Most of our school sponsorship program involves the orphanage children attending school in China. Any education past 8th grade is not paid for by the government, so Altrusa is sponsoring any of the children willing and able to go further than this with their education. This includes vocational schools and high schools. Some of our orphans have tested into more rigorous, highly academic high schools, which are more expensive. We also have orphans attending college or university, and have had some college graduates!
Other orphanage children need support to attend special education schools, which can include schools for the deaf and schools for the blind.
Our younger children in foster care often need sponsorship for school. The government in China will pay for schooling if the child attends the school assigned to them based on their address (in this case the orphanage address). But if the child is in foster care and instead goes to the school near the foster home, then their schooling is not covered. Due to the importance of having the children in a loving, supportive foster home, we feel it is worth the additional cost to pay for schooling. The child also benefits by being at school with non-institutionalized children. Sometimes the other children at the school don't even know they are an orphan, and they avoid the stigma and taunting the comes with their status as an orphan.
Each year, usually in August, we receive a list of the orphans that will need support for the upcoming school year. We average the costs for the younger children and ask the child's sponsor to pay this amount. For the 2013-14 school year it was $172. Our 2014-15 list should be coming soon.
For the older children, especially those in academic high schools or college the costs are higher and often the cost is shared by more than one sponsor. Do you have a friend or family member you'd like to partner with?
As is the case with the foster sponsors, each school sponsor receives a report (with photo) on their child twice a year.