Al-Yateem

Al-Yateem

“The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,’ showing his middle and index fingers and separating them.” [Bukhari]


Every child deserves the best start in life: a happy home, a safe place to play and access to quality education, medical care and nutrition.

However, for the 1 in 5 children worldwide living in extreme poverty, many of these simple necessities are out of reach. Instead, their life is incredibly challenging, with an increased risk of illiteracy, disease, child labour, lifelong poverty and even death.

Living in refugee camps, traumatised by war or simply unable to go to school due to crippling poverty, these children lack the means to keep safe at home, access critical education and medical and/or psychosocial care. Sadly, their futures remain uncertain.

By donating, or sponsoring a vulnerable child, you could help ease some of their struggles today. 


  • How does it work?

    Around the world, children living in poverty are placed into orphanages even when they have a living parent or relative, because their carer fears they will be unable to provide a good life for the child. Yet in an orphanage, a child is deprived or parental love, family support and a community to belong to.Islamic Relief’s Alyateem Child Sponsorship provides a caring and beneficial alternative. By providing a fixed and consistent funding amount on an ongoing basis, we help carers feels confident in their ability to provide the child in their care with security, ensuring children are raised within vital family structures. By sponsoring a child, you are ensuring they are able to stay in the best place for them- their family.

  • Who is eligible?

    Alyateem’ is an Islamic definition. While it is commonly translated as ‘orphan’, in Islamic tradition an Alyateem is defined as a child who has lost their breadwinning parent, as well as children who have lost both parents. Many children who are sponsored through Islamic Relief Australia live with their mother, and all children live with a family member, including aunts, uncles or grandparents.

    The children who are sponsored through Islamic Relief Australia are children younger than 18, without one or both parents, or whose financially-dominant parent has abandoned the child for a minimum of four years. The orphan may be of any gender, religion or race.

  • How is a child selected for sponsorship?

    Children are selected based on four main criteria: financial need, family size, housing conditions and health. The families with the greatest need such as larger families with dire financial situations receive priority for sponsorship.

  • How is the sponsorship money spent?

    The sponsorship money must be spent on ensuring the children’s physical needs- such as food, water, health care, clothing and shelter- are met, as well as ensuring their education through their childhood, such as school funds, uniforms, school books and pencils.

    Sponsorship money is paid to the child’s guardian every quarter. Children and their guardian are monitored to ensure that they are receiving the full benefits of sponsorship. This may include health checks and education for school-aged children.

  • How long will the sponsorship continue?

    You can sponsor a child as long as you wish, up to the age of 18. If you choose to continue sponsorship after the child reaches 18, you are free to do so. We require a minimum sponsorship time of two years because this allows us to plan ahead and maintain a consistent level of support to the orphan.

  • Can I write a letter to my orphan?

    Yes. The sponsor and orphan are free to exchange correspondence via the Islamic Relief Australia office in Sydney. Sponsors may email a letter to the Child Sponsorship Officer, or call our office to discuss further

  • Can I directly contact my sponsored orphan via telephone, email or social media?

    Unfortunately, IRAUS does not share such personal details with either a sponsor or an orphan child. We trust and respect our donors and supporters, and value enormously their generosity and charitable spirit. However, as an organisation, we have a duty of care to minimise as much risk and possible. In this case, there is a risk, albeit it very small, that these personal details might be obtained by the wrong person or persons, usually through illegal means, which can then pose further risks for orphan and sponsor alike. Ensuring the safety and protection of all children living in the communities where we work is the highest priority for IRAUS, and if unmonitored communication takes place, we cannot fully guarantee that a child will be protected from inappropriate content or suggestions. Similarly, IRAUS is fully committed to ensuring our supporters generosity is safe and secure, and there are potential risks within unmonitored communication that we must avoid – for example, digital details being stolen and taken advantage of by entities such as cybercriminals acting under aliases. IRAUS apologises in advance if this disappoints or offends any supporter but this position is taken with the best interests of all everyone in mind.

When you sponsor a child in need, they receive:

  • Education
  • Health Checks
  • Clothes
  • Food
  • Clean Water

When you sponsor a child in need, they receive:

Child Sponsorship $60 

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chechnya, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan & Yemen. 

Child Sponsorship $70

Albania, Indonesia, & Pakistan.

Child Sponsorship $80

Bosnia, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon & Palestine.

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