Sponsorship Process

How does MCM choose children to sponsor?

  • Our key question is, “Will sponsorship make a real difference in this child’s life?”
  • The primary criteria we look at are these:
    • Can this child’s family provide for their care and education? In most cases, the child has lost one or both parents to death or abandonment.
    • Will this child work and study hard and do all they can do to get an education and fulfill their commitments? We are committed to fostering empowerment, not long-term dependence.

How should I choose a child to sponsor?

  • MCM has done all it can to ensure that the students we select for sponsorship are in need and will really benefit from having a sponsor choose them, so any choice is good.
  • Let your heart lead: your relationship with this child developed over the years through letter-writing will offer deep emotional support to them knowing that you love and believe in them. So choose a child who inspires your love.

How old are kids when sponsorship begins?

  • A key goal of sponsorship is to ensure that these children get an education that will give them the best possible foundation for their futures. We take children as early as the start of their first year of schooling. But will also take promising students who are near the end of their secondary schooling because we know that going to university or trade school can make a tremendous difference in their lives.

For how long does a child get sponsored?

  • Once we have made a commitment to a child, we ensure that they are provided with school costs through secondary school, whether O-level or A-level. 
  • MCM will continue to assist with post-secondary education for students who have demonstrated their willingness to work and study hard, taking advantage of the education provided. 
  • The transition from schooling to adulthood is challenging in any culture, and MCM does its best to ensure that our kids make that transition successfully.

How is my child’s situation and progress monitored?

  • Our Uganda director, Ivan, lives in the village of XXXXXX, centrally located within our service area. He is the eyes and ears of MCM.
  • At least annually each child is interviewed by Ivan or Michele or both to reassess their current family and school placement situation. Their school reports are also reviewed. 
  • If there are issues with the child’s school performance, it may be addressed through coaching and/or change of school placement. 
  • If a family situation changes, that may also require some additional intervention.


Why do I need to write letters to my child?

  • Because children thrive and flourish in an environment of love and hope, your letters really matter. They communicate that you know, love and care for them personally and specially. Your child will treasure your letters and turn to them for encouragement when times are hard.

How often will I be expected to write a letter to my child?

  • Your child is required to write to you three times per year.
  • Because of the importance of your letter to your child, MCM requires sponsors to write their children twice a year, with a third letter optional.
  • If you would like to write your child at other times, you may do so.

How do I send my letter?

  • Due to the cost and time it takes to send physical letters, MCM has transitioned to all-digital letters. 
  • Our preference is that you type your letter and save it to PDF format, and then email it to Michele.
  • Michele will send all the letters in PDF format to Ivan, who will bring them to a local printer to prepare them for distribution to the children. This not only saves time and money, but supports the local economy.

Can I send a photo to my child?

  • YES, please do! Our children treasure photos of their sponsors and extended sponsor families. You and your family become their family!
  • The best way to do this is to insert a photo into your letter so that it is printed as part of your letter.
  • Be sure that those in the photo are dressed with appropriate modesty (e.g., avoid beach attire).

Can I send a gift to my child?

  • Unfortunately the cost and time of shipping makes sending a gift not feasible.
  • Providing a physical gift can also cause children who don’t receive a gift to feel left out.
  • Instead, we invite you to make an additional contribution to our annual birthday party or Christmas party, where all children benefit equally.

What should I write about?

  • Communicate the unconditional love that a parent should have for their child. This is how our heavenly Father loves them. Although you may offer some wise advice, your role is not to preach or judge.
  • Our children are Christian and attend Bible study at least monthly. Encourage your child’s faith and relationship to the Lord. You can share a favorite Bible verse, especially as relevant to the circumstances of your child’s life. Your spiritual encouragement is more powerful than you can know.
  • Respond to what they have written to you with compassion and encouragement. Be specific so they can feel uniquely known and loved.
  • Encourage their educational activities, as this is so important to their future. 
  • Write about things your sponsored child will understand, such as family, pets, hobbies and activities. They want to know you, too, and your family becomes their extended family. Please avoid discussing material possessions which tend to emphasize differences.
  • Emphasize things you have in common. As time goes on you will discover shared interests, perhaps a favorite school subject or a love of music. Because of your significance in the life of the child you sponsor, these common interests will enhance the child’s self esteem
  • Do not include work or home addresses for reasons of privacy.

How long should the letter be?

  • Writing is not everyone’s “cup of tea,” so there is no specific length required.
  • Your child worked hard on their letter, written in English which is not their first language. Your letter should reflect your genuine interest in them and their wellbeing.
  • Be sure to respond to what they have written to you, and let them know a bit about what has been going on with you and your family since your last letter. 

Ugandan Education System

How is the Ugandan school system structured?

  • Primary school: Primary One through Primary Seven (P1 – P7) are comparable to US grades 1 – 7. 
  • Secondary school (occasionally referred to as “college”): Senior One through Senior Four (S1 – S4) are comparable to US high school grades 9 – 12.
    • Senior 1 – Senior 4 years culminate with O-level (Ordinary) final exams. Fewer than 20% of students receive an O-level exam score qualifying them for A-level schooling.
  • A-level (Advanced): Senior five and six (S5 – S6),  are comparable to US community college or college prep program. These years culminate in the A-level final exams. 
  • University is the same as US university or college.
  • Vocational school is the same as US trade schools.

How old are kids when they complete secondary school?

  • Students’ ages vary widely within each grade because they are passed to the next level based on sufficient mastery of the material, not age.
  • Consistency of attendance affects rate of progression.
  • Age at graduation will also be affected by whether or not the student continues to A-level.

What is the Ugandan academic calendar?

  • The Ugandan school year begins in February and ends in December.
  • There are three 12-week terms:
    • February – April, with 2-3 week holiday in May
    • May – August, with 2-3 week holiday in August
    • September – November, 7-8 week holiday December – January.

What is the typical Ugandan school day?

  • The children attend school Monday through Friday, 7am until 6pm.

Does Uganda provide free primary and secondary education?

  • The government considers primary and secondary school a right of all children, but does not have enough public schools to deliver fully on this commitment. Private schools help fill this gap.

How does MCM decide to place a child in local vs. boarding school?

  • Ivan and Michele consider this question for each sponsored child. 
  • In some cases, a boarding school may provide the specialized resources needed by a child with a specific deficit.
  • In many cases, if a child is burdened at home with chores and responsibilities from immediately after school until evening, boarding school provides a place where the child will have time to study and can flourish educationally.

What costs are associated with school?

  • Private schools charge tuition for their students, where public schools do not.
  • School uniforms are always required and must be provided by the student.
  • Other school fees are charged by both public and private schools.