When Orphan’s Tear began in 2005 with a handful of Christian orphanages in Myanmar, we could hardly imagine that, 7 years later, roughly 1,000 children, in 8 nations, would be sponsored by caring folks in the US, UK, Switzerland, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and more than a dozen other countries. Monthly sponsorship then was just $15. It helped cover the costs of food, clothing, shelter and school fees. It was never meant to provide for all of a child’s needs, but that $15 each month gave a much-needed boost to help the children experience happier and healthier lives and a brighter future.
A few years later we raised the monthly sponsorship to $20 because of currency devaluation and inflation. In Myanmar for example, the exchange rate for U.S. dollars has dropped by one-third since 2005. And while the exchange rate has been going down, prices for everything in Myanmar have been going up. Today, the $20 that we send per child each month buys half of what it used to.
Over the past few months I’ve received several emails from our orphanage directors, begging for more help each month to make up for the shortage. And almost all of the orphanages are asking for our help to pay this year’s school fees for their children. They had never asked before.
Although this problem has been creeping up on us over the last few years, we’ve kept sponsorships at $20 a month, wanting to keep it as affordable as possible. Still, we realize that $40 per month is now what is really needed. In response, we prayed for wisdom and a solution, and God answered our prayer!
I’m happy to report that, through some significant developments in the administrative software that we use, we’ve found a way to increase what we send to our orphanages without increasing the monthly sponsorship amount. That software development will allow for children to have either one or two sponsors. So if we can get two sponsors for every child (or one sponsor who can afford $40 per month), we’ll be able to send $40 each month for every child in all 57 of our orphanages.
We’re also busy working on other solutions to financially help our orphanages. We’ve helped eight of them start small businesses so they can earn additional income. We’re encouraging all of our other orphanages to begin exploring small business options as a way to provide for many of their own needs.
And our Foster Care Initiative is continuing behind the scenes. We’re seeing more and more of our children move from orphanages to families.
Finally, may I ask that you tell others about Orphan’s Tear? Perhaps a friend or family member would like to partner with you in loving your sponsored child or children! And here are a few other ways you can help promote Orphan’s Tear:
1. Post about Orphan’s Tear on Facebook
Thanks so very much for caring, and for understanding our need to make a few changes so that we can better serve both the children we all love so much and the people who love them!