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Yes, Africa New Life Ministries International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Across all of our ministries 88% of our expenditures fund the ongoing programs that benefit children, families, and communities in Rwanda. In 2010, Africa New Life became a proud member of ECFA, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which accredits organizations based on financial factors including financial oversight, compliance with laws, transparency, gift communication, and more.
Your sponsorship is changing the life of a child in Rwanda. Because of your support, your child will receive an education, school uniform and materials, and medical assistance. In addition, children monthly attend Center Days where they enjoy a meal, play games, hear the Gospel, and write letters to their sponsors. Sponsored children also attend a Christian camp in their region each year.
Your child does directly benefit from your sponsorship. However, we do not directly distribute cash to the child or his or her family because there is no guarantee that the money would be spent on the child’s education. Instead, your sponsorship money is put into a pool. School fees are paid directly to the school for all of the children who have sponsors. From this pool, your child also receives a school uniform, school supplies, and medical assistance, and attends special programs. Your child knows who their sponsor is and will communicate with you directly.
Your sponsored child is very real, and they appreciate and love you because you have sponsored them. Sponsors are invited and encouraged to visit their children in Rwanda through a team trip with Africa New Life (see “Can I visit my child in Rwanda?” below).
Absolutely. This is something we strongly encourage. Your sponsored child loves to hear from you, and at Africa New Life we believe communicating with your child is invaluable. You can expect to receive a letter from your sponsored child at least twice a year. They send general updates in the summer and Christmas cards in December. However, if you write to your child, they will write more often. Send cards and letters to:
Child Name, Child Ref. Number (e.g. Shyaka Fred, KGL02090)
Africa New Life Ministries
PO Box 3351
RWANDA (must be capitalized and on separate line)
Please use our Africa New Life office address (7405 SW Tech Center Dr. #144, Portland, OR 97223) or your church’s address as the return address, NOT your home address.
Sponsored children write letters at Center Days in their community. Each sponsored child writes at least two letters per year, but will write more often if you send them more letters!
We encourage you to write letters to your child and ask direct questions. If you have an urgent question, you may email your question to email@example.com.
No. Africa New Life requests that sponsors only communicate with their child through our approved processes of communication. Please do not connect with your child through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Without the proper oversight, children, their friends or their family members could use the relationship with a sponsor for personal gain. Additionally, children sign a communication agreement when first registered in the program and face serious consequences if they fail to adhere to this agreement.
That depends on its size and weight. You can check online using the USPS Postal Price Calculator or by visiting your local post office. You can also use a Global Forever® stamp to mail postcards or 1 oz letters, but you’ll need to ensure that your letter doesn’t exceed the maximum length, height, or thickness. Click here for additional information on the dimensions and weight for First-Class Mail International Letters.
It generally takes 5-8 weeks for a letter or gift to reach your sponsored child in Rwanda due to the speed of the postal service and coordinating giving a gift to your child on the ground in Rwanda.
It takes a month or so for your child to receive their online gift; gift distribution generally happens at Center Days, which take place once a month in each community. However, for children attending boarding school it may take 2-3 months for the child to have the opportunity to come to a Center Day to receive their gift. Livestock gifts, such as cows or goats, may take longer depending on the family’s ability to house the animal and where it is being transported from.
All of the gifts available for you to purchase for your child have been carefully selected by the Africa New Life staff in Rwanda as something each child needs or would benefit from. For more specific information, we encourage you to ask your child about his or her needs in a letter. Click here to login to our online store.
We strongly encourage all gifts be purchased through our Online Store. This provides the most needed gifts for your child and their family. The online store also supports the Rwandan economy since all gifts are purchased locally. If you still wish to send a gift to your child through the international mailing service please use the following guidelines:
- Please do not send anything valuable. Keep it small and very simple.
- Please make sure the value of the entire package is under $50 and is listed as such on the customs form. To receive packages, our Rwandan staff pay heavy tax for items imported with a value over $50.
- Keep in mind that shipping internationally is very expensive and is not guaranteed. Africa New Life Ministries does not control the postal service and cannot guarantee the delivery of your gifts sent from the U.S.
Please do not send any candy to your sponsored child. They lack the dental care we enjoy here, and candy can cause significant dental issues for them. Please send non-edible gifts for them to enjoy! Here are some ideas: stickers/sticker books, photos/photo albums, school supplies, coloring/activity books, tennis ball, jump rope. What fits in a gallon-size bag is an appropriate quantity and size of gifts for a child in Rwanda.
Our goal is to help Rwandan families without hurting. In other words, Africa New Life wants families to be responsible for their own care and does not want to create a situation of dependency. We love it when sponsors bless families in Rwanda with the gift of food, but do not want families in Rwanda to become dependent on those gifts. We ask that you would order the “food for a month” gift just two times a year per sponsored child. Africa New Life does ensure that every sponsored child is well nourished.
Yes. Depending on availability you can join one of the many team trips to Rwanda throughout the year. Trips to Rwanda cost approximately $1,350 plus airfare per person for an 8 day, 8 night stay with Africa New Life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in going to Rwanda. Click here to visit our Team Trip page.
Primary and secondary schools begin school in January and go through the end of October, with a one-month break in August. College students begin their years in September.
As in the United States, Rwandan children attend 12 grades of school. You should be able to see your child’s grade level on their letters to you and in the online sponsorship portal. After their 12th grade year most of our students enter the Dream Leadership Academy, a one year buffer between high school and college. At that time you will receive a letter asking if you would like to continue to support your child through the Dream Leadership year and into college.
No, we normally don’t allow more than one child per family to be sponsored. Because the entire family of a sponsored child benefits from sponsorship, Africa New Life tries to spread this benefit to as many families as possible. We do encourage you to ask your sponsored child about their siblings, pray for them, and even consider them when writing letters. In Rwandan culture, especially in impoverished families, people are much more open to sharing their possessions than we tend to be in the United States culture. Keep in mind that gifts sent to your sponsored child will almost inevitably be shared with their siblings, cousins, or neighbor kids.
The staffs of Africa New Life in Rwanda and the United States have a very close relationship. Members of the staff in Rwanda visit the U.S. regularly, and the U.S. staff takes trips to Rwanda (often leading team trips) throughout the year as well. Daily communication takes place across the ocean via phone calls, video calls and email. The U.S. office exists to raise funds and generate enthusiasm in the United States to fund, promote and encourage the ministries of the staff in Rwanda.