Iran Program Update

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Child Foundation has exciting news for our supporters and sponsors of Iranian schoolchildren. Our team is sending our new OFAC application this week to the US Department of the Treasury and we are optimistic about its outcome. 

In the meantime, the food package program  is well on its way now. Several meetings a week are getting us closer to delivery. Many of our donors know that navigating the Iranian economy is challenging and, all the more so for an American organization abiding by US sanction regulations amidst the coronavirus outbreak. We continue to make progress and though the coronavirus presents a new hurdle, we are still optimistic that come late spring or early summer, children will be receiving much-needed relief with food packages. Thankfully, our organization has hands-on experience fine-tuning food import for our children in the past and we are putting that knowledge to work. This new system will be resilient, efficient, and impactful.

We are committed to a program that: 

  • Reaches every student. It should not matter if a student lives in the center of Tehran or a small village in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Every child should have the same quality of and access to their food packages. Our program will be thorough and fair. For example, Haajar in Urmieh will receive her sponsor’s monthly contribution in the same way that Reza in Zabol will receive his.

  • Benefits students and their families. The Iranian government permits the import of four types of food:

                 Meat (frozen)

                 Legumes (beans and lentils)



  • Our food program never before included meat, but it is a priority now due to the crippling food price increases that are brutalizing family budgets and likely affecting nutrition. We will provide more details soon about each food category.

  • Operates efficiently. Instead of a Child Foundation program run from start to finish as we had before, we will utilize specialists and already established infrastructure to reduce costs and overhead. The old saying goes, “don’t recreate the wheel,” and our teams in the US and Iran are carefully controlling future overhead by keeping this in mind. 

  • Withstands unexpected turbulence.  We want to leave as little up to chance as possible. The economic and political environments often shift but our previous experience from the pre-2014 food package program is helping us build a more resilient and reliable system. From purchasing to customs and distribution, our program will be carefully designed so sponsors and children can count on each delivery. 

  • Abides by regulations in both countries. The program must be coordinated between the Child Foundation office in the US and our sister organization in Iran. That means we are navigating complex networks and must consistently check in with lawyers and expert colleagues while the Iran office does the same. Our program will be viable from both the American government and Iranian government perspectives.

These are our commitments and we will not settle for anything less for our children because we know you will not either. Our donors have demonstrated ownership of the program and their obligations as sponsors. You have continued to sponsor children, share our mission, volunteer, and raise concerns to our staff and board about how the new program will serve the children. Thank you so much for your support and insights. 

This is a worthwhile undertaking and we are so glad our children enjoy our donor community’s support and the expertise of our sister organization in Iran. Hundreds of children are waiting to be sponsored today. Sponsor a child now to begin a meaningful relationship and ensure their food package is on its way as soon as the system is in place. 

Donations will be used to purchase food, coordinate import into Iran, and disburse the food either directly to families or nearby grocery stores where it can be collected.

Sponsorship dollars donated now will be held for the intended child until all components of the program are securely in place. We are conservatively estimating to begin delivery in late spring, early summer. The funds will then be released and used to purchase, import, and disburse food in packages. This may mean an actual delivery but we hope to use a debit card system that allows families to collect the food at their convenience.

Our sister organization in Iran is helping secure partial sponsors from inside Iran to provide each student with a small monetary supplement to the food packages. We applaud the progress of their sponsorship drive so far. Our sister organization office will report in the next week the percentage of our students that now have Iran-based co-sponsors.