Frequently Asked Questions

What is STEP International?

STEP International is an indigenous organization, committed to transform the lives of destitute children, oppressed women and communites in South Asia through holistic actions. Our programs are run and administred by indignous workers in countries like India.

Can you explain STEP International's rating on GuideStar transparency?

STEP International is a Platinum Level GuideStar Exchange member. We are committed to financial transparency, integrity. Our core purpose is to empower local communities will continue to be unwavering. Be assured, STEP is committed to invest at least 80 cents of every dollar to fund the programs that benefit our STEP-assisted programs.

Where does STEP International work?

Today STEP works in South Asia, mainly in Northern India and in the border regions of Nepal and Bhutan.

How does STEP International work?

The hallmark of STEP’s work is “community based” development programs for the local people, operated by the national workers in the fields. Through various holisitc services we are able to participate in programs that offers life-changing benefits that range from discipleship opportunities to life-skill training.

Is STEP affiliated with any denomination or church?

STEP International works with international organizations, church partners representing various denominations. We are evangelical in commitment and we suscribe to the “Lausanne Covenant.”

What makes STEP stand out among other organizations?
  • A focus on holistic development: Our program targets the needs of individuals in the local communities to create a sustainable effect.
  • National workers and Local initiatives: Every single project is initiated by local leadership team in the field, compatible with local cultures and values. Our programs are of the local people, by the local people and for the local people.
  • Low-cost and Life changing Experience: Our goal is to reach the least-reached with most effective ways that are “low-cost but changing every sphere of life ranging from education to life-skill training.”
What percentage of expenditures are spent on program activities?

80 percent of total expenditures applied to program activities, with less than 20 percent being used for salaries, fundraising and administration. Our finances are audited by Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in every country where we work.

What is a STEP sponsor?

A sponsor is someone like you who has made the decision to personally invest in the lives of people in South Asia facing poverty, discrimnation and difficult situations. As a sponsor, you are creating opportunties for local communities to participate in programs that offers life-changing benefits including help with:

  • Education
  • Life skills development
  • Discipleship training
  • Women empowerment programs

 

How does STEP International ensure that my support actually benefit the program and people in the field?

STEP International works exclusively through local leadership team in each field country to launch, run and operate projects to benefit local communities. Local leadership team is personally acquainted with the local people and knows their unique needs. We conduct audit regularly to make sure funds are properly received, tracked and managed.  We work hard to monitor and evaluate (both quanitative and qualitative) each project in terms of program effectiveness and long-term impact.

Are my financial contributions to STEP International tax deductible?

Yes. All contributions are tax-deductible in the United States and Canada. We issue tax-deductible receipts for your contributions at end of the year.

As a sponsor, how else can I learn more about programs and places where STEP is working??

STEP International regularly organizes “Learning Tours.” This is an opportunity for the STEP sponsors and potential partners to visit projects in South Asia. In addition, we will send you periodic updates and newsletters about situations in the field countries and how projects are progressing.

How do I sign up for child sponsorship program and log into my account?

 You can visit in to Child Sponsorship” and selec a child to sponsor. You can create your child sponsorship accountand log in to My Account from the upper right-hand corner of page.

How much does it cost to sponsor a child through STEP?

If you choose to sponsor a child, the cost is only $25 per month. This amount covers monthly tuition fees, a nutrious meal and transportation to and from our English Medium School.

Will I be the only person sponsoring the child I'm helping?

We offer two types of child sponsorship programs.

Gold Sponsorship: Several children studying in English Medium School are very poor. They are not able to afford any amount towards their schooling. Per month for a child is cost $50. This means each child has two sponsors.

Silver Sponsorship: Those children in this category are able to afford partial finance towards their schooling. The child you’re helping has just one sponsor.  No other group or individual will also sponsor the child you help from Silver category.

Why does it cost less to sponsor a child through STEP than other similar organizations?

We are a holistic development ministry that focuses on the full development of the child through education. We are an indigenous organization that works through the local/national workers. Our local resources and national workers greatly help to be effective in reducing the cost of operations.

What specific benefits does a child receive through sponorship?

The child you sponsor through STEP International will receive opportunities and services that most of the developing world’s poorest children never see. These opportunities and services include:

  • A window to opportunity of an education:Our English Medium School provides the cost of school fees, clothing and supplies. Your sponsorship will allow one special child to stay in school longer if formal schooling is an option and get the most out of his or her education.
  • Nutrious meal and good health:The health of the child you sponsor will be monitored and care will be provided as needed. Children are taught about hygiene and how to maintain personal health. In addition, and according to their needs, every child receive nutrious and supplementary food.
  • The opportunity to develop self-confidence and social skills:The child you sponsor will be part of a holistic-based program where our national workers often visit them in their homes, offer love, guidance, personal attention, guided recreation and safety.
How long should my child sponsorship last?

We encourage child sponsors to stay with a child for a number of years, usually through the school year in which the child reaches the age of 18.

While we hope that you will be able to continue your support of your sponsored child until he or she completes the program, we recognize that circumstances sometimes change. You may discontinue your child sponsorship at any time.

Please understand that a sponsored child’s circumstances may change, too. For example, sometimes families move beyond the reach of our program and children no longer have the opportunity to participate.

We will inform you as quickly as possible if any such circumstance affects the child you sponsor, and we’ll offer you the opportunity to support another child in need of your help.

What do I do if I am considering canceling child sponsorship?

To inquire about canceling your child sponsorship, please call our contact center at (844) 837-9178. You may discontinue your sponsorship at any time.

If I discontinue my child sponsorship, what happens to the child I'm helping?

If you need to discontinue your child sponsorship, we will immediately look for a new sponsor for your child and continue the child’s sponsorship support without interruption.

How can I communicate with the child I sponsor?

We encourage you to send your sponsored child a personal or family photograph and a short letter of introduction thrugh your online sponsorshi account My Account. Our field staff will translate your letter and deliver it to the child you support.

You may write to the child you sponsor as often as you like. When you write, your sponsored child will benefit from knowing that someone in addition to his or her family really cares. Your words of encouragement will make a big difference to your child.

 

Can I visit my sponsored child?

Definitely! We offer pre-planned group sponsor trips and unique custom visits.

May I send gifts to my child?

Yes. We encourage you to give additional monetary gifts for special occasions (Christmas and Birthday), to address specific needs, or simply as an act of love. These gifts are another effective way for you to reinforce your care and commitment to your sponsored child.

Local child development center workers purchase gifts on your behalf and make certain that these funds are used appropriately. We will work closely with the family to determine the greatest need and then purchase items accordingly.

What is Amazon Smile and how does it benefit STEP International?

AmazonSmile is a way for you to have 0.5% of your eligible Amazon.com purchases donated non-profit charities of your choice. It’s free and easy to participate. Your shopping makes a difference. Do your regular Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com/ch/82-2535032 and Amazon donates to STEP International.