There are some large well established charities operating sponsorship schemes in Africa. Without doubt they do excellent work but they are relatively impersonal and donors never know how much of the sponsorship money reaches the actual child, how much goes into related community projects, and what is spent on fundraising, marketing and administration back in the UK.
SEDCU’s approach has been to establish relationships with the head teacher and key staff at the schools which we decided to support in 2011 when the charity was founded. The schools have subsequently, with community leaders, identified children with the most acute needs. Those who have the potential to benefit from sponsorship have been referred to SEDCU in the hope that sponsors could be found for them. For sponsored children, SEDCU makes direct arrangements to transfer the relevant funds to the schools themselves. The school keeps SEDCU and individual sponsors informed of the progress of the children through end of term reports, photographs of special school events and other updates. SEDCU’s founders have returned to see the children, their schools, their teachers, and some of their parents and grandparents in October 2013, October 2015, November 2017 and October 2019.
As to the financial arrangements, each school gives us a statement in December of the costs involved for each child for the coming year. The school year starts in late January/early February. Apart from school fees, in almost all cases there are boarding costs and costs for uniforms, books and lunches. The typical cost is in the region of £250 - £400 per child per year at nursery and primary level. As children move to secondary schools the cost increases to typically £400 - £850 per year (2019). Our bank transfers funds to school bank during January and we get verification of safe receipt. Sponsors may pay a lump sum annually or monthly by standing order.
We are registered with HMRC and use the Gift Aid we recover to pay the bank charges for transfer of funds to Uganda and any other essential administrative charges. 100% of donated sponsorship money will reach the child's school. Any visits we make to Uganda are at our personal expense.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or would like more information please complete the form under ‘Contact us’.