FAQ

WHAT IS THE LONG DISTANCE SPONSORSHIP FOR ASIA?

ASIA’s Long Distance Sponsorship (LDS) project aims to protect the traditional culture and heritage of the Tibetan people. This kind of support aims to promote the development of the Tibetan community in Tibet, India and Nepal focusing on the education of new generations, but also on the spiritual and cultural heritage transmitted by elders and monasteries.

For ASIA, the LDS is not only a long-term economic aid; it is mostly a moral commitment of the sponsor towards the beneficiary, to be addressed with seriousness, awareness and active involvement. Unlike a generic donation for a project, the LDS implies a direct and personal relationship with the beneficiaries of the project itself.
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WHO CAN I SPONSOR?

- CHILDREN: You will ensure children the opportunity to complete primary education in Tibetan schools in the remote areas of Tibet, India and Nepal;
- ELDERS: You will assure Tibetan elders of the exiled community in India, who are alone, a home and a decent living in elderly homes;
- MONKS: You will support the studies and practice of monks within Buddhist and Bönpo Monasteries and Colleges;
- STUDENTS: You will offer to the poorest young Tibetans the possibility to attend high schools and universities through Study Grants.

WHAT IS THE CONTRIBUTION REQUIERED FOR A LDS?

To sponsor a child, elder or monk the donation required is of 25 euros a month, or 150 euros every 6 months, or 300 euros a year.
To sponsor a high school or university student through a Study grant the donation required is of 41 euros a month, or 250 euros every 6 months, or 500 euros a year.
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HOW WILL MY CONTRIUTION BE USED?

Your contribution is not sent directly to the beneficiary you sponsor or to his or her family, but it is sent biannually to the institutions the children, monks and elders live in. The donation is delivered directly to the beneficiary only in the case of university students who are sponsored through the Study Grant project. This decision stems from the fact that it is easier to monitor the use of funds if managed by an institution or an older student, with whom ASIA has an established relationship and a regular contact of collaboration. To ensure a transparent use of funds, in consistency with the LDS’s objectives, ASIA constantly monitors its projects through specific monitoring missions and periodically requests narrative and financial reports (including photos and copy of receipts) to the institutions that are recipients of the donations. Specifically, every six month, 80% of the donations collected (100% of monetary gifts) are sent to the institutions or students, which will be used to cover for all the expenses related to the improvement of living and studying conditions of the beneficiaries: school fees, educational material, food and lodging in the dormitories, medical care, training activities, and so on. The other 20% is retained by ASIA to cover for the project management expenses.

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HOW TO START ONE OR MORE LDS?

To start the sponsorship first you must send your request and personal data to ASIA by filling in the online registration form at https://www.adoptibet.org/wp/en/long-distance-sponsorhip/ or completing our paper forms on our brochures and pamphlets. On the form you will be able to specify the number and type of beneficiaries, any preferences or requests, and choose one of the payment methods that you can find below:
Bank transfer in favour of ASIA, bank: Credito Valtellinese, IBAN: IT 66 L 05216 03226 0000000 13003, BIC / SWIFT: BPCVIT2S
Credit Card or Paypal at www.adoptibet.org.
Bank Transfer, Credit Card or Check in favour of an ASIA local office (France, Germany or the USA) to be made directly into their relative bank accounts. For further details, please contact us.
Purpose: “new long distance sponsorship of a child/monk/elder” or “new long distance sponsorship of a student”
Amount: € 25 (monthly)/ € 150 (biannually)/ € 300 (annually)
or € 41 (monthly)/ € 250 (biannually)/ € 500 (annually)

In case of 2 or more long distance sponsorships, a single donation can be made (with a specific indication in the payment purpose): the total amount will be the sum of the single sponsorship contribution multiplied by the number of beneficiaries. Sponsors who chose the monthly instalment must set up an automatic payment through their bank (automatic wire transfer order) or their Paypal account (Paypal subscription) – an optional method however for sponsors who choose the biannual or annual donation. After receiving notification of the payment, ASIA will formally initiate the LDS by sending to the sponsor (by post and/or email, within 10 days) all relevant information (beneficiary form, description and address of the institute, map) and by informing the local counterparts.

WE ARE A GROUP OF PEOPLE OR A COMPANY, CAN WE START A LDS?

- Yes, the important thing this is to specify in the application form the information on the group (in the NOTES section) or the name of the business/institution, and the name and the address of a contact person to whom the information and various communications will be sent. As for the donations, these can be made by the contact person or by another member of the group, of whom ASIA will need to have the personal information so as to send him/her the receipt for tax-deduction purposes**.
**This is only valid for groups of sponsors who are eligible to pay tax in Italy, France, Germany and the USA.

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CAN I CHOOSE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF WHOM I WANT TO SPONSOR?

