How can I support Covenant Kids Congo now?
Pray. Hope. Act. You can support Covenant Kids Congo now with these three steps.
- Pray: Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Hope: Hope for a brighter future. Start by hosting a Hope Sunday at your church, to inspire fellow church members to sponsor a child from DR Congo. If you’ve already held your first Hope Sunday, then consider hosting a follow-up event the next year. Encourage your friends from other churches to do a Hope Sunday, too. Sign up to host a Hope Sunday at your church here.
- Act: Sponsor a child and encourage others to become child sponsors as well. Sponsor a child here.
Interested in sharing Covenant Kids Congo with others? Learn more about becoming a Child Ambassador.
What is a Hope Sunday?
For the past three years, Covenant congregations across the United States and Canada have held Hope Sundays for Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision. During a Hope Sunday, the church presents the great need in DR Congo and the great potential for community transformation. Often, the church will play a Covenant Kids Congo video, and the pastor will give a theme-related sermon. At the end of the service, individuals and families are invited to sponsor children at a sponsorship table. There they can choose a child to sponsor from the available picture folders.
Currently, more than 300 churches have hosted a Hope Sunday. Your congregation can sign up now to host a Hope Sunday and join this unprecedented partnership. When you do, you’ll receive a Hope Sunday kit in the mail from World Vision and the picture folders you ordered. We recommend that you order enough picture folders for about 20% of your regular attendance.
What’s the key to hosting a successful Hope Sunday?
It’s not hard at all! Follow these simple tips.
- Tell your congregation early so they can come prepared. Announce your Hope Sunday date during your services for the two weeks leading up to your Hope Sunday. Consider playing a video for each announcement, like Jerry’s sponsorship story, Denee’s sponsorship story, or any of the new CKC videos here.
- On the day of, focus your whole service on your Hope Sunday. Play a CKC video during your service (we recommend “Impact of Sponsorship” or “What I’ve Seen in Congo”). Ask your pastor to give a related sermon, sharing the Covenant’s relationship with DR Congo and this opportunity to sponsor a child. At the end of the service, invite everyone to visit the sponsorship table and sponsor a child.
- Make sure your sponsorship table is well-staffed and that your volunteers are ready to answer questions. Stand up your picture folders on the table, so the children’s faces can be seen from a distance. This makes a huge difference!
You can go even beyond that and get the whole church involved in Covenant Kids Congo—small groups, the children’s ministry, the youth group, etc. Get creative and have fun!
How many children have been sponsored?
The Evangelical Covenant Church has surpassed our goal of 10,000 sponsorships, which includes acquired sponsorships and cash equivalencies. Amazing progress has been made so far, and yet, we still have a long way to go to support this 15- to 20-year community development program for a city of about 350,000 people. Right now, about 3,000 children are still waiting to be sponsored—which is only a fraction of the tens of thousands of children who live in Gemena. And while 24,000 people have access to clean water who didn’t before, another estimated 250,000+ people still don’t have access to clean water.
We’re in this for the long haul. We’re now entering the next phase of Covenant Kids Congo, and we invite you to join us. Read more in this announcement.
Does Covenant Kids Congo work like other World Vision sponsorships?
Yes! Through Covenant Kids Congo, you can sponsor a child who lives in the Gemena community of DR Congo. As a sponsor, you can write and receive letters from your sponsored child. You’ll also be able to send gifts to your sponsored child, both material and monetary, as specified on the World Vision website. Monthly donations will be made in the name of the child and will contribute toward critical community needs for transformational development. Children, their families, and the greater community will benefit from clean water, education, healthcare, food resources, and economic development.
When you sponsor a child, you’ll be able to set up a My World Vision account, which allows you easy online access to information about your sponsored child. There you can email your sponsored child and send special monetary gifts for their birthday or Christmas. You’ll also receive an annual progress report in the mail and community updates via email.
How can I sponsor a child through Covenant Kids Congo?
You can sponsor a child today by going online to CovenantKidsCongo.org. Child sponsorships for the Gemena community, where the ECC partners with World Vision and the Covenant Church of Congo, are available there. You can sponsor a child for $40/month or $480/year, as we fuse our efforts to obliterate extreme poverty in one of the poorest countries in the world.
