in which they work. We regularly recruit from nearby universities and English-instruction programs and maintain a relationship with the local Ministry of Education. Instructional salaries for our ESL teachers and staff counselors are part of our annual program budget, a portion of which is covered by monthly child sponsorships, along with other general donations towards program costs.
What is your role in their mental health? What do your psychologists do?
Our goal is to minister to the whole child. We realize that children need support in every area of their lives to heal, learn, grow, and step forward into a brighter future. Our staff counselors regularly meet with individual children and their parents or guardians to assess the home environment and unique dynamics that may contribute to individual learning challenges and to provide solutions and strategies for advancement.
Do the U4O psychologists meet with all of the children?
Yes, they do! They maintain a rotating schedule for enrolled students and also meet with children based on teacher requests when learning issues or behavioral matters are flagged for intervention. They regularly follow up with phone calls to the child’s parent or guardian throughout the week and coordinate follow up sessions until the issue is satisfactorily addressed to enable the child to be their best self within and beyond our immediate learning environment.
How do children and their families apply to get help from U4O?
Requests for special assistance typically become known through our staff psychologist and director, who both work closely with teachers, parents and guardians to assess each student’s physical and psychological needs. That team then submits a family or student special assistance proposal for Board committee review and approval.
How does U4O select children or families for their program?
Our application process is simple, but requires both student and family commitment. Because we understand that it is important for children to have a support system at home, parents and guardians attend an informational session with our teaching team and are invited to review the program requirements regarding attendance, course work, homework, and other important elements to ensure success. In truth, we usually have a waiting list of students waiting to join our one-of-a-kind program because of our excellent reputation in the community.