How we are financed
To be able to send 100% of your donations to the girls, we need your support to finance our daily work (p.e. bank transfers, website hosting, etc.)
We support firms to leverage their corporate social responsibility, and in return, they also support us
Grants and Foundations
Different institutional partners support our operations and future development.
Who we are
Maria is Co-Founder of SponsorHer! and responsible for our scholarship program development, partner outreach and strategic development.
Maria graduated from the London School of Economics, and holds a French-German double diploma in Political Sciences. She has extensive work experience in Africa, and has a strong passion for women and community empowerment.
Viola is Co-Founder of SponsorHer !.
Viola holds a Master’s degree in from the Fletcher School. Before SponsorHer!, she has worked on managing development, humanitarian and conflict resolution projects for the World Bank, GIZ and the German Foreign Office.
Through our experience in other African countries, we had seen the power of education, especially of girls, as a key element to fight poverty. Having benefitted ourselves from education scholarships, we know about the transformational power scholarships combined with mentoring can have.
Having seen the sad trajectories of many girls in Ethiopia and very low secondary school enrollment rates, we knew that changing the future of these girls and nurturing their talent to become future changemakers was a goal we really and truly believe in. Having the chance to attend school can literally open a new world for girls, and even the smallest amount can make a huge difference in a girl’s life – increasing their job opportunities, their knowledge about health care and also the opportunities they can provide for their own families and children.
But having previously worked for large organizations in the development industry and knowing the infinite levels of red tape in huge bureaucracies, this wasn’t the way we wanted to go. Yet, we were hoping to find a way to have a greater impact than sponsoring a single child. When the announcement of the Fletcher D-Prize Innovative Solutions Competition asked ‘‘How would you fight poverty with 20.000 USD?’, it sounded like a very thrilling challenge and was the opportunity to get our ideas on paper.
However, as so many sponsorship initiatives already existed, we did not want to found yet another one. Many of them were individual or local initiatives, already successfully running on the ground; however, fundraising remains the biggest challenge for these organizations. After having met with two of them in Addis Ababa, we concluded that a crowd-sourcing platform, where local partners could present extraordinary girls needing support and connect with potential sponsors and mentors, would be SponsorHer!’s solution.
Our vision has grown to create a sustainable scholarship scheme, where the brightest and most needy girls are supported to excel at school and receive mentoring to become future leaders, allowing them to engage themselves one day as mentors and sponsors for the next generation of girls.