In your application form, you can specify a preference regarding the sex, age and the specific project of the beneficiary you wish to sponsor. In the selection process, the LDS officers will consider your preferences, keeping the local need as primary criterion. From the moment you will receive the beneficiary’s personal information, after your first donation is made, the sponsorship will be active. In other words, you cannot choose among different beneficiaries’ cases or refuse the selected beneficiary.

WHAT DO I RECEIVE AS A SPONSOR?

At the beginning of the sponsorship, you will receive an email containing the following information:
– the beneficiary’s case, which includes a photo and information on his/her life (family, school, future hopes and dreams, etc.);
– the project description (school, elderly home, monastery or Study Grant);
– the map that shows the locations of the LDS projects;
– the address to which is possible to send letters for the beneficiary;
– the guidelines of the ASIA LDS project.

Throughout the year, you will receive:
– 2 photos of the beneficiary,
– 1 or 2 letters/drawings (from the beneficiary and/or the institute representative),
– a project report, a video or a school report card.

ASIA and the representatives work closely together to ensure that donations are used properly and updates are sent regularly to sponsors. However, the frequency and quality of updates depend on the technological possibilities available to the representative, the geographic location of the institute and the efficiency of postal services. These three factors determine also the reception and delivery methods of the letters by the institute: fast and direct between the school and the sponsor when the counterpart has the necessary resources, or slower and intermediated by ASIA offices when the institute is located in a very remote place.*
* By initiating a Long Distance Sponsorship, the sponsor agrees that his or her data (name, surname and address) will be shared with the representative or with the local ASIA office solely for the purpose of sending LDS material. This consent can be revoked at any time by contacting ASIA via email or phone. The sponsor also commits to not disclose the personal data of the beneficiaries (including photos), especially if these are minor, in respect of their privacy.

HOW AND WHEN TO MAKE THE SUBSEQUENT PAYMENTS (LDS RENEWAL)?

For payments subsequent to the first one, the methods will be the same as mentioned above.
Bank transfer in favour of ASIA, bank: Credito Valtellinese, IBAN: IT 66 L 05216 03226 0000000 13003, BIC / SWIFT: BPCVIT2S**
Credit Card or Paypal at www.adoptibet.org.
Bank Transfer, Credit Card or Check in favour of an ASIA local office (France, Germany or the USA) to be made directly into their relative bank accounts.
In this case, however, the beneficiary’s identifying number (or roll number, provided at the start of the LDS) will need to be indicated, especially when the person paying is not the sponsor/sponsorship holder, or when more payments are made for several beneficiaries. In order to avoid delays or shortcomings in sending funds to beneficiaries (which occurs every six months), it is essential that payments are made regularly, on time and in advance of the referred payment period. Therefore, although the LDS can start at any time of the year, for management and administrative reasons, payment deadlines are the same for all sponsors: 30 June and 31 December. Prior to these dates, ASIA will send sponsors a reminder by email or post. Specifically:
By the end of June and the end of December, for sponsors who pay biannually;
By the end of June or the end of December (based on the starting date of the LDS), for sponsors who pay annually.
Sponsors who pay monthly and in general those who have set up an automatic payment will not have to worry about these deadlines.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I FORGET OR CANNOT MAKE THE DONATION BEFORE THE DEADLINE?

 The ASIA LDS office sends each sponsor who does not set up an automatic payment a reminder before the deadline and, in case of missed payment, a second reminder will be sent after the deadline.
Having said that, delays of less than 30 days are allowed and there is no need to communicate it to ASIA. In the case of delays of more than 30 days, problems or specific requirements regarding the payments sponsors are simply asked to inform ASIA, who will handle the contingency by finding a compromise between the need of the sponsor and the need of the beneficiary.

HOW LONG DOES THE LDS LAST AND WHEN DOES IT END?

Generally, the minimum commitment required is of 3 years but the Long Distance Sponsorship does not have a predefined duration: it is a continuous commitment and ideally, it coincides with the duration of the beneficiary’s studies and/or his or her permanence at the institute. The longer the commitment will be, the greater the benefits for the project and the beneficiary (especially in the case of students) and the more profound the relationship will be with him or her.
Ideally, then, the sponsorship will end when the beneficiaries exit/leaves the project because of the end of their studies, withdrawal from school, relocation, or other reasons related to the family or the beneficiaries themselves. In these cases, ASIA will promptly inform the sponsor and freeze any surplus donations. The sponsor may decide whether to initiate a new long distance sponsorship in substitution of the closed one (keeping the same donation amount and frequency) or to end his/her commitment. In general, ASIA always informs sponsors of any modification in the status of their sponsorships and it never replaces a sponsorship without prior consent. Sponsorship are unilaterally closed only in case of payment delays exceeding 24 months and continuous failure to reply to ASIA.
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HOW CAN I INTERRUPT THE LDS? WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BENEFICIARY IN THIS CASE?

