Natene from Finkolo, Mali

Abdramane Maiga

Community Development Assistant

Save the Children in Mali

August 6, 2018

Natene is an 11-year-old girl living with her parents in the community of Finkolo, in the southeastern part of Mali. She is the youngest amongst her two siblings, and she now happily attends the 6th grade. She enjoys reading and participating in outdoor activities and sports, like racing her bicycle. Natene and her family have been participating in sponsorship programs since 2008.

Before Save the Children came to Finkolo, very young children, usually around ages 3 – 6, whose parents were busy doing daily activities in the fields were often left to fend for themselves during the day. They would take care of themselves, occupying their time, feeding themselves and generally keeping themselves safe. A lucky few were able to stay with the grandparents nearby.

In order to help these very young children, and their parents, Save the Children implements its Early Learners program. Knowing that the emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct impact on their development as adults, Save Children has found it necessary to invest in the very young to maximize the future well-being of themselves, their families and their community. Natene enrolled in Early Learners when she was just 3 years old.

Natene in her school yard in Finkolo.

Through these programs, children can learn basic skills to help prepare them for primary school, for example, how to hold a piece of chalk, identify numbers, letters and colors, how to play well with others in groups and how to stay focused in class. Through activities like interactive games, songs, storytelling, social interaction and outdoor play, trained teachers help make sure children grow and thrive.

In these local early learning and development centers, children are supervised and monitored by trained instructors. The goal is to allow children to grow-up while learning in a child-friendly environment. At the early learning centers children can learn how to interact with each other in the classroom setting, and to learn through educational games organized by their instructors. Children also learn good behaviors, for example how to have good personal hygiene and when and how to wash ones hands properly.

Thanks to the education she received at the Early Learners center, by the time Natene enrolled in primary school 3 years later she could easily read and write, and overall seemed brighter. Children like Natene’s brothers and sisters, who did not have the chance to benefit from the Early Learners program, encounter great difficulties in doing the same exercise Natene now enjoys and completes with ease.

Natene practicing her reading skills in class.

Likewise, parents are able to focus on their daily tasks without fear, knowing their children are somewhere safe.

Issa and Michata, Natene’s parents, shared, “We understand the importance of education because of our daughter, Natene, who has benefited from Save the Children’s Early Learners program. Thanks to this program, she has been well protected and monitored. She was learning while playing with her peers. In the center, Natene learned the importance of handwashing and personal hygiene. She washes her hands before and after meals and after using latrine.”

Siaka, another student’s father, commented “In our community, education plays an important role. Parents are increasingly aware of the importance of education in general and of girls in particular nowadays. We noticed a lower school drop-out rate in school. Thanks to Save the Children, schools receive hygiene kits and school supplies to help children to get a quality education and remain healthy.”

Natene is happy to share her health and hygiene lessons with her family members too, further widening the impact sponsors have made in Finkolo. Simple lessons like how to wash one’s hands help reduce disease and school drop-out rates and likewise increase class attendance and learning abilities as children can learn more when they are in good health.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

A Sponsor’s Visit, Through the Eyes of a Child

Rosmery Mendoza Villca

Sponsorship Operations Assistant

Save the Children in Bolivia

July 25, 2018

“I never thought my dream would come true,” says 11-year-old Jennifer, after sharing with us the amazing experience of getting to know her sponsor in person. Over the past year and a half, she and her sponsor had grown a friendship with each letter they wrote to each other. However, Jennifer never expected they would be able to meet face-to-face.

Jennifer received news from sponsorship staff that her sponsor, Yu, would be coming to visit her – all the way from China! She eagerly waited to be able to finally hug her and let her know how grateful she is for all of her support.

Jennifer and Yu during her welcome ceremony.

