Child Aid Gambia

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

A. Nothing – Child Aid Gambia is completely not-for-profit, and our UK volunteers receive nothing in the way of a salary or travel expenses. We are a small charity, and so our projects are our absolute priority. The donations we receive are allocated to our projects to ensure they can run smoothly. 

A. We pay our Gambian case workers a small amount, as well as providing food and other financial support to their families and children. Our Gambian staff all themselves come from backgrounds of poverty, and so we choose to pay them for the hard work they do for us.

A. No. We do not currently have a UK or a Gambian office, and we choose to run our charity from home to avoid overhead costs. If you would like to contact us, please click here.

A. No. Everything you see on our website and social media pages – including design, photographs, videos and writing – was produced by Chris and Katy themselves. We are lucky to be able to do this, as it cuts down drastically on costs and allows us to present our Gambian friends honestly and fairly.

A. West Africa – and The Gambia in particular – is a small area of our planet that has suffered silently for hundreds of years under colonialism and slavery. Despite its difficult past, The Gambia is a bright and beautiful country, full of people who believe in the strength of humanity and compassion. Gambian children deserve our help more than ever, and we are working hard to uplift West African voices to join the global conversation. Read more about the History of The Gambia.

A. Absolutely not! Our faith outreach is definitely an important part of our work, and we love to support Christian communities in both aid and prayer. But we believe firmly that God’s love is for each and every one of us – and so we will never turn a child away, regardless of their religion or background.

Donation FAQs

A. If you donate something specific, such as money for a sponsorship or food for one of our feeding programmes, your donation will go directly to where you intend it. General donations are spread across our remaining projects, and enable us to continue empowering Gambian children and their families.

A. Unfortunately, due to the nature of our work and the financial and physical limits on what we can take to The Gambia, we are not currently accepting new donations for clothing, toys, books or shoes. However, we would be more than happy to receive donations of items specific for schools and hospitals, such as stationary or clean/unused first-aid items and kits.

A. Donating to us is simple, and takes under 5 minutes! If you wish to make a donation, you can visit our donation page.

A. Absolutely! Our donation system allows us to receive contributions from any country, in any currency.

Child Sponsorship FAQs

A. Our sponsorships cost £15 a month. This cost has been calculated to allow for education and schooling needs, nutrition, medical care and any other support that the child may need. Our sponsorships are the same price, no matter the age or gender of the child.

A. 100% of your sponsorship money goes to the child and their family.

A. Our sponsorships are holistic, meaning that they support every aspect of the child’s wellbeing. This includes, but is not limited to: their schooling, their physical, emotional and spiritual health and that of their families, and any emergency situations that may arise in their circumstances.

A. The sponsorship money gets to the child in a number of different ways. Money for schooling, such as any tuition fees, uniforms and books is paid directly to the child’s school. Medical treatment fees are paid directly to the hospital or clinic where the child is being treated. Money for food, housing and other family circumstances are paid to the child’s family through liaisons with their allocated case workers.

A. We attempt to prioritise children whose needs are the most significant – for example, orphaned or disabled children, or children who have missed a great deal of schooling due to poor life circumstances. Our sponsorship aims to empower Gambian children from the poorest backgrounds, to give them opportunities for education and a better quality of life that they would not otherwise receive.

A. This depends on which children we have on our waiting list. If there is a child waiting for a sponsor who meets the description you are looking for, we will do our best to match them to you – but this cannot always be guaranteed.

A. This depends on which children we have on our waiting list. If there is a child waiting for a sponsor who meets the description you are looking for, we will do our best to match them to you – but this cannot always be guaranteed.

A. You should sponsor your child ideally for as long as you possibly can. It is confusing and often painful for children to learn that their sponsor has dropped them, so please consider making a long-term commitment to your sponsor child of at least two years.

A. Yes! Teenagers and older children are often the most neglected by sponsorship schemes, as their needs become greater and more varied. Our sponsorship rate remains £15 a month up to the age of eighteen, at which point the young person may decide to begin work or move into higher education.

A. We would be delighted to hear if you are interested in sponsoring a young Gambian through higher education, as this can open a great deal of opportunities for them and their family. The costs of higher education (university or training beyond the age of 18) may vary, and will depend on the individual circumstances of the young person.

A. Yes! Your sponsored child would love to hear from you, and will feel a great sense of comfort and companionship from reading your letters. Sponsored children typically keep their sponsors’ photos and letters in their homes as treasured possessions. If you are currently sponsoring a child and would like to write to them, please contact us.

A. Due to the language barrier in The Gambia, it may be difficult for your sponsored child to cohesively write a letter to you in English. However, we are informed of your sponsored child’s progress in school by their case worker, and we are more than happy to report this back to you.

A. We generally discourage sponsors from giving gifts to their sponsored children, as these cannot be balanced with what other sponsored children are receiving. For example, one child may receive a great deal of gifts from their sponsor, whereas their sibling who has a different sponsor may not – and this can cause children to feel left out and upset. However, if you would like to make any additional financial contributions to your sponsor child’s family, we should be able to accommodate this for you.

A. If you are planning a visit to The Gambia and would like to visit your sponsored child, please contact us and we would be happy to put you in touch with your child’s case worker. We can also arrange for you to visit your child’s school if you are in The Gambia during term time!

A. Unfortunately, the possibility of sponsored children becoming unwell, seriously ill or even dying depends largely on whether their immune systems can fight off infections and diseases that they are at risk of contracting. Malnutrition, combined with unsanitary and overcrowded conditions, makes the children we help extremely vulnerable. Your sponsorship is designed to cover any medical emergencies that your child may experience, and so we will contact you to let you know if your child’s health has declined. In the case of a child who has sadly passed away, we will contact you to let you know and ask if you would be comfortable to write to the child’s family to extend your condolences. This situation is obviously extremely distressing both to you and the child’s family, and we will do our utmost to support you through the process. If you would like to sponsor a different child, we will attempt to match you to the child’s siblings as a matter of priority.

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