You can choose to interrupt their sponsorship at any time (whether 1 or 10 years have passed after the beginning of the LDS), by warning ASIA in advance (via phone at 0644340034, or via email at adozioni@asia-onlus.org), who will in turn inform the local representatives and will do everything to find a new sponsor for the beneficiary. The time spent from the closure of your sponsorship and the start of a new one should be as brief as possible, so not to create problems for both the beneficiary and the institute that hosts him/her. For this reason we ask you, if possible, to let us know a few months in advance, or to help us finding another sponsor (who could be a friend, a family member or a colleague).

CAN I SEND LETTERS OR PRESENTS TO THE BENEFICIARY?

Certainly: through the exchange of letters and photos it is possible to establish a relationship with the beneficiary, which often becomes very profound and rewarding. The sponsor may send letters, postcard and/or photos to the beneficiary at any time by post, to the address of the institute or the ASIA local office provided at start of the sponsorship, or by email at adozioni@asia-onlus.org. In the latter case, ASIA will forward the correspondence received digitally to the contact person, who will print it and deliver it to the beneficiary in paper format. It is recommended that sponsors write the letters in English and specify the recipient’s roll number on the envelope or document. It is highly suggested to pay attention to the content, which should be appropriate to the age, social and economic condition of the beneficiary, as well as to avoid sensitive political topics.
You may also send gifts to the recipient, but it is suggested to contain the number of gifts and, above all, to accurately choose the content: appropriate gifts are, for example, educational material, collective games or winter clothing. Alternatively, in order to avoid expensive postal shipping costs, the sponsor can also make a monetary gift by sending it to ASIA either together with the LDS donation or separately. We suggest specifying the amount and any indication related to the gift in the reason of payment. In general, it is important not to create excessive expectations for the beneficiaries.
You will receive letters of reply and/or photos of the recipient holding the letter or gift to demonstrate its correct reception. It has to be considered, however, that delivery may take from a few days to some months, depending on the resources and location of the institute, as well as ASIA’s scheduled transfers (in the case of monetary gifts). The sponsor is free to contact ASIA at any time in the event of any problem or delay related to the correspondence.

CAN I PERSONALLY MEET THE BENEFICIARY?

The sponsor can meet the beneficiary while on a trip to India, Nepal or Tibet. ASIA must be notified with due advance, to ask the availability to the representatives and/or local staff, to organize the meeting and to give details of the rules to be respected at the institution (especially when meeting with minors). ASIA and/or representatives will be able to give sponsors general advice on accommodation, transportation, areas of interest, and so on.
Inviting the beneficiary to the sponsor’s country of residence is strongly discouraged, since it goes against the spirit of the LDS; that is to allow beneficiaries to acquire the tools and knowledge necessary to be the creators of their own development in the environment and culture they live in. A short-term journey, apart from being very complicated from a bureaucratic point of view (visa, documents, permits, etc.), could cause various problems to the beneficiaries (especially if very young) related to cultural and lifestyle differences.

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ARE DONATIONS MADE TO ASIA TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

Any payment for the long distance sponsorship is effectively a donation to ASIA, which is an NGO and is therefore the recipient of tax-deductible donations (both for physical persons and for businesses, according to each country national law). Sponsors who are eligible to pay taxes in Italy, Germany, France or the USA, and make their payments directly into the respective ASIA’s bank accounts, are entitled to obtain fiscal tax-deductions. Please contact us for any doubts or for further information.

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CAN I CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVE MY LDS EXPERIENCE?

ASIA is committed to providing the best possible support to every beneficiary and to ensuring to every sponsor a positive, meaningful and rewarding experience. For this reason, we ask sponsors to respect a few but fundamental indications for the proper management of the project. It is important to communicate in time any changes in personal data (especially home and email addresses) or regarding the sponsorship holder. We also ask to inform us in case of any interruption, change or delay in payments, as well as in case of impossibility to continue with the sponsorship. Lastly, we expect each sponsor to notify us of and to confront us with any doubt, problem or need related to the sponsorship, so to help us solve any problem and improve our work.

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WHOM CAN I CONTACT IN CASE OF FURTHER NEED FOR INFORMATION OR DOUBTS?

For any clarifications or additional information (details on the projects; contact details of ASIA French, German or American offices; LDS as a gift; LDS for companies, associations or groups of people, etc.) please contact ASIA Headquarter via email adozioni@asia-onlus.org, telephone +39 06 44340034 or skype asiasponsorship, or visit us in via San Martino della Battaglia 31, Rome (Italy).

For more information

For more information you can contact our Long Distance Sponsorship Office

  • Telephone (+39) 0644340034
  • Email adozioni@asia-onlus.org
  • Skype asiasponsorship
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