My World Vision materials say that my sponsored child is from Ledia. What’s Ledia?
Ledia is the name of the community where children sponsored through Covenant Kids Congo live. Ledia is not the name of a city or village; in fact, this community is located in the city of Gemena in northwest DR Congo. Rather, the name “Ledia” was developed by Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision, as a name for the area development program (ADP) for Covenant Kids Congo. The name means “a new thing is happening in the village” in one of the local languages. You’ll often see the name of your sponsored child’s community in your World Vision print materials and when you log in to My World Vision online. Your materials will say that your sponsored child is from “Ledia I” or “Ledia II.” Please know that while we use the labels 1 and 2 for Ledia due to its large size, it is in fact the same community and the same ADP. When you read updates about your sponsored child’s community, you will be reading the same updates regardless of whether your materials say your sponsored child is from Ledia I or Ledia II. All children sponsored through Covenant Kids Congo should be from the Ledia community. If you sign up to sponsor a child through CKC and realize that your sponsored child is not from Ledia, please contact us right away.
What is a Child Ambassador?
A Child Ambassador shares Covenant Kids Congo information with the rest of their congregation. As a Child Ambassador, you look for opportunities to tell others in your church and community about Covenant Kids Congo.
For example, you might…
- Share child sponsorship one-on-one with your church members, friends, family, or coworkers.
- Lead a Hope Sunday – an event in which you share Covenant Kids Congo with your church and invite members to sponsor a child.
- Participate in other campaigns throughout the year.
- Set up child sponsorship displays in your local church and/or present child sponsorship at home gatherings.
- Prayerfully lift up your fellow volunteers and your own commitment to walk with children in DR Congo; pray for your own walk with Christ.
- Communicate information and stories about your church’s participation with the ECC.
Interested in becoming a CKC Child Ambassador? Contact CKC Project Manager Catherine Knarr at 773-442-6578 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a church leader, think about who in your church would excel in this role as you develop Covenant Kids Congo as part of your church culture.
What makes Covenant Kids Congo different from other child sponsorship programs?
Covenant Kids Congo powered by World Vision is the first partnership of its kind between World Vision and a denomination. With the Covenant’s 80 years in DR Congo coupled with World Vision’s 40 years, we bring expertise, relationships, and over a century of combined experience, as we work with our friends on the ground to bring about sustainable community development. Many sponsorship programs focus only on helping select children rather than working toward long-term community development. What makes the World Vision sponsorship program unique is that your donations go to bless the lives of all children in the community where your sponsored child lives, through long-lasting sustainable development. Your financial support builds infrastructure for water, health, education, agriculture, economic development, and advocacy. Your sponsored child benefits greatly, and so does their family and their community. This child sponsorship program is about community transformation over a 15-20 year period. Partnerships are key to this effort.
Why not give directly to the ECC or World Vision towards existing efforts in the DR Congo?
We feel a particular call to partner with the church in DR Congo. This coordinated effort will have a multiplying effect to achieve greater impact at scale towards overall community development in the Equateur Province. Giving to the ECC, Paul Carlson Partnership, Covenant World Relief, and Women’s Ministries projects are all very important, and we cheer on continued giving in those areas of ministry. Covenant Kids Congo is a monthly giving opportunity that we hope Covenanters will feel led to give to, by itself or in addition to the initiatives they already support.
What is the ECC’s and World Vision’s collective history in DR Congo?
The Evangelical Covenant Church and World Vision have collectively spent over a century working with our friends in DR Congo. For about 80 years, the ECC has walked alongside the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM), witnessing the creation of strong and vibrant church life that enriches communities in Equateur Province. Additionally, World Vision has been working in other areas of DR Congo for over four decades. Their proven community development model for sustainable long-term solutions is built on 60+ years of experience building a better world for children. World Vision’s ability to communicate with people on the ground as well as donors with relevant, timely, and transformative insights has caused them to become a world leader in community development efforts. Together, the ECC, World Vision, and the CEUM are taking the best they have to offer and committing it to a holistic journey to transformation for DR Congo as well as for us, the ECC.
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