SponsorHer ! strives to increase girl enrollment and retention in secondary school, first in Ethiopia and later beyond, by crowd-sourcing scholarships and mentoring.
We identify local partners with existing sponsorship schemes, identify the brightest and most needy girls and provide them with a scholarship to attend secondary school. We are currently piloting our operations in Ethiopia. Our vision is not only to increase the number of scholarships for girls in sub-Sahara Africa, but also to make them more sustainable, making international donations one day unnecessary. Why girls and How we do this? Read below.
Why Girls ?
While there are many boys in need for support to access and accomplish school, we have chosen to focus on girls. Why? Because in Sub-Sahara fewer than one out of five girls makes it to secondary school .
There are many reasons why girls drop out of school – lack of money, household duties, distance between her home and school, and lack of sanitary facilities at school. However, if a poor family has to decide whether to send its boy or its girl to school, the decision will in most cases be in favor of the boy. The drop-out rate is especially high after primary school. In Ethiopia 65% of girls attend primary school, but only 16% continue to secondary school, and even less complete it. (source: UNICEF)
The power of education – the ‘Girl Effect’
Investing in girls’ education may be one of the most effective ways to eliminate poverty.
Various studies have shown that the more educated girls are, the later they get married, the fewer children they have, the higher their future income is and the less likely they are to be malnourished and exposed to sexual transmitted diseases.
Every year of education not only increases the girl’s chances to earn a higher income in the future. It also has a sustainable impact on her family, improving health, sanitation and education.
SponsorHer! partners with local partners who identify girls based on their outstanding potential proven by school reports, and financial hardship based on government poverty certificates and house visits.
Sponsorships cover a school uniform, materials and a sanitary kit to avoid school drop-out during the menstruation as well as depending on the partner family support or school improvement projects. In our future saving scheme 2 EUR/month are saved to allow the girl to start her own small business or to continue to university after high school.
We strive to support SponsorHer ! scholars to become future leaders and changemakers in their communities.
We therefore develop with our partners a context-specific mentoring scheme as well as leadership and business training connecting the girls to successful Ethiopian women and businesses.
Giving Back – Alumni Engagement
The scholarship related saving scheme will allow the girls to start a small business or to continue to university thereby ensuring their independency.
We only select girls who have the potential to become future leaders; and will engage them through a vibrant alumni network to support the next generation of girls as sponsors and mentors.