How are my sponsor dollars different from other donations to The Emiliani Project?
Your Emiliani Project child sponsorship money is handled in the same trusted manner as any of your Emiliani donations. 100% of the money you donate will go directly to the care of your sponsored child and to operate the home where your sponsored child lives. None of your sponsor money will go to pay for the administration and overhead of The Emiliani Project. Your sponsor dollars will be distinct from your general donations in that they will be used to support your child, and will not be used for the on-going construction efforts of the new home. You will be provided regular accounting of your sponsor dollars as well as have public access to our home’s budget.
What do my sponsor dollars pay for?
Your child sponsorship dollars will go to support six categories of a child’s needs: Home (73% of cost), Health (8% of cost), Education (19% of cost), Family, Structure, and Love.
Three of these categories of need are direct costs that will be paid for by your sponsor dollars, as reflected in the chart. The other three are intangible benefits of your sponsorship: Family, Structure and Love. Each category is described below.
Home costs include a professionally trained and experience home staff, food, clothing, gas and electricity, potable water, trash, maintenance, transportation, internet, and home administration and children’s supplies. Everything provided at the home is to U.S. standards.
Health costs include routine physical health and first aid, on-going psychological evaluations and treatment, and preventative medical care. The healthcare costs for our kids will be a higher than typical Colombians in that we will be ensuring a higher level of care for our kids.
Education costs include private instructor staff, education supplies, trade education materials, and educational excursions. The educational costs for our kids will be high, as our objective will be University entrance/acceptance. The educational standards for our children will be higher than public schools in Colombia.
Family is an intangible benefit of your sponsor dollars. We use the term “home” because that’s what the Hogar de Cristo is, a home. It is a community of children raised together by a caring staff as a family. The children at the home will be responsible for the supervision and care of one another just as siblings living together in a traditional family unit. This sense of connection and belonging is essential to the emotional health of a child.
Structure is an essential intangible of your sponsor dollars. In the home, the children will be raised in a 4-Step program that encourages increased levels of responsibility, coupled with increased levels of reward. This structure is designed to promote responsibility to each other in childhood to foster a sense of responsibility to the community in adulthood.
Love is the most essential intangible benefit you will give to your sponsored child. These children need love in order to develop critical emotional connections with one another, with the staff, and with the community. Love is an essential component to a child’s ability to develop empathy in order to grow into emotionally healthy adults.
What happens after I sponsor a child?
You will immediately receive an email confirmation of the details of your sponsorship. Then, an Emiliani Project staff member will contact you by email to confirm again your sponsorship details and to answer any additional questions you may have. You will be provided a schedule and list of items that you can expect in the coming months. Also, you will be given details on how and when you will be able to contact the child, relative to your personal requirements and the best interest and capability of the child.
How are the sponsorship costs determined?
The costs are based on historical data provided to us by our local partner in Colombia who have been operating children’s homes for over 30 years. They operate the Hogar Bohio de Maria where the children are living now and they will be handling daily operations of the new Hogar de Cristo once we open. We have been financially supporting the Hogar Bohio de Maria since 2013 based on this same historical data. We understand that the new home will have new and different costs, and we’ve done our best to anticipate them.
Will the cost of my sponsorship change?
No. Although it is possible that our initial estimates on cost will need adjustments over time, we will not increase the cost of sponsorship without first having a discussion with you the sponsor.
What happens if my sponsored child leaves the home?
It’s important to remember that many of these children are in volatile situations. Many have been abandoned by their legal guardians, and although The Emiliani Project retains full legal guardianship of the children while living in the home, Colombian law still gives superseding authority to parents and family. If a family member arrives to claim responsibility of a child, The Emiliani Project is obligated to relinquish guardianship. Therefore, there are times when a child that you choose to sponsor ends up leaving the home. In cases such as these, you will be contacted by Emiliani Project staff and informed of the child’s status.
What happens if a child does not receive a sponsorship?
The cost of a child’s sponsorship is derived from the total cost of operating the new home, along with the individual child’s expenses. This means that the number of sponsored children will have a direct impact on the staffing and services available at the new home. The planned budget is correlated to the number of open beds available at the home (30 are currently planned). If the number of sponsored children is lower than 30, then facilities and staffing will need to be reduced accordingly. Therefore (unfortunately), if a child does not find a sponsor, a bed will not be available for that child in the new home.
Why are there only boys available?
The Emiliani Project is focused on the opening of our new home, Hogar de Cristo, which will begin as a boys only home. Step one is to find sponsors for the boys at the Hogar Bohio de Maria, then move them to the new home. Eventually, we will open the sponsor program to include girls.
Is my sponsorship tax deductible?
Yes! All of your sponsorship donations are fully tax deductible under the IRS code 501(c)(3). You will receive a donation letter at the end of each calendar year with a total of your sponsorship donations for tax purposes.
Can I give my sponsored child gifts?
Yes, however, we ask that you not make any promises of gifts to your sponsored child without first discussing it with Emiliani Project staff. If you wish to give a child a gift of any kind, your Sponsor Coordinator will help you assess whether or not the gift is appropriate and facilitate the purchase and/or delivery of the gift to the child.
Can I adopt an Emiliani Project child?
The Emiliani Project does not facilitate child adoptions, nor do we provide adoption advice or guidance. Future work may include working with the Colombian government to facilitate adoptions, however, our focus now is completing our new home and getting these children off of the streets.