Does International Child Sponsorship Work? Study Claims Answer

Examination of Compassion International programs in six nations finds 'statistically significant' impact–especially in Africa.

Sending $38 each month to sponsor a foreign child–a practice made popular by Compassion International–has some fresh evidence on its side. A new report from researchers at the University of San Francisco reveals that sponsored children are more likely to graduate both secondary school and college, have salaried employment, and be leaders in their communities.

The study, which will be published next month in the University of Chicago's Journal of Political Economy, examined 10,144 people in six countries that host Compassion sponsorship programs–Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Uganda, and the Philippines. (Compassion works in 26 nations in total.)

In those countries, the authors stated, "child sponsorship also appears to be a great 'equalizer,'" helping raise overall baseline education outcomes for boys and girls alike. According to the report:

"[Sponsorship's] impacts on the educational outcomes are larger in those countries with lower baseline education outcomes, the two African countries, ...
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