FAQs about Sponsorship

Frequently asked questions:

How do I become a sponsor?

TRAS always has children waiting for sponsors. Once you have decided to become a sponsor, please let us know if you have any particular preference as to the child or type of sponsorship you would like and we will do our best to match your request. Once we have received payment, you will receive a photo and biography of your child. Each year, you will receive a letter or card and photo from your child so that you may follow their progress. Payment may be made by cheque, Interact e-transfer, transfer of securities or by credit card, monthly, quarterly or annually. You may sign up on line Sponsor through Canada Helps or by email at sponsorship@tras.ca.

How long does sponsorship last?

The length of time you commit is your choice but we request a minimum of a year and preferably longer. Longer term sponsorships are more rewarding both for you and the child.  In Asia, depending on their particular situation, children start school at different ages. Many from Tibet do not start until they are teenagers. TRAS supports all children until they have completed their schooling, whatever their age.  Many graduate in their early to mid-20s, so the concept of graduation at the age of 17 does not necessarily apply. We also support higher education and vocational training for those accepted into an accredited program.

Can I write to my child?

Children love to receive cards and letters so welcome any correspondence from you. The older children often have email addresses through which they love to communicate. It is important to keep your letters simple and photographs culturally sensitive. TRAS supports the preservation of the local culture and beliefs and we request our sponsors to respect this. Photographs displaying wealth and beach scenes may not be appropriate.  You also need to be patient; mail to our remote settlements is not dependable and sometimes takes many weeks. Do not expect an early reply. Corresponding with your child, however, is not mandatory, it is your choice. TRAS considers your contact information confidential and does not reveal it unless you specifically request.

Can I visit my child?

Yes, many TRAS members have visited their sponsored child in their homes, schools and colleges.

We are happy to facilitate your visit. Those who have been fortunate to meet their child and his/her family have found this a very rewarding experience.

Can I send my child a gift?

Yes. We recommend sending relatively small monetary gifts ($10-20 is plenty). You can send a gift by adding the amount to your regular sponsorship payment; please include a note saying that the additional amount is a gift to the child.

At Tibetan Children’s Village schools, for example, 100% of monetary gifts go to the children (each child has their own account). The gift will be used for any special items the child needs or deposited in trust for them until they graduate.

Similarly, at Buddha Academy, the school staff will go to a nearby market with the child and buy something for the child that’s useful and needed (e.g. shoes, school bag, jeans). The remaining money is pocket money for the child (they can spend it on snacks and small items at a school “tuck shop”); the staff maintain a registry book with a record of the child’s pocket money, and the child signs when they take the money.

Packages are discouraged as the postal service may be slow and unreliable, they are costly to send, and often the contents may be purchased more cheaply in your child’s country. This particularly applies to books.

Why aren’t there any photos of children needing sponsorship on your website?

Because of the ever-increasing reach of the Internet, we protect the privacy of children by not publishing their photos.

Can I get a tax receipt for my sponsorship?

Yes, TRAS is a registered charity able to provide annual receipts for Canadian tax purposes.

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