Jennifer also wanted to tell Yu that her school improved a lot since Save the Children started working there, it became a place where teachers implement new teaching styles that make school fun and exciting. In this part of Bolivia, teachers used to carry out more traditional teaching methods, such as rote memorization, that weren’t appealing to students and made school feel boring and uninteresting. However since sponsorship began showing teachers a new way, classes at Jennifer’s school started to be more centered around children, incorporating games, stories, and theater to keep students engaged.

The awaited day finally arrived! And as soon as Jennifer was able to see Yu, the emotion and excitement was so great for both of them that neither were able to hold back their tears.

Yu was received at Jennifer´s school with great fanfare. Children, teachers, and parents numbering over 150 people gave her an emotional welcome. Children carried flags, welcome signs and threw flower petals to Yu while the school band played. Jennifer placed a flower garland on Yu’s neck and then took her hand and led her into the school, where they talked, played games and learned more about each other for the rest of the afternoon.

Jennifer showing the photo album she made of Yu’s visit.

As a reminder of that wonderful day, Jennifer created a photo album of her time with Yu. “This will be my greatest treasure” she says, while she proudly shows us her photos. She loves remembering every moment of this visit, her sponsor’s embrace and all the time she spent with Yu, and fondly flips through the photo album when she wants to recall those feelings of excitement and joy.

This is a memorable experience that not many can experience. The joy and emotion a child experiences by having a faraway friend travel thousands of miles to see them leaves traces that will never be erased in their hearts. Did you know you can visit your sponsored child? Contact our team in Fairfield, CT at ChildVisits@SaveChildren.org to learn more!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

My New Friend, Arouna

Written by Victoria Zegler, Sponsorship Storyteller

It’s been almost two years now that I have been working with Save the Children – traveling to eleven different countries and a multitude of communities to document firsthand, through photo and video, the positive impact being made by sponsors. During my recent trip to Mali, I had the opportunity to visit a very special village, one that is just beginning to see the impact being made by Save the Children. Why was it so special, you ask? Because, in my opinion, the beauty of a community lies within the people.

My first impression upon entering the small village was of a young boy standing across from me. He was wearing an oversized bright orange sweatshirt, and he was smiling at me.

I smiled back, and he giggled.

13-year-old Arouna, left, and his 14-year-old brother Mamarou, center, learn from Sponsorship Storyteller Victoria, how to record a video during a visit to the community.

Naturally, I took an immediate liking to him because, as an outsider visiting remote locations, a child’s initial reaction to my presence is usually to shy away. After exchanging pleasantries with the school headmaster and teachers, which is a common courtesy in Mali, I had time to meet with some of the sponsored children and ask them to share their stories with me.

As I began writing down interview questions in my notebook, I heard voices entering the classroom. As I looked up, there he was! The boy in the orange sweatshirt. I learned his name was Arouna and he was with his mother, Matou. After introducing myself to both, I began the interview with introductory questions, to get to know Arouna and the small village he calls home.

At one point, I asked Arouna, “What is your favorite thing about sponsorship?”

He replied, “Getting my photo taken, because it means I have a chance at making a new friend.”

It was at that moment I knew I wanted to be one of Arouna’s new friends. There was something about him – he seemed so very special.

During our interview, I learned that Arouna is 13 years old and in sixth grade. His father passed away last year leaving the family with very little to survive. Arouna’s sisters went to stay with other family members and his older brother Mamarou, who is only one year older than Arouna, dropped out of school to work in the cotton fields, to provide food for their family.

Now, Arouna is the only child in his family who is attending school.

Following the interview, I was able to capture moments of Arouna learning in the classroom, playing with friends and spending time with his family. Over the course of the two days I spent in his small village, Arouna and I created our own handshake, learned some English words together like ‘book,’ and he even helped me operate my camera! Although we weren’t able to verbally communicate without a translator, we formed a bond. I was so deeply touched by Arouna’s story and his family’s hardship. I felt a strong desire to tell him that I believed in him. I was afraid that if Arouna’s family continued to struggle, that his fate would end up the same as his brothers.

