How long does sponsorship of a child last?
A child will remain in the program as long as our partners feel there is an opportunity to minister to the child through financial and other support. In general, the child needs to live in the community where our partners can minister to them and be in school, which is the primary use of funds. If the child is removed from the program, you will receive a notice, and your recurring sponsorship will end. In addition, you are free to cancel your sponsorship of a child at any point in time.

Where do these children live?
All of the children live in Uganda. Specifically, they live in communities where our partners (primarily ALARM) are providing holistic care for the community, including theological training, trauma healing, clean water, and economic development.

Who can sponsor children?
Only official members of Watermark can sponsor children at this time. In the future we might allow regular attendees and others affiliated with Watermark to sponsor these children. Each child is only sponsored by one Watermark member; however, we pool our resources together to financially support ALARM corporately.

Why do I have to be a Watermark member to sponsor a child?
While we have not made a permanent decision to limit this opportunity to Watermark members, we have currently decided to do so. There are two primary reasons for this decision. First, we recognize there is a likelihood of there being more demand to sponsor children than there are children to sponsor in the program. Given the potential of this outcome, we decided this would be one of the “privileges of membership” similar to our efforts with child mentoring in West Dallas and our opportunities to lead in ministries. Second, our heart is to establish long term relationships between our sponsors and the children, and membership is a stronger long term commitment to our ministry in Africa than is being a regular attendee who chooses not to make a membership commitment to our body.

Can I sponsor multiple children?
Yes, you can sponsor multiple children. We would ask you to thoughtfully consider the commitment needed for each sponsored child. Things to consider include your personal ability to make the financial commitment and your capacity to specifically pray for each child.

What happens if my child leaves the program?
Children will periodically leave the program for reasons such as moving out of the region or withdrawing from school. When this happens, we will notify you and end the recurring monthly charge at the next billing cycle. Your account will remain active for one year, so you will still have the use of your username and password. Should you want to sponsor another child, you can visit the website to sponsor a child, if any are available.

How do I provide funds for sponsorship?
We collect all funds through an automatic bank draft process. This will require you to provide bank account information through our secure site and process. A fee of $40 will be drafted from your account the day you sign up. In addition, we will initiate a $40 draft out of your account on the third day of each month.  The draft typically will clear your account on or around the 7th of each month. We will send you an electronic receipt each month.

What are the funds used for?
Through our partners, we pay the child’s school tuition and provide school supplies and uniforms. In addition, we provide financial support to mentors who spend time with the child at home with their families, at school with their teachers, and through the local churches. There are also periodic events for training and fun. Finally, we provide food subsidies for some children, generally children in child-headed homes, and we provide medical care in the most critical circumstances. Each child is only sponsored by one Watermark member; however, we pool our resources together to financially support ALARM corporately.

What are one-time financial gifts use for?
The base monthly giving for each child through the sponsorship program funds the basic needs with respect to the program, including school fees, school supplies, uniforms, and mentors. There are other strategic needs we want to address, which is funded in part through the $40 monthly support as well as through one-time gifts. This includes providing food supplements for child-headed homes, building houses for child-headed homes, providing preventative and emergency medical care (including HIV care), and funding the entry of new kids into the program before they receive sponsors.

How can I receive updates on the program?
We use our blog for all basic communication about our efforts in Africa, including orphan care. From time to time, we will also send e-mails to our orphan care sponsors.

Can I write to my child and is it mandatory?
YES!  Each time we have a team traveling to Uganda you will receive an email requesting a letter for your child. We ask that you take the opportunity each time it is given. The letters mean so much to these children. It reminds them that they are not alone and that God has not forgotten them. Therefore we have made it a mandatory part of the sponsorship program.  At this time we are not able to send letters at any other time.

What can I send in my letter to my child?
We ask that you send only paper in your letter.  We take over lots of supplies and a TON of letters and so we need to keep the weight at a minimum.  We also want all children to be receiving basically the same things when they are opening their letters together.
Some examples of what you might include (but not all at one time):
photos of your family, a few stickers, one photocopied story from a children's Bible or a devotional that encouraged you, a colored picture from your children, a verse decorated on an index card, a prayer you are praying for them, a blank coloring page
Please DO NOT send: gifts, money, bulky items like crayons or books, or candy.
If you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask. 

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