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What is AEA?

At Aide et Action International (AEA), we seek to make ‘Education for All’ a reality by focussing on education for the disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. Headquartered in Geneva, our organisation was initiated in 1981, in France. In South Asia, our operations are spread over 18 states and 1 Union Territory in India, 3 districts in Sri Lanka and 4 districts in Nepal.

What does AEA do?

We undertake projects directly with the target communities or in partnership with other NGOs in the following areas:

• Access to quality education
• Inclusive education
• Early childcare and education
• Livelihood education
• Women's empowerment and education
• Education for children affected by migration
• Health education and HIV/AIDS awareness
• Disaster preparedness and mitigation
• Education for global citizenship 

How can I help underprivileged children?

By sponsoring a child from an underprivileged community, supported by AEA, you can help pull them out of the whirlpool of poverty, despair and illiteracy. At AEA, we believe that education is a crucial lever that helps these children regain a basic quality in their lives and work towards a dignified future. You may choose to support:

• The education of girl children
• The education of migrant children

Why a special focus on educating girl children?

The girl child is by and large married off early and parents do not ‘invest’ in her education as the returns are available only to her husband’s family. She is not seen as an equal to her brother and is denied education, which often cannot be afforded for every child in the family. The girl child is expected to help in household and domestic chores, thereby preventing her from starting/continuing her schooling. Sometimes, she is kept at home because of social and environmental hazards such as sexual harassment. At AEA, we make a conscious effort to face the challenge of enhancing the access to education for girl children, wherever we intervene.

Why a special focus on educating migrant children?

The migrant child is forced to drop out of school as they accompany their impoverished parents out of the villages and into nearby cities in search of work. Such children are relegated to living in unhygienic, unsafe and non-child-friendly environments, often at the brick kiln/construction sites where the parents work. The migrant child is sucked into the vortex of hard labour as they try and support their parents out of the poverty, thereby losing their childhood and all opportunities of education and a future. They are denied government protection, social security, medical and nutritional support, and citizen’s rights in the process of endless mobility and transition from one region to another. Children of migrant labourers are completely invisible in this vicious process and they in particular miss out on education.

Through our projects, covering girl children and migrant children, we seek to create a sustainable and enabling environment to ensure that both these groups of children get access to schooling.

How much does sponsorship cost?

Generally, sponsorship costs between:

• Rs 3,000 per year for the education of 10 girl children
• Rs 6,000 per year for the education of 20 girl children
• Rs 3,000 per year for the education of 1 migrant child
• Rs 12,000 per year for the education of 4 migrant children

How long can I sponsor a child?

Child sponsorship is generally a commitment for 1-3 years. A longer duration of support increases the chances of children staying back in school and completing their schooling.

How does AEA utilise sponsorship funds?

Through the principle of mutualisation, the support from our sponsors allows us to work with various communities that we choose to support, within our mandate. Therefore, the money that sponsors contribute funds the projects that support the child, in the area where they live. So, you help not only the child you are sponsoring but also other children of the project and their community. The sponsored child thus becomes the ‘child ambassador’ in taking the benefit to the larger community. In other words, the resources raised through sponsorship do not go directly to the end beneficiaries of the project on a charity mode; nor are they used to meet the expenditure like school fees, school materials, etc. The funds are instead used in enabling/supporting the communities to set up collective and sustainable education projects.

Why support the community?

Education of a child does not take place in isolation. We need to work with the child’s community at large, which will indirectly benefit the child in receiving a good education, and help the development of the child and also that of their community. Sponsorship in AEA offers you an opportunity to build a true relationship with the sponsored child and other stakeholders of project, enabling the sponsored child to receive quality education and blossom in their own milieu.

In effect, how will my money be used for education of a child?

Your contribution will help us support the education of a group of children through our initiatives for girl children and the children of migrant workers. You will receive progress reports of all the children you support. While you may closely follow these, your support will also enable us to work with the larger community supporting the children by:

- Raising awareness on education among the community members;
- Ensuring adequate teaching learning material and improved school atmosphere with facilities such as buildings, drinking water, toilet facilities, etc.;
- Bringing in quality improvement in education;
- Liaisoning with the local government;
- Creating and strengthening of community organisations towards self-management of schools and sustainable development of communities.

