Saturday, October 1, 2011

What is Enfants du Mekong

Since 1958, Enfants du Mékong supports children in South-East Asia through:
  • 659 sponsorship programs
  • 83 sustainable development projects
  • 43 French volunteers in Asia in 2010
Enfants du Mékong, a French charity founded in 1958, focuses on promoting access to education for young people in South-East Asia through individual or collective sponsorship programs.
To date, Enfants du Mekong sponsors 21,764 children in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Burma, Cambodia and China.
In addition 60,000 children in these 7 countries benefit from Enfants du Mekong’s support through various programs promoting sustainable development.

Sponsoring children
Schooling sponsorship is the best way to prevent life on the streets, prostitution, forced labor and drug abuse.
 A child sponsored by Enfants du Mekong is not only guaranteed to go to school but he will see a significant change in his everyday life. Indeed, sponsoring enables children to have better access to food, clothing and healthcare.

Sponsoring a child is giving him the key to a brighter future.

Two different types of sponsoring exist:
       o   Individual sponsoring:
Sponsoring is a personal relation between a child in Asia and its sponsor. Through the exchange of letters on a regular basis, one sponsor will follow the progress of the child he is helping and both will learn about each other culture. Those letters are a beautiful token of the emotional link which builds itself over time.
Individual sponsoring targets either school children or university students. By committing to provide financial support on a monthly basis (€24 for school children and €39 for students), sponsors provide a regular and predictable support which is key to ensuring that children complete their education. A family’s lack of financial resources is in many cases the main reason for children dropping out of school early.
Individual sponsoring represents 93,4 % of total sponsoring.

o   Collective sponsorship:
This type of help supports one sponsoring program as a whole. It is particularly adapted in isolated region or for sponsors who don’t want to be in correspondence with a particular child. Sponsor will only receive updates on the program itself.

Long term development projects

In 2010, Enfants du Mékong spent € 1 212 000 in supporting 83 development projects to improve the environment for both children and their families. More than 57% of those projects were conducted in Cambodia and Philippines.

Why support such developments projects?
·         To help schools and villages: building schools, renovating classrooms or construction projects such as roads, bridges, wells account for 37% of our development projects.

·         To help villages and families: 17 % of funds are allocated to support local associations or to help families buy food, medication, any first necessity products they might lack.

·         To help students: Enfants du Mekong is very active in providing a secure and comfortable environment for its students. Hence 46% of donations cover the operating costs of our centers.
All programs fulfill a local need. They can only be approved after an “on the spot” financial study by one of our volunteer.

Our sustainable development programs are financed by private donors and company sponsorship only.

Sending volunteers to Asia

Every year since 1988, Enfants du Mékong sends volunteers to join local staff and help people in the 7 countries we work in.

Most of them are students in their gap year or professionals on sabbatical, willing to dedicate one year of their lives to serve and help.
These volunteers, called « Bamboos », are responsible for the coordination and management of our sponsorship programs together with local staff. They will meet our sponsored children, work with local volunteers and make sure your financial contribution is well managed.

Some of them are dedicated to long-term development projects. They travel all around these countries to meet people who want to make a change in other’s life. They will study every project’s feasibility before Enfants du Mekong agrees to help.

Our volunteers finance part of their mission themselves, so they are one of our guarantees of the financial transparency in our humanitarian work.

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