13-year-old Arouna, left, and his 14-year-old brother Mamarou, right, share a laugh inside of the community school which Arouna attends.

Before I left Arouna’s community, I gave him a red leather-bound notebook to take to school. On the inside cover of the book I wrote him a note in his local language, Bambara.

It read:

Arouna, 

Never give up on your dreams.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Best of luck to you in your future. 

Your friend,

Victoria

As a sponsor, it is important for me to let children know that they have someone on the other end of the world who believes in them. As sponsors, we provide hope and inspiration to so many children like Arouna. These words are something they will cherish for a lifetime, allowing them to believe in themselves and succeed.

Reading for All Children

Author Portrait_Memory Mwathengere, Sponsorship Communications Coordinator
Memory Mwathengere

Sponsorship Communications Coordinator

Save the Children in Malawi

June 23, 2018

Reading is a critical skill to learn, and one that enables all future learning – children must learn to read so they are able to learn. However, reading is also a skill where many children can quickly fall behind, especially those with learning disabilities. How then can children with learning difficulties be supported?

Save the Children in Malawi is working to address this problem through an education program we call the Special Needs Action Pack, or SNAP. Since 2008, we’ve been working with children, teachers and community members to strengthen literacy skills of children in Zomba, for example through efforts that improve access to books and introduce child-centered teaching methods in classrooms that use games, songs and play to help children learn to their fullest potential. Last year, we started working to redesign those programs to ensure they are truly all-inclusive, most importantly for learners who were not fully benefiting yet due to their diverse learning needs.

Modester in her classroom in Zomba, with one of her students.
Modester in her classroom in Zomba, with one of her students.

Through SNAP, we help ensure quality and equitable education to every child, regardless of his or her physical, mental or emotional status. SNAP explained simply is a set of tools designed to equip teachers with skills on how they can identify and effectively support learners with special needs, and ensure those struggling to read in class improve their reading abilities. Save the Children also works hand-in-hand with the district’s Ministry of Education office, to ensure local partners are involved in ownership of programs for children.

Modester is a 6th grade teacher who has benefited greatly from the SNAP trainings. Before the trainings, Modester faced numerous difficulties in teaching special needs children – she handled all the students in her classroom as though they had the same abilities. She did not realize the importance of treating children as individuals with different abilities to learn, and as a result, learners who were slow to grasp were missing out on her lessons.

Through lessons learned in the trainings she participated in as a part of SNAP, Modester is now able to identify and employ effective strategies of supporting all her students. Strategies include how to better plan lessons to accommodate individual learning and needs. Learning and assessment materials are also provided, and general knowledge on how teachers can ably accommodate all learners in their lessons. Modester also learned how to create learning materials using low-cost and locally available resources, for example, how to create raised prints for learners with visual challenges by hand.

“SNAP is an effective program. It has helped improve my relationship with children with learning disabilities as I have gained skills on how to involve them in all classroom activities. They are able to open-up to me whenever they have challenges. Similarly, parents of these children are now able to open-up regarding the challenges faced by their children, which they were unable to share in the past.”

Previously, discussing issues like children’s disabilities openly with parents was not culturally accepted, however Modester has learned how to bring up these topics with families in a sensitive and respectful way. She shared there is improved performance by her students as well. “The performance of learners in my class has greatly improved and I foresee more improvements.”

Modester, a 6th grade teacher who has benefited greatly from sponsorship trainings.
Modester, a 6th grade teacher who has benefited greatly from sponsorship trainings.

SNAP training sessions have been conducted in 30 sponsorship schools and through these sessions, teachers are able to use these skills to help children with learning difficulties in other learning areas besides reading, such as in mathematics. School attendance is up in these schools, and overall now all students can be seen participating in class activities, rather than just a few.

