Q. What does becoming a sponsor involve?
A. A simple commitment to provide the funds needed to provide the most basic necessities of the orphan(s) you sponsor, for one year at a time. The cost to provide this is $67 per month, or $800 per year. All one needs to do is select an orphan not already sponsored and the payment method. 100% of the donations are transferred to the orphanage for the exclusive use of the orphan selected (the only exception being in case of imminent starvation of other orphans, a very real possibility in Eritrea).
Q. Why is the cost of sponsorship so modest?
A. Eritrea is one of the poorest countries on earth, and the US dollar goes much farther there than here. Obviously $67 per month would not even come close to providing these basic necessities for one child in the US.
Q. If I wish to discontinue my sponsorship, may I do so, and how?
A. We ask that sponsors commit to a minimum of one year so that this is a manageable program not constantly changing. We also hope to encourage long-term relationships between sponsors and the orphan(s) they sponsor. However, if a sponsor simply cannot fulfill their initial commitment, then of course they may simply notify us and end their sponsorship.
Q. How can I find out more about the orphan I sponsor?
A. As soon as the commitment is made, the Sisters of the Poor, who run the orphanage will assist your sponsored orphan to write you (assisted by the Sister) and tell you a little of his or her life, hopes for the future, and whatever else may occur to them. The address of the orphanage will also be provided to sponsors so that they may write then them directly. Additionally, as you may read on the “Items Needed by the Orphanage” link on this page, you will see that some Angelicum staff have donated a computer, monitor and printer in anticipation of an internet connection allowing email communication directly to the orphanage.
Q. May I donate less than the full $67 per month sponsorship?
A. Of course, and all contributions are greatly appreciated, however unless this is combined with contributions from other donors you know or in your family totaling to $67 per month (just let us know if that is the case and which orphan is being sponsored by more than one person/a group), it will go to the pay for the needs of unsponsored orphans, so that no orphan is removed from the list of those needing a full sponsor.
Q. Will I be able to follow the progress and life of the orphan(s) I sponsor somehow?
A. Yes, you may write (or soon email) the orphanage anytime you wish, and the Sisters will assist the orphan to reply when they are able to do so.
Q. Would it be possible to adopt any of these orphans?
A. Not at the present time. The government does not allow it. Perhaps in the future.
Q. Would I be able to visit the orphanage in Eritrea sometime?
A. Yes, just by making arrangement with the sisters to do so.
Q. May I sponsor more than one orphan?
A. Of course – as many as you wish and are able to sponsor.
Q. I noted that some of the orphans have a parent still living?
A. Yes, some do. As you may have noted, often the living parent is either unknown, or their location is unknown, or they are mentally ill or otherwise unable to provide for the child. So the child is effectively an orphan, with no one to care for them.
Q. If I have any other questions, may I email them?
A. Yes, just email the Angelicum Academy your question(s) at email@example.com and we will be happy to call or email you in reply, or to forward your question on to the orphanage if we do not know the answer. Notice: Thanks to donations recently received, the Sisters were able to initiate internet service (though it is sketchy), and we hope donors will help them maintain it each month, to enable them to send and receive emails directly.
Q. What is the connection between the Angelicum Academy and the orphanage?
A. It is an apostolate that has gradually developed over the years between the Archbishop of Asmara, the capitol of Eritrea, and the Angelicum Academy staff and families. This current Archbishop, and his predecessor, have both visited the United States and met with the Angelicum Academy staff a number of times over the years and we are in fairly frequent communication. This orphanage and these orphans have recently come under his care and he asked us to help find them sponsors. We have been helping the Catholic Church in Eritrea for over two decades in various ways, this is simply one more way we are privileged to do so.