Visit the child you sponsor: frequently asked questions
When can I visit?
When you request a visit pack, we will also send you a visit information guide for the country you are visiting. This guide will provide you with information on the best times to visit your sponsored child’s country, taking into account seasonal weather and public holidays.
How much time is needed to arrange a visit?
Please contact Plan International UK at least three months before your departure date to make all the necessary arrangements. We need enough time to complete the paperwork and notify our colleagues in the country of your visit so that they can prepare the day with the child you sponsor.
Does Plan International UK help with travel arrangements?
Due to limited resources, we are unable to assist with travel arrangements and recommend that you contact your local travel agent or country tourist board to make your arrangements.
How much does the visit cost?
We are committed to use your sponsorship donations wisely. In order to keep our administration costs down, we charge a small, non-refundable deposit of £50 for every planned visit. This covers costs like safeguarding checks, information sheets, postage, and telephone calls to colleagues in your sponsored child’s country. In your sponsored child’s country, Plan International staff aim to use their own vehicles and interpreters as much as possible. However, when we do need to hire vehicles or external interpreters, we may ask you to cover these additional costs. They may range from £35 to £100 per group depending on the logistics of your visit.
How long do the visits usually last?
We recommend you arrive in the area where the Plan International office nearest to the sponsored child is, at least the night before your chosen visit day. That way you are ready the next morning for your day visit, with our colleagues most likely collecting you from your hotel. Many of the communities we work in are a considerable distance from the Plan International office and the journey is often part of the adventure. Once you arrive in the community, you'll have time to meet the child you sponsor and their family as well as visit some projects in the area. Please note we can't make arrangements for you to stay overnight with the child's family.
Can I bring presents?
Yes, small gifts are fine. We recommend something unique from the UK – a frisbee, a football or a tea-towel – are good ideas to take for the child you sponsor and his/her family. Then, on the morning of the visit, our colleagues will be able to take you to a local shop or market to get something useful for the family and/or community – bags of rice for example – as they will know what the family or community need. We recommend a maximum of £50. It is also worthwhile having packs of pens and pencils to be able to share among the children you will encounter.
Do you provide advice about the medication needed for my visit?
Please contact your local doctor several weeks ahead of your visit. Your doctor can arrange for you to receive the appropriate medication and to ensure you fulfil the vaccination requirements for the country you are visiting.
Changing or cancelling a visit
A community usually plans a celebration, meal or special event to honour visitors. It can be a big disappointment to sponsored children and others when a visit is changed at the last minute. We would appreciate your sensitivity to this fact while in the planning process.
I just started sponsoring a child. Can I go and visit them?
For safeguarding reasons and in the best interest of the child, we kindly ask that you have been sponsoring for at least two years before making the journey to visit. We also expect you to have exchanged correspondence annually.