“I am proud and thankful to Save the Children. I would not have acquired these skills without them, and the Ministry of Education would not have done this alone. Such innovations are very imperative”, concluded Modester.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Sponsorship Helps Mali Father Follow his Passion to Help More Children

By Olivia Schilder

Abdoulaye is a passionate teacher, engaged father and proud sponsorship graduate in Mali. He became a sponsored child when he was 10 years old and his sponsor’s letters inspired him to work hard in school. “If I had not participated in the sponsorship program, I would not have gone to school and my life would be different than today,” he says. He still keeps a picture of his Save the Children sponsor, which reminds him of how his life has changed for the better.

Before sponsorship entered his community, Abdoulaye sporadically attended school, mainly because his parents didn’t understand the value of an education. Children in his community were sick with intestinal worms and anemia, which also prevented them from going to class. When sponsorship moved into Abdoulaye’s community, his parents learned how essential a quality education was to a child’s future success. Abdoulaye started attending school regularly where he received school supplies and deworming treatments, which helped start him on a path to success.

Now, Abdoulaye is a teacher, passing on his love of learning to the children in his classroom. As a father, Abdoulaye dreams for his own children to have bright futures filled with opportunity. Thanks to sponsorship, Abdoulaye is a very active father in his children’s lives, helping them with their schooling and encouraging them to do their best. Abdoulaye is working hard to make sure they get a good education, and is saving money so that he can go back to school and work in the education ministry.

Thanks to support from our child sponsors, Abdoulaye saw first-hand the value of an education. By working for the education ministry, he will soon be able to enact even more change for the children of Mali.

 

Wrist Tying Ceremony

Kayin Wrist Tying Ceremony

Author Portrait_Su Yadanar Kyaw, Senior Coordinator, Sponsorship OperationsSu Yadanar Kyaw

Senior Coordinator, Sponsorship Operations

Save the Children in Myanmar

June 14, 2018

Every year in August, on a day locally called War Kaung, we celebrate the annual wrist tying ceremony in Myanmar. This is a celebration on the day of the full moon, as many of our traditional festivals are, in the fifth month of the Buddhist Burmese calendar, and meant to be a day of loving, kindness, friendship and forgiveness.

It is a very special festival for all Kayin people, an ethnic group which lives mostly in the south and southeastern part of our country, and is a celebration rooted in animistic beliefs. During this festival, young people receive white wrist ties from their elders, which is believed to drive away all obstacles and evil spirits they may face, and bring good luck, health and strength to their body and soul.

“This year, I will go to the Kyauk Ka Latt pagoda with my granddaughter Lay Pyay. She will receive blessings and get her wrist tie. It is meant to protect her from harm and bad luck and ensure to bring back all good luck.” Daw Aye One, member of the sponsorship supported Early Learners committee in her community and grandmother of 4-year-old Lay Pyay, tells us. In her role as a committee member, Daw Aye One helps raise awareness in her community about the importance of early education for children Lay Pyay’s age, encouraging them to send their own children and grandchildren to classes. She also helps oversee the classroom, assisting teachers and making sure the environment is clean and safe for the young students.

4-year-old Lay Pyay and her grandmother, Daw Aye One.
4-year-old Lay Pyay and her grandmother, Daw Aye One.

On the day of the festival, everyone in the community wore their best colorful, uniquely patterned traditional costumes and woven longyi, a type of cylindrically shaped clothe worn around the waist in Myanmar. “It is the time everyone comes back home. But my daughter is not coming back from the Thailand border this year,” Daw Aye One says sadly. In Hpa An, it is very common for parents to travel to nearby Thailand in search of work, and stay for long periods of time, leaving young children and homes in the care of elderly grandparents in order to send money home from time to time. Lay Pyay’s mother has supported her family in this way by working at a factory over the Thailand border for nearly the past 10 years. Both she and her husband return to the village just once or twice a year to see their family.

“We need to put a new roof on and rebuild some parts of our house to prevent this year’s rains, so she needs to earn a lot of money. She promised that she will be back for Lay Pyay’s birthday, which is after 3 months.” she says hopefully.

