Visit your sponsored child

Meeting your sponsored child is an experience you’ll never forget!

Step 1: Contact us

We require at least three months' notice to arrange a trip to visit your sponsored child. Let us know as soon as you are considering a visit so we can begin arrangements as early as possible. Please contact our sponsor Visits Team by emailing  sponsorvisits@worldvision.com.au or calling 13 32 40

Step 2: Confirming the trip

Before you go:

  • Confirm your own travel arrangements.
  • Visit your GP or travel health clinic for health advice.
  •  Feel free to purchase small gifts for your sponsored child. Keep them simple and remember it's best to have some gifts that can be shared, like stickers and balloons.
  • Obtain your National Police Clearance, assisted by World Vision, for all visitors aged 16 years and over.
  •  Please don't contact your sponsored child directly to let them know you are visiting. Our staff in your sponsored child's country will tell the family once your trip is confirmed.
  • Check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or Smart Traveller websites, and talk to your travel agent for the latest travel advice.

Once your application is approved, 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. You will need to make all other travel arrangements for the rest of the trip yourself.
  • Answer any questions you may have regarding your visit.

Step 3: Preparing for your visit

Sponsor visits run for a maximum of one day (weekdays only). The amount of time you spend with your sponsored child will depend on the availability of World Vision staff and the time it takes to reach your sponsored child's community. World Vision will do all it can to ensure you get the best out of your visit.

To avoid causing offence, please dress modestly on your visit. The best rule of thumb is to have your shoulders and your legs covered.

In most cases, you are expected to cover the costs of your visit to your sponsored child's community, including any expenses for the guide/translator, a driver, fuel and lunch for yourself and staff accompanying you. We will give you an estimate before you travel.

Step 4: Meeting your sponsored child

World Vision staff will be with you throughout your visit with your sponsored child and their family to help with translation and any other issues on the day. Remember to:

  • Talk to the local World Vision staff about what is appropriate in terms of greetings, accepting food and giving gifts. They will be able to guide you in unfamiliar situations.
  • Be conscious of the fact that you are visiting a different culture and that World Vision works with many different religious backgrounds. Staff and communities where we work may be more overtly religious than the staff in Australia, depending on where you are visiting.
  • Feel free to take photos and videos of your visit, but please check with your sponsored child's family that they are happy to be photographed. Also, if you are wanting to use some photos of your sponsored child and their family to share your experience with friends and family via social media or online, please adhere to our Child Image Display Guidelines.
  • Your visit could involve many different experiences. You may visit your sponsored child at their home, their school or, in some circumstances, the World Vision office. You could visit different activities around the community to see what your sponsorship donations are achieving. We will give you an indication of your itinerary before you leave Australia. 

Step 5: When you return to Australia

When you return, we would love to hear from you.  We’ll contact you to see how the visit went, answer any questions you have and direct you to other ways you can support. If you're happy to do so, we would love to share your story and photos on our website or in our supporter magazine to help inspire other supporters.

Commonly asked questions

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.
  • 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.

Take small gifts that are easy to pack and have a practical use. Ideally, try to purchase gifts in country. It will not only save luggage space, but will also support the local economy and community in your sponsored child's country.

We have found that children love pencils, crayons, t-shirts, skipping ropes, tennis balls, footballs/soccer balls (with a pump), maps of Australia, inflatable world globes, your family photos and Australian toy animals. Keep it simple.

You will be surrounded by many children from the community. It's best to bring gifts that can be shared, like stickers, balloons, bubbles or sporting equipment, so that children who aren't sponsored don't feel left out.

You definitely should not hand out cash – that is what your child sponsorship is for.

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.
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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Uganda story: The welcoming sounds of a community transformed

If you have any further questions, please contact our Sponsor Visit Co-ordinator at sponsorvisits@worldvision.com.au or call 13 32 40.