Sponsor a Child - Frequently asked Questions
Will my child write to me?
Your child will write to you at least twice a year. A house parent, teacher or staff person will help children who have yet to learn how to read and write. Letter writing is developmental for the child as it improves their basic literacy, self-awareness and ability to put thoughts and feelings into words.
As you share your own family and personal concerns with the child you support, you'll probably discover that he or she is consistently praying for you.
What specific benefits will the child I sponsor receive?
The child you sponsor through Operation Restoration will receive opportunities and services that most of the world's children will simply never see. These opportunities and services include the following:
The opportunity to live in a safe home environment: Once the child has decided to leave the streets come to our reception home and then after orientation, move to one of our Restoration Homes (El Camino for boys or El Alfarero for girls) they become eligible for our child sponsorship program.
The opportunity to eat three nutritious meals per day: The feeding of the child you sponsor is a vital part of his or her restoration process from life on the streets. In our Restoration Homes the child will have three good meals per day as well as snacks.
The opportunity to sleep in his or her own bed: Although this comes without saying most of the children in our Restoration Homes have not had the privilege of their own bed, even before leaving their family for the streets, and on the streets, would have slept on concrete in the storm drains and sewers of the city.
The opportunity to have clean clothing and everything they need for their personal hygiene: Within the Restoration Homes the children are supplied with adequate clothing for their daily needs as well as all they require for their personal hygiene needs.
The opportunity to receive an education: This means providing the cost of school fees, clothing and supplies and providing tutoring, help with homework, encouragement and, if necessary, participation in a literacy program outside the classroom. Your Operation Restoration sponsorship will allow your child to stay in school and get the most of his or her education.
The opportunity to be healthy: The health of the child you sponsor will be monitored and care will be provided as needed. Children are taught about hygiene and how to maintain personal health.
The opportunity to develop self-confidence and social skills: The child you support will be part of a Christian children's home where Christian adults offer love, guidance, personal attention, guided recreation and safety.
The opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus: Most importantly, your Operation Restoration sponsorship provides the child you sponsor with regular Bible training and encouragement through regular Bible study and discipleship within the home as well as involvement in a local church.
How long should my child sponsorship last?
Operation Restoration child sponsorship offers you the opportunity to stay with a child for a number of years, usually through the school year in which the child completes his or her high school education. While we hope that you will be able to continue in your support of your sponsored child until he or she completes the Operation Restoration program, we recognize that sponsors circimstances sometimes change. You may discontinue your sponsorship at any time. Please understand that a sponsored child's circumstances may change, too. For example, sometimes the child is reunited with their family or decides to return to his or her life on the streets for no apparent reason which would put the child beyond Operation Restoration's ability to maintain the child within our sponsorship program. We will inform you as quickly as possible if any circumstance affects the child you sponsor, and we'll offer you the opportunity to support another child in need of your help.
How can I communicate with the child I sponsor?
Once you've become a sponsor, we provide you with more detailed information about the child you are sponsoring. We encourage you to send your sponsored child a personal or family photograph and a short letter of introduction. Operation Restoration's field staff will translate your letter and deliver it to the child you support. Sponsored children typically keep their sponsor's photos and letters as treasured possessions.
You may write to the child you sponsor as often as you like. When you write, your sponsored child will benefit from knowing that someone really cares. Your words of encouragement will make a big difference to your child.
Correspondence between sponsors and the child they support is truly developmental. The more you write to the child you sponsor, the more he or she will reap the benefits of your relationship.
If I must discontinue my sponsorship, what happens to the child I'm helping?
If you need to discontinue your child sponsorship, we will immediately look for a new sponsor for your child and continue the child's sponsorship support without interruption.
Will I be the only person sponsoring the child I'm helping?
No. The child you're helping will have up to five sponsors. Unlike other sponsorship programs, Operation Restoration offers your child a home, food, clothing, academic education in school (in a private Christian school after being in the program for 2 years), education support in the home, vocational training (e.g. mechanics, carpentry, music, sports, home economics, etc.), health care, as well as the opportunity to hear the gospel and be involved in regular Bible study and discipleship.
Your prayers, letters and support are very important to your sponsored child. Even if you choose to sponsor a child as a family or group (e.g. a youth group or Sunday school class), the child you help will be able to relate to your family or group.
How did Operation Restoration begin and what is its current status?
Operation Restoration began in 1991 with Roger and Isha Hulford sensing God's call on their lives to reach out and see the lives of street children aged 8-18 years, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia restored to God's design and purpose for their lives. Starting with just a few volunteers going out on to the streets of the city, Operation Restoration now has street teams working on the streets of the city, a mobile medical unit to accompany the street work, a short term reception house for those taking their initial steps off the street, two Restoration Homes [El Camino with a capacity for 50 boys and El Alfarero with a capacity for 15 girls (to be increased to 30 in 2010)] and one Reintegration Home for boys with the projection for a Reintegration Home for girls in 2011.
What makes Operation Restoration stand out among other childcare organizations?
Within Santa Cruz we are the only evangelical Christian organization working with a program that sees a child through from life on the streets to reintegration into society. El Alfarero is the only Christian Restoration Home for street girls, aged 8-18 years, in Santa Cruz.
Is Operation Restoration affiliated to any church or denomination?
Operation Restoration is a ministry of Youth With A Mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. For more information regarding Youth With A Mission go to www.ywam.org
Are my contributions to Operation Restoration including my sponsorship support and gifts, tax-deductible?
Yes. All contributions to Operation Restoration are tax-deductible in the United Kingdom and the USA.