• How do you define an orphan?

    Islamic Relief defines an orphan as: “A child below 18 years of age, without both parents or father, or whose father has abandoned them for a minimum of four years, of any gender, religion or race.”
  • How much of my sponsorship money will reach the orphan?

    For every £1.00 donated, 80p of your donation goes directly to your sponsored orphan. The remaining sum is used to provide social support to orphans and their families and to cover administration and delivery costs. We pride ourselves on transparency and we ensure that your money goes towards the project you intended – we know that we are accountable to you, our beneficiaries and ultimately Allah (SWT). Every year, Islamic Relief prepares financial accounts, which are audited by independent accountants. Click here to view our full financial report. A paper copy can also be sent via post upon request.
  • Does the orphan receive sponsorship money every month?

    The orphan’s guardian receives four quarterly payments throughout the year. These payments are distributed in March, June, September and December.
  • How is the sponsorship money spent?

    The programme aims to meet the needs of each orphan by providing basic necessities to improve their health and nutrition and additionally support them through their education and social development.
  • How long will the sponsorship continue?

    We encourage a minimum sponsorship period of one year, however you can sponsor a child for as long as you wish, up to the age of 18. Sometimes, the sponsorship continues after the child reaches 18, for example for medical or educational reasons. If there is a need for the sponsorship to continue, we will notify you.
  • What information will I receive about the orphan I sponsor?

    When you start your sponsorship, we will send you a photograph of your child with a range of basic biographical information. If you are paying by direct debit, this is usually around four to six weeks after the direct debit has been processed. If you have made payment for the whole year via cheque/credit or debit card/postal order, then you should receive this within two to three weeks. We aim to send you a report on your sponsored orphan every year.
  • Can I contact the orphan?

    You can email any letters and photographs to your orphan via the following email address: orphansuk@islamic-relief.org.uk. We will check both to ensure that they are suitable, remove contact details and forward to the relevant field office. Responses depend on your sponsored child. In some cases, the child or guardian may respond back straight away. Others may take several months to respond back or they may instead choose not to respond at all.
  • Can I visit the orphan?

    On certain occasions, supervised visits may be possible following prior arrangements with the local Islamic Relief office and with the agreement of the child. Please note that visits cannot be made directly to the orphan’s home in line with the Child Protection Policy, so the meeting will be held at our offices. Furthermore, any UK-based individual requesting a visit will have to be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) approved. You would be responsible for your own travel arrangements at your own expense and risk and for providing evidence of a DBS check.
  • What are the grounds for cancellation?

    Sponsorship may be cancelled in the following situations:
    • The orphan supersedes the eligible age range and/or gets married;
    • Their mother remarries and her new husband is able to provide for the family;
    • The family has a significant increase in income;
    • The child is absent for more than three months and is not able to be traced;
    • If the orphan sadly passes away.
    In the case of death, sponsorship may be transferred to a sibling if they are of sponsorship age.
  • What happens if I wish to cancel my sponsorship?

    We request that you give us a minimum of three months notice prior to cancellation in order to allow enough time for us to find another donor. If this notice is not provided, you will be required to make a payment to cover the three months. We are certain you will agree that we need to ensure your orphan continues to receive support to minimise disruption to their life. However, if you are unable to do this due to exceptional circumstances, the orphan will be supported by Islamic Relief for a further three months until another sponsor is found.
  • Can I send extra monetary gifts?

    Islamic Relief no longer accepts additional monetary gifts on top of monthly sponsorship, as we found that when some orphans receive extra gifts, other children in the area feel left out. Furthermore, there are many children we are currently unable to sponsor and extra donations could be used to fund projects which support them. If you would like to make an extra donation to support orphans, we encourage you to give towards our Children fund, supporting projects in which a wider community of orphans and children in need benefit. However, in exceptional cases of need – for example, if the orphan is seriously ill and needs treatment or a problem arises with their housing – Islamic Relief will accept direct monetary gifts specifically to meet these needs.
  • Can I send packages directly to the field office?

    We do not accept packages from donors for their orphans, as they tend to face a number of issues – for example, they incur costs such as customs taxes and duty, which the Islamic Relief office then has to pay, taking away vital resources from our fieldwork. Packages also sometimes get lost in transit or arrive damaged. If you would like to support orphans in need with extra gifts, we encourage you to give a monetary donation to our Children fund, supporting projects in which a wider community of orphans and children in need benefit.
  • Do you only sponsor Muslim Children?

    No. Islamic Relief works with a wide range of beneficiaries, of all faith and ethnic backgrounds. As signatories to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Code of Conduct, we are bound not to discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race or ethnicity but support those who are most in need.
  • How do you select the orphans who receive the sponsorship?

    We select the orphans through means testing, with each office using a scoring system for families based on the following factors:
    • Income: Priority is given to those with the lowest income, which includes any monies coming in (e.g. salaries, pension or other sponsorship money). Each field office sets its own maximum family income level, below which an application for sponsorship is granted.
    • Size of family and ages of children: Priority is given to larger families with younger children.
    • Housing conditions: Priority is given to those living in the poorest conditions.
    • Health: Priority is given to children with the poorest health status. Proof is required of participation in national immunisation programmes.
    In each family, one child in every two can be sponsored, providing of course that sponsors can be found. This can be modified by the field office upon approval of the Child Welfare Department if there is a particular need for more children within a family to be supported.
  • Who should I contact if I have queries regarding my sponsorship?

    If you have any queries regarding your sponsorship, please call Islamic Relief UK on 020 3936 4545, or email us on: orphansuk@islamic-relief.org.uk
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