Programs » The Education Program (TEP)
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The TEP sponsorship program was created to assist impoverished children who can not afford the costs of public schooling.
Unfortunately, public education is not free in most developing countries where students are required to pay for their tuition and if not direct tuition then they are required to pay for "teacher special fees" or "desk fees" or mandatory replacement uniforms or books, exams, and graduation and other ceremonies. These fees are why the poorest children are never able to attend. Instead, they work in sweatshops and rice fields, perpetuating the family's poverty. Sponsors are encouraged to communicate with each child thereby forging links between people of varying cultures to learn about each other and grow together.
TEP embodies IHF's "Pass It On" philosophy, a philosophy that encourages people who have received a free education to pass it on to others. For only USD $10.00 per month a TEP sponsorship allows a child to attend public school with 100% of the money going towards the children's school costs.
IHF verifies that all TEP applicants are actually the poorest of the poor by sending volunteers to the children's homes and, in order to insure that all donated money is only spent on schooling, TEP recipients are required to obtain a principal's or director's signature for all expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question : Can we visit the child?
Answer : Yes! It brings such joy. Please do come visit.
Question : Do we get a photo and how often are they updated?
Answer : Yes you do get a photo. We try to update them monthly when the children send their letters that teach them to write and also to take photos of each other. Both helpful skills, in addition to learning about a world so different from their own , it feels like a dream, your world. This is a wonderful education for both of you and photos help.
Question : Do we get the exam results or a report on how they are doing at school?
Answer : Yes we will send for any sponsors interested and are thankful for this interest as will be the children. Please be sure to express your pride that they are in school at all because remember many of these children are far behind when they start and even teased so they easily think they are not smart when it simply is not true. Please find their specialness rather than their feeling shamed for being so far behind other children who are not as poor.
Question : Can we keep in contact with them after they finish schooling, providing both parties agree?
Answer : Absolutely!
Question : Are the children encouraged to write? If the child were to have two sponsors, would both be able to write the child? How is correspondence to and from the child done?
Please be sure to correspond with the children through firstname.lastname@example.org or the center's postal address and not directly. We request this in order to protect our sponsors from relatives or others getting their emails and trying to get money in this manner.
Additionally, we want to ensure that no email sent to our children is hurtful or strange for their culture. We once had a sexually latent email sent unchecked and have learned to use the email@example.com as a mailbox. We also had sponsor emails given out to scam artists and have learned to carefully protect them, again by using the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox.
Answer : Yes! We encourage our children to communicate with their sponsors because it's part of our mission to educate people about the poor but also to give the children a voice because so many of them have been conditioned to stay as 'invisible' as possible.
Corresponding with the children can be done via email or postal service. A center director or volunteer helps the children write their letters in English.
Question : How did you come to the amount of USD $10.00 a child for education costs each month?
Answer : We added up the monthly costs spread over twelve months for our children of all ages to attend public school with all their mandatory costs. We then divided by the number of our children living in the Home. This is how we came to it. Your money for your child's education is pooled amongst the children in the home, so if one child is blind and her school cost is slightly more or another is in preschool and his fees are less than for the highschool students, then all still get to attend and no money is ever overpaid or wasted in any manner regardless of the age, grade or exam fees.
Question : What if my TEP child is not living in your center but living outside with relatives who are very poor?
Answer : Then your money goes directly to this childs family but only if the principal and teacher sign their attendance record on a monthly basis. The child writes your letter and discusses what going to school means to them and how they are doing on a monthly basis. The schools are also a part of this and frequently meet with volunteers.
Question : If a person sponsors a child for the Orphan program, would that same child be available to someone else for the TEP sponsorship, as well? Or, vice versa...if the child is sponsored through the TEP sponsorship, would that child also be available to someone else for the Orphan program?
Answer : Yes, if an orphan receives a TEP sponsorship then that child would still be available to someone else for the orphan program and vice versa.