The annual ceremony starts with lively local music and dance. An elderly couple leads this ceremony and starts by chanting prayers and calling upon the guardian spirits to bless the younger generation.

Seven materials – a glass of clean water, white thread, rice balls, sticky rice, bananas, paw wee flowers and sugarcane are essential for this event. Each one of these materials symbolizes a value, for instance paw wee flowers, which locally grow in any season, even in bad weather, are a symbol for the ability of the community to settle and grow in any place, and the strength and harmony of living together in a multicultural village such as this.

Preparing to feast at the annual wrist tying ceremony.
Preparing to feast at the annual wrist tying ceremony.

After the prayers, elder village and family members like grandparents recite the blessings while the seven ingredients are placed on top of the participants’ hands, while tying the piece of white string around the wrist and wishing them good luck and spiritual strength.

People of other ethnic backgrounds like Pa’o, Mon and Bamar also enjoy this festival with the Kayin peoples. “I am Pa’O and I am proud to celebrate this special ceremony of Kayin people. You can see people from different ethnicities coming together and giving best wishes to each other. A beautiful tradition to be part of.” Daw Aye One says.

How do you celebrate special occasions with your family? Is it similar to the wrist tying ceremony in Myanmar in some ways? Consider sharing a family tradition with your sponsored child in your next letter!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Gniré survived malaria – twice. Here’s how our sponsors are helping ensure she never gets it again.

12-year-old Gniré lives with her large family in a rural community located in the Sikasso district of Mali. Gniré loves school, especially math. When she’s not studying, she enjoys getting together with her friends and acting out stories, her favorite one being Cinderella.

In the village where Gniré lives, 90% of the mosquitos are female, which means they can carry malaria. This puts children at a high risk of being bitten by a mosquito and contracting the disease. Last year, Gniré was treated for malaria, not once, but twice.

The first time that Gniré contracted malaria, it became hard for her to make it through a day of school because her body was weak, her head hurt and she was cold and shaky. At first, she hid her illness from her parents but after she started vomiting and had to miss school for an entire week, she told her parents she was worried she might be really sick. Her parents immediately took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with malaria and treated.

Gniré knows that washing her hands will keep her healthy.
Gniré knows that washing her hands will keep her healthy.

Not long afterwards, Gniré became ill again and was treated for malaria a second time. As a result of being sick for so long, Gniré’s growth has been stunted and she’s now smaller than her peers. This has made her self-conscious, especially at school, but Gniré’s future is now looking up thanks to Save the Children sponsors.

Through the Healthy Girls and Boys program, Gniré learned more about malaria and how to avoid it. She also received a mosquito net that she now hangs above her bed. Mosquitos bite at night, which means that Gniré is incredibly vulnerable to malaria without a net protecting her while she sleeps.

When asked what gift she would give to every child, Gniré knew right away that she would want to protect other kids from malaria.

Mosquitos bite at night, which is why Gniré must be protected as she sleeps.
Mosquitos bite at night, which is why Gniré must be protected as she sleeps.

 “If I could give one gift to every child, it would be a mosquito net so that no one else has to get sick.”

Because of sponsorship in her community, Gniré now receives malaria medication that helps to reduce her risk of coming down with the disease again. She also stays healthy by washing her hands frequently and taking vitamins that keep her body strong. “I am thankful that Save the Children is in my community,” says Gniré. “It means that they care about my health!”

Now that she’s feeling better, Gniré is able to attend school every day. She can focus, learn and participate in class. Gniré knows how important it is for her to continue her education and dreams of becoming a doctor so she can help other people when they are sick.

“When you are educated, so many doors open for you!”

Today, Gniré is happy and active.
Today, Gniré is happy and active.

