Sponsor a Girl – Education and Literacy Are Two Miracle Cures

Over 250 million women in Asia are illiterate.[1] Much data indicates that learning to read and write is one of the great miracle cures of poverty.[2] When you sponsor a girl’s education, you are providing a resource that will impact her for life. It will also impact her family and community for generations to come.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) identifies the impact of education in their report: “Literacy is … a driver for sustainable development in that it enables greater participation in the labour market; improved child and family health and nutrition; reduces poverty and expands life opportunities.”[3]

Approximately one-third of South Asian girls do not attend school, and in some regions only one in four girls attend primary school.[4] This lack of school attendance is one driver that keeps the poverty cycle spinning generation after generation. When a parent didn’t attend school, they are less likely to send their children to school. An educated parent understands the importance of school and literacy. GFA World cares about girls’ education in South Asia and is part of the solution.

GFA World understands education of the girl child is important. Here are some benefits for the girl and her community:


Less Child Marriage – It is estimated that one in four girls in the developing world is married before the age of 18.[5] This number drops as the education and literacy rates climb. In fact, secondary education for girls could virtually eliminate child marriage.[6] Keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to delay marriage.

Higher Standard of Living – When children learn, they are qualified for a higher standard of living. For example, when a girl learns to read, she has a skill that is needed in the workforce. Women with a secondary education can earn twice as much as those with no education.[7]

Improved Health and Nutrition – Education helps girls understand the importance of health and nutrition. In school, they learn the importance of hygiene and clean water and how those factors relate to illness.[8]

Greater Community Impact – Education gives women the necessary tools to achieve their goals and participate in social and political discourse.[9] Girl child education is essential for improved communities as these girls grow into women and impact the world around them. Evidence from South Asia suggests that improving female education may have significant health, economic and social benefits for families, communities and countries.[10]

Ashima is a great example of the importance of education. She was rarely attending school due to her family’s lack of funds. Her parents didn’t have the resources to pay for tuition and supplies, and they didn’t understand the importance of education for their children. When GFA World set up a child sponsorship program in Ashima’s community, she began receiving consistent education and tutoring to help her catch up in her studies. In less than one year, Ashima’s life had changed drastically. She now has hopes and dreams—even the dream of becoming a medical doctor one day![11]

“Especially I want to serve the poor from our society because … once we were very poor, and because we were poor, we were not able to buy so many things” Ashima said. “It affected us very badly. And now, because [child sponsorship] is here, this is helping poor and the needy people like us; I also want to help and serve all the poor children and poor people who are suffering.”

Ashima, and many other children like her, is getting practical supplies her family couldn’t afford, nutritious meals and special help every school day.

GFA missionaries are passionate about solving the literacy and education gap in South Asia. In the year 2018 alone, 61,880 women were taught how to read through GFA literacy classes.[12] In these classes, the women learn how to recognize the letters and characters of their language, how to use a pencil to write the letters and how the letters combine to form sounds. Once the women understand basic reading, they are able to read signs, warning labels, books and important documents. With the knowledge of how to read and write, they are qualified for more employment opportunities.

Through GFA’s sponsorship model, you can sponsor a girl’s education through many years of school. The program attacks the root cause of illiteracy by helping girls who are living in poverty to have the resources and tuition needed to attend school. The program also provides tutoring and other assistance to ensure these girls can excel.

Your sponsorship will provide a gift of immeasurable worth—the ability to read and write, which is indeed a miracle cure to poverty. When we come alongside girls and help lift them out of poverty, we show them that they have value and purpose. We help them look beyond their current circumstances and learn to dream of a better future—a future that isn’t characterized by poverty.

Sponsor a girl today! She is counting on your partnership to help her learn and grow into a responsible adult.

Learn more about underprivileged kids in Asia charity

[1] “Believers Vulnerable Because of Illiteracy.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/over-250-million-women-in-asia-are-illiterate/. February 2012.
[2] “Literacy: One of the Great Miracle Cures.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/literacy-miracle-cure-illiteracy/. September 3, 2019.
[3] “Literacy.” Unesco. https://en.unesco.org/themes/literacy. Accessed October 14, 2022.
[4] Sheikh, Saba M. & Loney, Tom. “Is Educating Girls the Best Investment for South Asia? Association Between Female Education and Fertility Choices in South Asia: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00172. July 13, 2018.
[5] “About UNFPA.” United Nations Population Fund. https://www.unfpa.org/about-us.
[6] “Missed Opportunities: The High Cost of Not Educating Girls. The World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/education/publication/missed-opportunities-the-high-cost-of-not-educating-girls. Accessed October 14, 2022.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] “The consequences of illiteracy in Quebec.” Literacy Foundation. https://fondationalphabetisation.org/en/illiteracy/about-illiteracy/consequences/. Accessed October 14, 2022.
[10] “Is Educating Girls the Best Investment for South Asia? Association Between Female Education and Fertility Choices in South Asia: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6054002/. July 13, 2018.
[11] “A Drop in the Ocean.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/gfa-world-a-drop-in-the-ocean/. March 2018.
[12] “A Year in Review.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/2018/. 2018.