The HBI Group Sponsorship Program (or sometimes referred to as the Project Sponsorship Program) is another shorter development program implemented in both La Union and Negros Occidental project areas. Compared with the Child Sponsorship Program, the Group Sponsorship Program needs a shorter period of implementation (4-6 years). Also, unlike the Child Sponsorship Program where each child has an individual sponsor, the Group Sponsorship Program is often funded by a handful of organizations and a child-beneficiary does not have a direct sponsor. This means that communications between the children and their sponsoring group is limited to bi-annual reports, yearly human interest stories and yearly children’s drawings or essays.
Compared to the Adopt-a-School Project, the Group Sponsorship Program focuses on the total development of a schooling child through better schools and improved livelihood activities for their parents. As the project is a community-based project, the Group Sponsorship Program rarely implements building construction in schools and instead focuses on rehabilitating existing school infrastructures. It also focuses on adding facilities to the school – clinic, working canteen, kitchen, playground, library, computer room and latrines.
With regards to livelihood empowerment and aid for the poor children’s parents, the Group Sponsorship Project focuses on livelihood support that will benefit both the parents and school. Through HBI’s years of expertise in community organizing, project planning and designing, the school and community, linked together by the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) comes up with a fair income share (usually an 80/20 share for the parents and school) that is sufficient for family income increase and school improvement funding.
All project implementation years will include an adequate number of education, health, capacity-building and livelihood projects. This is so for immediate improvement of the children’s schooling and the empowerment of the children’s school and their parents.
The project was previously implemented in the fishing community of Paratong located in Bangar, La Union. Apart from aiding the community members, the project was able to improve the status of the community’s elementary school – the Paratong Elementary School. Currently, this project is being implemented in the Bayanihan-Habitat Village in Talisay, Negros Occidental, Western Visayas.