Every day, malaria threatens the lives of children around the world and also prevents them from attending school and learning. Save the Children sponsors are helping children like Gniré to not only survive, but thrive. With World Malaria Day happening this month, it’s the perfect time to consider becoming a child sponsor to help protect children like Gniré.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Ways to Help Syrian Refugees

Of all of the conflict-affected areas in the world (and sadly, there are far too many), Syria is ranked as the most dangerous place for children. In Syria, there are 5.3 million children in need of humanitarian aid[1]. According to the United Nations, Syrian children suffer all of the designated Six Grave Violations, even in demilitarized zones. They are denied humanitarian access, subjected to abduction, recruited as child soldiers, and have been robbed of their innocence – and even their lives – due to conditions that plague this Middle Eastern nation.

As the war in Syria enters its eighth year, conditions are far from improving. An estimated 5.4 million Syrian men, women, and children have made an exodus from their homeland,[2] seeking refuge outside its borders in the hope of a better, safer life. Now is the time for us to take action and help these refugees in their time of crisis.

You may be asking yourself, “How can I help Syrian refugees from halfway across the globe?” The good news is that there are organizations that have made it their mission to provide assistance to the people of Syria. Take a minute to look through our guide on the Syrian crisis to learn how you can help donate and aid Syrian refugees during this time of grave need, and see through the eyes of Syria’s children what it’s like to have to endure the conditions they have known for most of their young lives.

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Background on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

The Syrian crisis began in the wake of political upheaval that occurred in March of 2011. Conditions have swiftly declined, resulting in war, sickness and famine. Bombings have become part of daily life for Syrian families, resulting in a mass dispersion of refugees who seek shelter and safety since their homes and land have been destroyed. Unfortunately, many host countries fear that taking in these refugees will result in political and social unrest in their own nations. This leads to the pivotal problem of millions of people having nowhere to go – no place to call home.

The result of this fear has been devastating for the people of Syria. A child’s future is largely determined within the first few years of their lives. Without adequate care, the conflict is redefining what it means to be a child in Syria. You can help make a difference in these children’s lives in order to ensure they can reach their full potential. Although there are some countries that have implemented travel bans or other restrictions, there are still many other ways to help Syrian refugees.

Donate to Help Syrian Refugees

Donations to world aid organizations like Save the Children will go a long way toward providing necessary aid to the children and families of Syria. As a zone riddled with conflict, the area has become a major priority for organizations to provide food, water, medicine, education and shelter to displaced refugees. For the millions of children who need help around the world, a small contribution can go a long way. Donate to help Syrian children today.

Connect with Syria

Listen and share their stories. Many refugees have shared their personal stories with the world. They have felt fear as they hear bombs exploding overhead. They have felt hope for the war to end so they can go home and be reunited with loved ones. They have felt the desire for safety in times of insecurity and loss. Providing refugees with your hope and support can provide comfort in times of need. Social media can work wonders connecting people from around the world. Be sure to send your support to the people of Syria by raising awareness, connecting with refugees through social media, and even listening to and sharing their stories of hope.

Sponsor a Refugee Child

Through a child sponsorship program, you, the sponsor, can be a hero in a child’s life and in the lives of other children in the community. Your monthly support can help provide refugee children with access to a variety of resources that will help better their lives, their communities and their futures. You’ll influence young lives by supplying healthy food, health care, education, and helping to foster a productive and safe environment to grow. Newborns are provided with a healthy start. Children are given a strong foundation in education. Teens and young adults can learn the skills needed for empowering future careers. Choosing a refugee child through a sponsorship program can make a world of difference.

 

[1] http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.7998857/k.D075/Syria.htm

[2] https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNICEF_Syria_Crisis_Situation_Report_2017

What is Child Sponsorship & How Does It Work?

Child Sponsorship 101

As we step into the new year and reflect on the joys and blessings to come, it’s important to remember that there are children around the world who are suffering and in need of our help to have the future they deserve.

A child’s future is determined – to a large extent — within the first few years of their lives. You can help make a difference in these lives in order to ensure these children reach their full potential. For the millions of children who need help around the world, a small contribution can go a long way.

