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Sponsoring a child in the developing world is a hugely popular form of giving. Millions of donors are linked with millions of children thousands of miles away. But this form of aid has often sparked controversy. Over the years, many of the large sponsorship charities have revised the way they operate their child sponsorship schemes. There are now two very different approaches - that of regular donations to an individual child versus giving sponsorship money to community development.
Emily Buchanan visits Ghana to see what impact different models of child sponsorship have on the ground and explores some of the unexpected dilemmas they throw up.
How is the money used? Why do donors choose to give in this way? What are the advantages for charities of this form of fundraising? What are the ethical issues involved in managing the relationship between the donor and the child? And what do the children make of it all?
Producer Jane Ashley.