Is my financial contribution sufficient for the development of the community?

The activities in projects are partly financed by sponsorship contribution. However, the need of some projects and communities is so big that it exceeds the sponsorship budget. We therefore find some other resources to continue the work we have begun. We look for institutional funding, corporate funding, etc. Additionally, the participation of community and local governing body is also important.

All these efforts give a complete meaning to your sponsorship, ensuring sustainable development of the community your child belongs to.

How can I be sure that the money I send is managed correctly?

AEA has systematic financial audits (internal and external) each year of all its programmes. Apart from annual reviews and audits, AEA maintains a high level of accountability to its key stakeholders right from the beneficiary communities, the government and sponsors.

Our audited financial statement and is available to donors, on request/on our website, where we clearly indicate all sources of funding, including corporate support, sponsorships, grants, etc. Reports are sent to the Home Ministry and the Income Tax office too. Beyond all these, you can visit our projects to see for yourselves that the money you donate gets wisely used.

AEA in France is a two-time winner of the Crystal Award – presented by the National Society of Statutory Auditors to reward NGOs for the most transparent management of funds.

How much of the contribution I send is tax exempted?

All donations to AEA are eligible for 50% tax exemption under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. Our receipt carries this message and the receipt will suffice for claiming tax.

How do I send my contribution to AEA?

The sponsorship gift amount is payable monthly, quarterly, annually or as per your convenience. You may send it through a demand draft; or a money order favouring, ‘Aide et Action Private Limited – local fund account’; or an online credit card payment; or posted dated cheques; or an automatic monthly deduction; or through an online payment gateway.

What happens once I make a payment?

After making a payment, you will receive a welcome kit from AEA, which includes the profile of your child. The link of solidarity between the child and you is established and gets nourished through meaningful exchanges of correspondences throughout the sponsorship duration.

How is my child chosen for sponsorship?

The children supported by your contribution are:

• Girl children from the poorest families and remote areas, who are deprived of education; and
• Children whose education is affected when their parents migrate in search of work

We plan long-term support for the children, their schools and villages, during the entire period of primary education. Therefore, if sponsorship for your child stops at any point in time, we make arrangements to ensure that there is no break in your child’s study. Families of sponsored children are educated on the fact that all the children and families in the community will share the benefits across the community through sponsorship of their child.

Will I be kept updated about my child’s progress?

Every July, you will receive an annual progress report of your child/children supported by you; in January, direct communication from the children on the occasion of the New Year, along with the annual activity report of the project through which your support reaches the children. You will also have opportunities to visit your child and the project you support, as well as opportunities to write to your child/children.

Can I visit my child?

You are most welcome to visit the projects of AEA. It will not only enable you to meet your sponsored child but to see for yourself concretely all what we are undertaking in the field. Once you do this, please help us spread the word to others and reach more sponsors.

Please contact the team of AEA well in advance to inform us about your visit. We can then guide you well and plan your visit to the field better.

Can I send letters and gifts to my child?

Nothing makes children feel more special or loved than when they receive letters from their sponsors. All over the world, children love getting letters or cards – it does wonders for their self-esteem! Take a few minutes to write a letter and let them know you’re thinking about them! Your letters/post cards could be used as a pedagogical tool in the classroom too!

While we appreciate your desire to send gifts for your sponsored child, we request you not to send any personal gifts as it might create a feeling of jealousy amongst the other children who are already living in deprivation. We therefore request you to send only collective material (for example some school supplies like colour pens, felt pens, maps, dictionary etc.) that the child can share with her/his classmates.

What will happen to my child if I cannot continue my sponsorship payments?

We understand that financial and personal situations change. If you need to cancel, just let us know and we will ensure that your child is not be neglected. Your child/children will continue to be supported by the project under which they are covered. AEA ensures that the funding commitment to the project is maintained and that the benefits as planned for the children in the community are carried out.

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