Meeting your sponsored child is an experience you’ll never forget!
We’ve put together a list of everything you need to get started, including application forms and commonly asked questions about visiting your sponsored child.
Please note: We require at least 3 months’ notice to arrange a trip to visit your sponsored child. Please let us know as soon as you are considering a visit so we can begin arrangements as early as possible.
Step-by-step guide to visiting your sponsored child
Step 1: Applying for the visit
Send us these completed forms at least three months
before your visit:
- Request to visit sponsored child (Word document).
In this form we ask for general information about your travel plans, such as your planned arrival date and your preferred visit date. Please be as flexible as possible with the date of your visit as this helps us coordinate your trip with the World Vision office in your sponsored child’s country.
- Sponsor Visit Agreement (Pdf)
This form explains the terms and conditions of visiting your sponsored child. You will need to affirm that you have read and agree to comply with the World Vision Australia policies, and that you recognise the limitations of World Vision Australia's liability.
- National Police Clearance Form and National Police Clearance Procedures (Word document) for Sponsor Visits.
World Vision's child protection policy states our commitment to being a child-safe organisation that supports the safety of children in their communities. All World Vision employees and supporters who visit sponsored children must have a current police clearance. This assists in our commitment to protect children from potential abuse; it also protects employees and sponsors.
Obtaining a police clearance can take 8-12 weeks so please apply well in advance. Once we receive clearance, we can begin making arrangements for your visit.
- Additional information (may be required).
Some countries, such as India and Vietnam, may require further information such as passport details. Additional forms will be sent to you if this is the case.
Please send all forms to:
Sponsor Visits Co-ordinator
World Vision Australia
1 Vision Drive
East Burwood, VIC 3151
Fax: 1300 303 448
After we receive your application forms, we’ll contact you and advise if there are any more things we need to know.
World Vision will co-ordinate your visit with the office in your sponsored child’s country, as well as your National Police Clearance.
World Vision will also give you an indication of any costs that you may need to cover and any details you will require on your visit. You will need to make all other travel arrangements for the rest of the trip yourself.
Step 2: Confirming the trip
Once your application is approved, use our child sponsorship visit checklist to check what you need to know and do before, during and after your visit. At this stage, World Vision will:
- Organise your visit with the World Vision office in your sponsored child's country;
- Confirm the date and time of your visit and provide you with a contact address and phone number for the World Vision office in your sponsored child's country;
- Give an advance estimate of expenses that will be incurred during your visit;
- Answer any questions you may have regarding your visit.
Step 3: Meeting your sponsored child
World Vision staff will take you to meet your sponsored child at their local World Vision office. Enjoy your visit!!
Step 4: Giving feedback when you return
When you return, we’ll call you to see how the visit went and answer any questions you have. We might ask you if you’d like to share your story with others and, if you’re interested, direct you to other ways you can help.
Commonly asked questions
Can I write to my sponsored child to let them know I’ll be visiting?
Although it is tempting, please don't tell your sponsored child that you will be visiting. If you have to cancel for any reason, he or she will be disappointed. World Vision project staff will tell your sponsored child on your behalf once the trip is confirmed.
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Why do I need to give three months' notice?
- A National Police Clearance is required for all people aged 16 and over. This can take 8-12 weeks to obtain.
- We need to contact your sponsored child’s family and notify them well in advance to be sure they are available to meet on the proposed date.
- Your visit is a very special occasion for your sponsored child, their family and community. They will want time to plan welcome activities and other aspects of your visit.
- Staff at the World Vision office in your sponsored child’s country need time to plan too. There are limited staff members who must organise time away from their project work to accompany visitors.
- We may need to coordinate several different sponsors visiting at the same time. Some countries have a very high frequency of visits compared with others and we need to be conscious of the impact many visits may have on each country.
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What gifts should I take?
Take small gifts that are easy to pack and that have a practical use.
We have found that children love pencils, crayons, t-shirts, skipping ropes, tennis balls, footballs (with a pump), maps of Australia, inflatable world globes, photo albums with Australian family photos and Australian toy animals. Keep it simple – a $2 shop is a good place to start.
You will be surrounded by many children from the community. It's best to bring gifts that can be shared, like stickers and balloons, so that children who aren't sponsored don't feel left out.
Please do not feel you have to take gifts. It's entirely up to you. You definitely should not hand out cash – that is what your child sponsorship is for.
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Can I exchange addresses with my sponsored child?
Please do not give your contact details to your sponsored child, their family, community members or World Vision staff.
We discourage direct postal contact for a variety of reasons, most particularly for the privacy and protection of both you and your sponsored child. It’s important to keep your address confidential in case it falls into the wrong hands, which may lead to unwanted requests for money or other help.
Please continue to send your correspondence to the World Vision office in the country where your sponsored child lives. You’ll find these details inside your sponsored child's photo folder and on the World Vision website.
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How should I respond if I am asked for money or more help?
Often the best response to this question is to explain that you currently donate money to World Vision to help your sponsored child and their community.
World Vision discourages giving cash directly to children or communities and it’s best not to make promises that may not be kept when you return to Australia.
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