What Happens When I Sponsor a Girl to Go to School?
When you sponsor a girl to go to school, you change her life and her future. There are many barriers to girls’ education. Poverty, child marriage, gender-based violence and a lack of proper hygiene or sanitation are just some of the varied reasons that 129 million girls are out of school worldwide. GFA World is working to address these issues and make it possible for girls in Africa and Asia to receive an education.
Sahlma was just one girl who found help and hope through GFA’s Child Sponsorship Program. She was only 9 years old when an earthquake destroyed her community. With their homes in ruins and their possessions buried, Sahlma’s family and neighbors struggled to survive. GFA missionaries and government workers passed out food and tarps for shelter, which gave temporary relief, but how would families provide for themselves moving forward? Sahlma’s parents made the difficult decision to find work in a nearby town, leaving Sahlma, her sister and her two brothers behind. Though her parents sent some money, Sahlma struggled to buy food and meet all their needs. So, at the tender age of 9, she started working as a porter to earn money. The physically demanding job required her to carry heavy loads of groceries, sand and firewood up and down the steep mountainside. Children who work like this face threats to their emotional and physical health as well as to their education, barriers that make it harder to find better employment opportunities in the future and escape poverty. The toll of the job on her body and the knowledge of what it would cost her future took away Sahlma’s smile, but she had to provide for her siblings.
Then, our Child Sponsorship Program staff members working in the same area as her parents heard about Sahlma’s situation. They knew they could help the girl, so they enrolled her in the program. This relieved a financial burden on the family by providing for her school tuition, school supplies and nutritious meals. It was no longer a struggle to provide enough for the family, so Sahlma no longer had to work. Eventually, Sahlma and her siblings moved to the town where their parents were, and she continued to receive care, love and encouragement. She also became interested and diligent in her studies and began to excel in school. She really loved reading and math. Sahlma said she wanted to become a social worker to help people, especially children in need, as she once was.
The care and support of our Child Sponsorship Program meets children’s vital needs and the needs of their communities. This makes kids like Sahlma less vulnerable to exploitation and equips them with the tools, education and training to reach their goals. You can be part of this life-changing effort and sponsor a girl today for just $35 per month.Learn more about sponsor a girl
 “Girls’ Education.” UNICEF. Accessed August 5, 2023. https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education.
 “A Burden Slides off Preteen Girl’s Back.” GFA World. January 2022. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/a-burden-slides-off-preteen-girls-back-wfr22-01/.