This program started in 1989 at the initiative of Jacqueline Ferez to help around 10 very needy children and their families (often composed of the mother and other children). This development project has grown quickly and has taken an important place among the various activities undertaken by SOSEE to help needy children. It helps to fight child poverty by improving their living conditions. The sponsorship program allows the child to be educated and grow properly while the family provides basic needs such as water, food, and care. It also improves the families housing by making it safer and providing some furniture and kitchen utensils.
The project followed now by Jacqueline Ferez and Maria Richet helps nearly 360 children in Addis Ababa and 90 in Burayou. In the selection of sponsored children, a rigorous administrative process is applied. First of all, the kebele (local authority) reports to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs any difficult life situation. Then, the SOSEE’s team becomes aware of these situations and request sponsorship of a child of one of these families. Even if it is the child that is sponsored, the whole family is supported (currently 380 Birrs per child in Addis Ababa). The organization maintains a record of each child. They monitor school work and payment of sponsorship. The recipient family must come to Toukoul once a month to collect the money, which allows communication with social workers and nurses. In case of problems, a report is generated. For example, if a family does not come to collect the money, social workers go to visit their house to verify the reasons for this absence.
When a person wishes to sponsor a child, they initially contact SOSEE. Then the organization must disclose the information collected regarding the child to be sponsored. Visits from social workers in the sponsorship program team of SOSEE verify the improvement of living conditions of the sponsored child and his family. These improvements are the subject of an annual report that is sent to sponsors with pictures of child. When sponsors come to Ethiopia, they have the opportunity to visit their sponsored child along with the responsible staff of the program.
The sponsorship program in Addis Ababa is managed by Endeshaw and includes around 10 people including accountants, secretaries, social workers, and drivers. Just like the one in Burayou for which 2 people follow the 90 sponsorships, these programs are very closely related to the cooperatives. Each sponsored family can send a family member undergo a period of training in trades and crafts (weaving, sewing, basketry)) which will be validated, after a period of 1 year, by a course certificate. This certificate will allow he/she to work with the production of handicrafts in the workshops of SOSEE or more often to settle his/hers account with the material which is then delivered by SOSEE through an training agreement. Sometimes the trained person significantly increases their revenues, even in some cases, to cancel the sponsorship, allowing other families and children in distress to be rescued.