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Frequently Asked Questions
Donation Information

All about the school

Frequently asked questions

Writing to your child

Activities with the Children

Starting your Sponsorship

Ending your Sponsorship

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Archive of Updates

(1)How do I know this charity is valid? What is this organization all about?
Regina Pacis is run by Sisters of the Congregation of the Religious of Mary Immaculate, founded in Spain in 1876. The Regina Pacis school itself began in Mumbai (Bombay) in 1951, starting as St. Vicenta Maria Home for Destitute Girls, and growing into the well-known school/shelter/orphanage it is today. The school is fully accredited by the Indian government and donations are tax exempt as allowable by law.

The Change A Life program was started out of need in 1998 by Sister Margaret Correa, the principal of the school at that time, assisted by a couple of non-affiliated American expatriots posted in Mumbai (that's the short version!). The program grew to become quite popular among expatriots in the Mumbai area because of its simplicity, its value, the opportunity to directly assist in the education of an impoverished child, and the opportunity to get directly involved with the children during school and extra-curricular activities.

100% of your sponsorship is applied to the educational expenses of impoverished children who attend and/or live at Regina Pacis. This is possible because you are a direct sponsor: you are not passing through administration or paying for brochures or advertising.

So if 100% of the sponsorship applies only to the educational expenses of impoverished children, and there are still many impoverished children attending the school without sponsors, how does the school find resources to operate? There are children who attend the school from the community who have families able to pay their fees, and the school receives funding from outside resources such as Catholic Relief Services and others which help make it possible to pay teacher salaries and operating expenses such as electricity and water. Sponsorship helps provide the funds necessary for the purpose of the institution: education and support of as many impoverished young girls as possible.

If you have questions you can email them to CAL@TheWorldNow.com and you are most welcome to contact Sister Margaret Fernandes, the current principal and head of the CAL Program, directly at the school in Mumbai at (9122)373-3275. Sr. Margaret Fernandes is involved in direct work from early morning to late at night, so best times to catch her in her office is usually between 8:30pm - 9:00pm, India time.

(2)What happens when sponsorship ends?
It is a fact of life that sponsorship might not go on forever: sponsorship can be temporary, more like a scholarship. The school and its children are greatly thankful for all help they receive, no matter how long they receive it.
A sponsor has many options if they want to end sponsorship. For example, a sponsor can end financial sponsorship but continue correspondance. Ending a sponsorship is simple, but the way a sponsorship is ended is as important as how it was started - for more details regarding ending a sponsorship, please go to:

Ending Sponsorship.
It is fully intended by Regina Pacis that all the girls continue to stay in school. The school will continue to help all girls find the motivation and funds necessary to attend education to their highest aspirations. Funding is always a difficult task, but the Sisters at the school have dedicated their lives to helping impoverished girls and they do everything they can to make it happen for them.

(3)Can I send gifts to my sponsored child/ren?
To be quite blunt, NO. Please.
Photos are great to send. Letters are great to send. Know that you are already a successful sponsor because you care about your child/ren! You must remember how excited the children get to just have your attention and support: your letters, your photos.

The program tries very hard to avoid materialistic competition among the girls. These girls live in a very non-materialistic world where they own virtually nothing of their own. Any possession that they do have will most likely be shared among friends and family. You must remember that even if your sponsored child has a place she calls home, the image of "home" to her will not be the same image "home" brings to your mind. She will not have a room, or a dresser, or closets, or cabinets, or bed table. She may not have electricity and definitely will not have running water. The roof and walls of her home might even be a simple plastic tarp. Her clothes and shoes will be few and may be shared among her friends and family. As harsh as it sounds, gifts will not elevate her level in life, it would only elevate her expectations of you.

(4)Can I send gifts for all the children?
Of course! One or more gifts, either sent direct or provided funds with which to purchase, that can be shared among all 180 children who live at Regina Pacis, or for a portion of the children, say 20 or 30 children, are very welcome and appreciated. For example, candy, tickets to the fair or to a movie, a movie video they can play at school (PAL format), or sport equipment like basketball, frisbees or soccer/foot ball. Educational items are always appreciated as well: books or magazines for the library, computer equipment, etc. The Sisters are very thifty organizing events and greatly appreciate new ways to entertain the children. Email if you have questions or ideas!

(5)Why can't I include my return address inside my letter to my sponsored child?
For your privacy.
Your child will cherish your letters. She will show them to her friends. She will show them to any family she has. She will brag about you. You will become bigger than life. It is therefore important that your contact information be managed by the Sisters so you avoid receiving letters from anyone besides your sponsored child and Regina Pacis.

(6)Do I really have to write to my sponsored child? How often? I never know what to say.
Of course you need to write! This program is as much about inspiration as it is monetary. Your sponsored child attends an English-speaking school and it is important for her to communicate with international English speakers!

You don't have to write often, maybe once every six or eight weeks. You don't have to write a long letter! Even a short note acknowledging her last letter to you, asking her some questions about herself, her classes and her friends, then saying "do well in school, I am thinking of you!" will do. For more about writing letters, see:

Writing to your child

(7)Can my friend and I split the cost and sponsor one child together?
Of course you can! Split the cost with as many people as you want. Get your entire neighborhood to sponsor one child, Regina Pacis will be happy to have all of you!

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