A Rewarding Experience
Each year up to 200 Plan sponsors from Australia visit their sponsored child. They tell us it's a rewarding experience and it’s not hard to imagine why. Meet your sponsored child and their family and see firsthand how your sponsorship has helped to change their lives for the better – it's an experience that counts. See for yourself.
How to Make Your Visit Happen
STEP 1 – Decide on a Date
All visits must be arranged through our national office in Melbourne. Typically we arrange for sponsors to spend at least one day meeting their sponsored child with his or her family and seeing Plan projects.
Keep in mind we can't facilitate visits during local holidays or weekends and need at least eight weeks' notice to organise things at our end.
You can bring a family member or friend with you, they just need to consent to a police check if they’re 18 years or over and be included on your visit request form (see Step 2).
So decide on a date and stick to it – your sponsored child's family may miss a day’s work so that they can meet you. Last-minute changes cannot be made easily.
STEP 2 – Fill in these Forms
We take child protection seriously so we need you to read our Child Protection Policy and Working with Children Code of Conduct before completing these forms:
You need to return these forms to us at least eight weeks prior to your departure from Australia.
STEP 3 – Get Ready
Once your visit is confirmed, we'll provide you with contact details for our staff in-country and a visitor's guide with helpful tips for your trip. At this stage we need you to:
- check with your travel agent for information on weather, currency, visas and permits, health requirements, accommodation and in-country flights
- take out adequate insurance and get medical advice regarding vaccinations or medications
- consider packing some simple, inexpensive gifts for your sponsored child and their family. A T-shirt, school supplies, small puzzles, hair accessories, caps, or a soccer ball make good gifts. Or ask us if there's an appropriate item to buy in your child's country.
- check with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the security situation of the country
- let us know if you decide to cancel your visit – email us or phone 13 7526.
STEP 4 – Get There!
When you arrive in the country please contact our staff there to confirm your visit. They will meet you at a pre-arranged time and place (usually your hotel or the Plan office) and arrange transport to the community (you may need to cover your own travel costs).
It's likely that you will need a minimum of four hours, but probably closer to a full day, to complete your visit. Once you arrive in the community, you'll have time to meet your sponsored child and family and visit some projects in the area. A staff member will be present at all times during your visit and act as an interpreter.
For more information contact us online or phone 13 7526 to speak with Rekha Shrestha, our Regional Coordinator (Asia and South/Central America) or Kristine Murray, our Regional Coordinator (Africa).