Islamic Relief’s Orphans Programmes, aim to contribute towards alleviating child poverty in the world’s poorest communities. This is done through a comprehensive and integrated one-to-one orphan sponsorship programme that takes care of each orphan’s needs in terms of health, education and social welfare.
Orphaned but not alone
By the Numbers
143 million children worldwide are orphaned by one or both parents
The number of orphans in sub-Saharan Africa in 2005 was 50% higher than that in 1990
(Source: UNCHR, news sources)
Losing one or both parents is traumatic for any child in any situation. However, in countries where war, famine and AIDS are a part of everyday life, millions of children are orphaned and left to struggle for survival.
Islamic Relief has been working with orphans since
1986 and now has Orphan programmes in over 30
countries across the world.
How orphans benefit
Health – The objective is to improve and maintain the overall physical and mental health of sponsored children within the first 12 months of sponsorship.
Education – Islamic Relief aims to provide access to basic education to all sponsored orphans of school age.
Social welfare – Sponsorship helps to provide extracurricular activities for children in order to build their social skills.
Shelter – Islamic Relief aims to provide a basic shelter to all sponsored orphans.
Income Generation – Islamic Relief encourages orphans & their guardian’s to build their own future, so they are not dependent upon charity to survive.
The One-to-One Sponsorship Programme gives you the chance to support an orphaned child in Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chechnya, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Somalia & South Africa. With your help, we can give these children the care they need, providing them with food, shelter, healthcare, education and emotional support. Islamic Relief’s donors are currently sponsoring over 26,000 orphans worldwide.
Orphans General Fund (OGF)
The Orphans General Fund (OGF) allows you to help more than one orphan. OGF donations are used for projects that benefit orphans, their families and their communities. The projects focus on education, health, social welfare and sports and leisure.
Regular donations of any amount can make a considerable difference in the services we provide to orphans and their families.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sponsor an orphan?
• Sponsor an individual orphan on a monthly or annual basis
• Make a general donation to our orphan’s projects worldwide
To start sponsoring an orphan, call 1 855 377 HOPE (4673).
How do you define an orphan?
Islamic Relief defines an orphan as:“A child below 18, without both parents or father, or whose father has abandoned them for a minimum of four years, regardless of gender, religion or race”.
How much does it cost?
Sponsor an orphan in**:
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
Sponsor an orphan in**:
*Prices are subject to review and may change in the future.
How much of my sponsorship money will reach the orphan?
From every $1 donated, .95 cents will go to the orphan and their family.
How do I pay?
Payments can be made in various ways, including online, credit or debit card, by bank transfer or cheques. For all other payment queries please contact Islamic Relief at 1 855 377 HOPE (4673).
How is the sponsorship money spent?
Sponsorship money is paid directly to the orphan’s guardian every quarter. Orphans are regularly monitored to ensure that they are receiving the full benefits of sponsorship.
Children receive regular health checks and all school-aged children receive an education. Housing conditions are also assessed and improvements are made where possible.
The programme aims to provide basic necessities to orphans, improve their health and nutrition, implement projects within the community and support the orphan educationally, socially, and morally.
Regular visits to the orphan’s school
Provisions of school supplies: a school bag, books, and stationary
End of the year celebrations with distribution of gifts
Regular visits to the orphan’s home
Monthly stipend for the orphan and the orphan’s family
Eid visits and distribution of clothing
Zakat, Eid and Qurabani distribution
Regular medical check-ups
Distribution of health leaflets to orphan’s caretakers
Cleanliness advice: personal, household, school
Cultural, Sports, and Leisure
How long will the sponsorship continue?
You can sponsor a child as long as you wish, up to the age of 18, if you wish to continue sponsorship after the child reaches 18, you are free to do so. We encourage a minimum sponsorship time of one year. If you wish to cancel your sponsorship, three months notice is required to give us time to find a new donor.
What information will I receive about the orphan I sponsor?
Within a month of sponsorship, you will receive a situational report with a photo & basic details of the child you are sponsoring. You will receive an annual report on the orphan’s progress including an updated picture and a letter or drawing from the orphan.
Can I contact the orphan?
You can send letters & gifts to your sponsored orphan by sending the item/s to your Fundraising Partner Office. They will check the items are suitable & remove any contact details from letters (for child protection purposes) & forward the gift or letter to the relevant field office. Donors will be charged for postage & packaging of gifts & letters to the field.
If you would like the address of your local fundraising office, please visit islamicrelief.com
Can I visit the orphan?
Yes, supervised visits can be organised after prior arrangement with your local Islamic Reliefoffice. However, visits can not be made directly to the orphan’s home due to Child Protection. Of course, you would be responsible for your own travel arrangements and travelling at your own expense and risk.
Does the orphan receive sponsorship money every month?
The orphan receives 4 quarterly payments annually. The funds are distributed in March, June, September and December.
What are the grounds for cancellation?
1. Absent (unable to locate orphan for 3 months or more)
3. Mother remarried
4. Married and is now supported by husband
5. Refuses to go to school
6. Income increased
7. Does not cooperate with the Islamic Relief team
8. Moved out of IR working area
9. Other (please specify)
Can I send extra monetary gifts?
You can send extra gifts for Eid and Qurbani, however, please bear in mind that funds are transferred & distributed quarterly in March, June, September and December & therefore you should pay for Eid and Qurbani gifts in advance to ensure they arrive on time.
What happens if I wish to cancel my sponsorship?
If possible we ask that you are able to give 3 months notice so we can find another suitable donor. If this is not possible, the orphan will be immediately placed on the orphans general fund list until a suitable donor is found.
What other ways can I support orphan projects:
The Orphans General Fund (OGF) allows you to help more than one orphan. OGF donations are used for projects that benefit orphans, their families and their communities. The projects focus on education, health, social welfare, sports, and leisure.
Islamic Relief Child Protection Statement
Islamic Relief is fully committed to protecting the security, privacy and dignity of its orphans and their families. The child protection procedures detailed below are in place to ensure the safety and welfare of children and offer them protection from exploitation or abuse.
The location and family name of a child will be withheld until the donor has been identified. Islamic Relief will not publish or make public the address, telephone number or e-mail contact of any of the children or their families.
Sponsorship is based on the agreement that donors will not attempt to contact the orphan or their family by any means without the specific permission of Islamic Relief.
The donor and orphan are free to exchange correspondence via Islamic Relief’s Fundraising and Field offices, however all postal material must conform to IR policy.
The donor may visit the orphan, at his or her own expense, provided written permission is obtained in advance. Islamic Relief may carry out police background checks before permitting such visits. The Orphans Welfare Officer within that country will supervise the visit at all times.
Unfortunately, Islamic Relief cannot allow unannounced visits to the sponsored orphan. For obvious safety reasons, sponsored children cannot be brought to the donor’s country for visits.
Photographs and other data posted on the website are for the purpose of supplying potential sponsors with relevant information about the Orphan Welfare programme. The information and photographs may not be downloaded, copied or replicated without the express permission of IR.