[skip to content]

Visiting your sponsored child

Take the journey of a lifetime!

  • Meet the child you are sponsoring
  • Tour the child's village and community with Plan staff and see first hand the projects made possible by sponsors like you
  • Experience the culture of another country.

Plan works with the most vulnerable children in some of the most impoverished nations in the world and participating in sponsorship should not put children at further risk.

For child protection reasons, we require satisfactory clearance of a police records check and vulnerable sector check prior to any visit to one of our program areas. Plan Canada also has a set of visit guidelines that we will review with you prior to your visit.

All sponsors will be accompanied by Plan staff throughout the entire visit to the sponsored child's community.

You must contact our Toronto office at least ten weeks in advance of your departure date. This is essential to ensure the necessary screening can be completed in time and that our field staff will be able to host the visit.

These measures are part of Plan Canada's overall child protection policy and procedures. See child protection for information on the steps Plan takes to protect children in all the work we do.

Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions about visiting the field. For more information, contact Plan Canada either by email at service@plancanada.ca or contact Donor Support at 1-800-387-1418.

How much time is needed to arrange a visit?

Please contact Plan Canada at least 120 days before your departure date to make all the necessary arrangements. All visits to sponsored children must be arranged in advance without exception.

What are the first steps in planning a visit?

When you notify us of your plans for a visit, we'll send you a visit guide for your sponsored child's region with information on customs, currency and accommodations.

You should also check with the Government of Canada for updates on safety and health issues related to overseas travel.

Two websites travellers should consult are:

How long do the visits usually last?

Many of the communities in which we work are a considerable distance from the main field office. It's likely 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 his or her family as well as visit some projects in the area. We can't make arrangements for you to stay overnight with your child's family.

How will I get around during a visit?

Your accommodation should be close to the field office. Depending on the travel distance to the child's community, either our Plan field office can make arrangements to pick you up or your hotel representative can help arrange a bus or taxi as needed. A Plan staff person will accompany you for the duration of your visit and a translator will be available.

Can I bring presents?

Our work benefits all members of a community. In that spirit, you are welcome to bring a gift that can be shared among the children and families in the village or town you’ll be visiting. Gifts for the school, for example, work best and are appreciated by all. Gifts directly to sponsored children are discouraged.

Are preventive medications needed before a visit?

Please contact your physician or international travel clinic in your city several weeks ahead of your visit. Depending on where your travel brings you, there are many precautionary medications you may need to take. Your doctor can arrange for you to receive the proper medications.

 

Just a note: A community usually plans a celebration, meal or special event to honor the visitor. 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