FAQs on Sponsorship Program
I want to sponsor a child. How do I begin the process of sponsoring a child?
The easiest way to get started is to fill in the sponsorship form online and email it to us. Once we receive that form, we will try to find a child that matches your request and send you a short bio data and photograph of the child for your sponsorship. You can also do an online sponsorship subscription. Pay pal and authorize.net immediately e mail us of sponsorship subscriptions and a TCEF associate will e mail you to start the sponsorship process.
How much time will it take for me to get the bio data and photo?
It depends on whether TCEF has on file a child that matches your request. If we do, we will send it right away. But in many cases, we have to send that request to the sponsorship committee in India. Then it may take about a month or two to get the photo and bio-data.
When do the sponsorships commence?
For administrative convenience, we request sponsors to accept either the 1st. of January, when the new school term in India begins, or the 1st. of July, when the second term begins after the children return from their annual Summer vacations – depending on which month sponsors were closer to when they committed to the sponsorships. So, if you committed to a sponsorship say in May or August 2004 we will request that the sponsorships commence from July 2004 and if you committed to a sponsorship in November 2004 or February 2005, we will request that the sponsorship commence from January 2005.
These are requested/recommended dates for commencement. For online sponsors, the sponsorship commences when the first online subscription comes through. Other sponsors can also opt to start the sponsorships from the date of sponsorship commitments or payments.
What payment method options are available to sponsors?
Checks made in favor of Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation or TCEF and mailed to PO Box 1403, Helena, MT 59624 is our preferred payment method. Sponsors can also do a sponsorship subscription online using pay pal or authorize.net from this site. Sponsors can also call or email us about using credit cards and we can also help set up an Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) using Authorize.net
What payment schedule options are available to sponsors?
Sponsors are free to choose payment schedules that work the best for them. Annual ($540) or half yearly ($270) work the best for us. But sponsors are free to opt for quarterly ( $135) or even monthly ($45) payment schedules.
Are the contributions tax deductible?
Yes, TCEF is a 501(c)(3) organization and all sponsorship contributions will receive our tax deductible receipt.
How much of sponsorship contributions go directly to the children or elders and how is the rest utilized?
Current sponsorship rate is $45 per month. Out of this $30 goes directly to support the child you sponsor, $10 goes to helping other children through our sponsorship reserve fund and $5 goes to administration.For the elders, current TCEF sponsorship rate is $35 a month. Out of this $25 goes directly to help the elder you sponsor, $5 goes to the reserve fund and $5 goes towards administration.
What is the sponsorship reserve fund?
While most sponsors make a minimum three year commitment to sponsorship, TCEF’s commitment is right through their school life. The sponsorship reserve fund ensures that children’s education continues uninterrupted between the time a sponsor stops and another one is found. This fund supports our efforts to help find new sponsors and to send sponsorship funds on their behalf till new sponsors are found. Sometimes this may take several months. Also, due to changes in their lives, despite their best intentions sponsors are sometimes not able to keep commitments. Again the reserve fund is used to make sure that personal changes in sponsors lives do not disrupt sponsored children’s education back in India. Sponsorship reserve funds also help to us immediately help new children or needy elder not on our program with funds needed either for education or support, till we are able to find sponsors for them.
Can I write to my sponsored child?
Yes! Your sponsored child/children will love to hear from you. Most TCEF sponsorships are coordinated through Kyitsel-ling Tibetan Children’s Education Center, India. You can write to your sponsored child at the following address:
Name of your child
c/o Kyitsel-ling Tibetan Children’s Education Center
G 179 Tibetan Colony
PO Clement Town
Dehra Dun (UK) India 248002
If you sponsor a child at Zuluk, Sikkim you can write to your sponsored child directly at this address:
Name of your child
c/o Lama Paljor
Zhekar Choede Monastery
10th Mile Rd
Distt. Darjeeling (WB) India OR
You can also mail your letters to TCEF, PO Box 1403, Helena, MT 59624 and we will gladly forward your letters to India.
Will my sponsored child understand my letters? Will he/she be able to write back to me?
The medium of instruction in Tibetan schools in exile is Tibetan till class V. Till this grade English is studied as a second language. So children in lower grades know only a little English. But there will always be others to help translate letters – a sponsorship secretary, teachers, older children. Your sponsored child will write to you at least twice a year: around Christmas and in the summer. If he/she is in the lower classes, they may not be able to write much in English but they will send you wonderful drawings and a few sentences. From class VI onwards, the medium of instruction is English and children can write longer and more meaningful letters.
Can I send a parcel to my sponsored child?
Yes, they’ll love that even more. Our experience suggests that Registered Parcels stand a much better chance of safe delivery. Also, be sure to declare it as a ‘Gift’ on the customs form so that your sponsored child does not have to pay customs at his or her end.
What can I send him or her? What do Tibetan children in India like?
Like children anywhere, a Tibetan child will be thrilled with whatever you send: toys/dolls, clothes, school supplies etc. A lot depends on what you want to send them. Our suggestions include soft dolls, toys and sports items. The advantage of these items over clothes is that all their friends can also share in the joy of your gift.
Do Tibetan girls get equal opportunities to study as boys?
Yes, very much so. According to the Current Status Report 1998 – a detailed study of Tibetan children’s education in exile, there were slightly more girls than boys in the Tibetan 90 odd Tibetan schools in exile. Kyitsel-ling also has more girls than boys!
What subjects do the children study?
Till class 5, Tibetan is the medium of instruction. Besides Tibetan language, they study English, Hindi, Mathematics, Social Studies and General Science. From class 6 onwards, English is the medium of instruction. In India they follow a system of school education popularly known as the 10+2 system. After class 10, children have two more years of high school where they can opt to major either in Arts, Commerce or Science. Besides core subjects, Tibetan Dance, Music & Drama, Computer Education and Physical Education are important parts of their curriculum.
What happens when children graduate from school? Are there opportunities for further studies?
The Tibetan Administration in exile and other Tibetan organizations offer a variety of scholarships that will enable many school graduates to pursue a college education in India. In some case, TCEF sponsors continue to support their children through college. TCEF has a fledgling college sponsorship program. For $1000 a year, you can support a deserving Tibetan child attend college in India.