Introduction to Key Issues in Child Sponsorship

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This book chapter was originally published as:

Watson, B. & Clarke, M. (2014). Introduction to key Issues in child sponsorship. In B. Watson & M. Clarke (Eds.), Child sponsorship: Exploring pathways to a brighter future (pp. 1-17). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

ISBN: 9781137309594


169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified

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Chapter 1 introduces child sponsorship as a phenomenon characterised by controversy within the aid industry, broad popularity with the general public and specific appeal for non-governmental organisations due to its prodigious ability to mobilize funds. Despite emergent critique in the 1970s and 1980s, the authors note that the prominence of child sponsorship as a fundraising tool has continued with the first decade of the twentieth century witnessing sustained growth such that between eight and twelve million children are sponsored globally with the subsequent flow of funds exceeding US$3.1 billion. By such accounts it is possible that over two decades the sponsorship of children has generated international transfers in excess of US$50 billion. Exploring both positive features and causes for concern, this chapter argues that a book on child sponsorship is long overdue. The majority of large child sponsorship organisations are positioned as ethical organizations, committed to poverty reduction and positive outcomes for children.


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