People abroad sponsor education of 506 deprived,excluded children through ChildFund International

Shahina wants to become accountant. Helping the student of Colaco College, Kankanady, achieve her dreams are people she has never met. “I call them godfather and godmother. But I don’t know their name. I want to see them,” she said.

She has received Rs. 2 lakh from her sponsors in the last 10 years. Shahina is one of the 506 children whose education is sponsored by people abroad through ChildFund International, co-ordinated by the city-based Prajna Counselling Centre.

Unknown sponsors

Swathi Poojary, a B.A. student at University College, does not know where her sponsor lives.

She and her mother have written several letters to her sponsor about her progress in studies. The sponsor has sent her Rs. 10,000 for her education.

Chrishma Shalomith Aiman, a B.Pharm student, has received Rs. 50,000 from her sponsor. She said she would follow what her sponsor told her: once she completes studying, she should help others study.

Suleiman Khandiga, Project Manager for the ChildFund India sponsorship programme, of Prajna Counselling Centre, said that 95 per cent of the sponsors were from the U.S. and the rest are from Europe.

18 years

Sponsors send money to Prajna Counselling Centre, which in turn deposits it the students’ bank accounts. He said the two organisations had been working together for the past 18 years.

He said the focus was on children from deprived, excluded and vulnerable sections, and the proportion of girls to boys among the beneficiaries was 60:40. Those with single parents were given priority, he said.

“The challenge is to help children pick the right courses that can help them earn a livelihood, and to ensure that they complete their education. A criterion is they must live within 15 km radius of the office,” said Mr. Khandiga.

Hilda Rayappan, Director, Prajna Counselling Centre, said, “Despite the recession, the sponsors have continued sending money to the children.”

The website of ChildFund International said the 75-year-old US-based organisation “helps deprived, excluded and vulnerable children who have the capacity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities”.


  • 95 per cent of the sponsors were from the U.S. and the rest are from Europe, says Prajna

  • ‘The challenge is to help children pick the right courses that can help them earn a livelihood’


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