We can provide newborns with a healthy start, give children a strong foundation in education, and empower teens with the skills needed for promising careers. Choosing a child through a sponsorship program can make a world of difference in one person’s life and to the lives they touch as they grow.

So, where do you begin? You likely have a lot of questions as to how you can help and how sponsoring a child through Save the Children can help positively impact a person’s life — through childhood and beyond. Read on to learn more about how you can make a difference.

Basic Education - Indonesia

 

What is child sponsorship?

Through the child sponsorship program, you the donor can choose a child whose story has touched your life in a special way. Even if you’re halfway around the globe, you may see some similarities between yourself, your loved ones, and a child you wish to sponsor. Each month, your sponsorship helps provide children with the necessities for a healthy and successful start to their life – nutrition, early childhood and adolescent development, education and school health.. Over the course of months – or even years – your sponsorship will continue to make an impact on this child and his or her community.

As of 2016, Save the Children and the sponsors we are fortunate to work with have benefitted over 2.5 million children worldwide, in 43 global communities, and have contributed over $70.7 million to enrich the lives of these children.

What does it mean to be a child sponsor?

The primary goal of sponsorship is to help provide children with their best chance for success. Through the sponsorship program you will develop a strong and important relationship with the child through letters, birthday cards and photos. The most important aspect of being a child sponsor is the impact you will have on the community as a whole. Your contributions will directly affect the education, health care, recreation and safety of others within the community, as well.

How much does it cost to sponsor a child?

You can help change the lives of children all over the world for just over $1 a day. Sponsorship starts at $36 per month, and you will be changing the lives of more than just one child.[1] Your contributions are combined with other sponsors and donors in order to help better entire communities. This ensures that children in these communities still benefit from the programs and support even if they do not have a sponsor of their own. If you’re able to give more than $36 per month, your donation will help achieve greater goals for the children of these communities.

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What impact does sponsoring a child have on the community?

The positive impact on the lives of these children can’t be measured in money alone. Thanks to our network of generous sponsors like you, we’ve been able to help treat 418,000 children for parasitic infections (often due to unclean, unsafe water in their regions), making sure their childhood is as healthy and happy as possible. We were also able to equip 37,000 parents with the tools they need to support their children’s early development. And we’ve helped train 6,000 teachers to give children in impoverished parts of the globe the education they need to build a better life for themselves and their community.

Your contributions help lift entire communities and assist not only the children, but also the families, caregivers, and other people in a given area. Depending on which program and age group you wish to sponsor, you’re able to help a wide range of people [2]:

  • Babies & Expecting Mothers: Even before birth, you’ll improve the lives of expectant mothers and provide them with the health and nutrition services that will ensure their babies begin life happy and healthy.
  • Toddlers & Young Children: You’ll be able to provide children with early learning opportunities that will lay a strong foundation for educational success. You’ll be able to improve the overall learning experience for all children in the community ensuring the quality education they deserve.
  • Teens & Pre-Teens: Adolescence is a time of intense change that shapes future opportunities. With your assistance, you will help pre-teens and teenagers build lasting life and work skills to build a better community.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. With millions of children living in poverty, it is the primary goal of Save the Children to connect children in need with people like you who want to become involved and make a serious impact. Sponsorship provides these children with the necessities for a successful and healthy start to a bright future. Through sponsorship, you’ll be able to support these children as they learn and grow.

If you’d like to sponsor a child and make a tax-deductible donation today, please connect with us for more information.

[1] https://support.savethechildren.org/site/SPageNavigator/sponsorship.html 

[2] http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9def2ebe-10ae-432c-9bd0-df91d2eba74a%7D/2016%20CHILD%20SPON%20YEAR%20IN%20REVIEW_DIGITAL_FINAL.PDF 

Refugee Sponsors Are Changing Lives

VicHeadshotWEB
Victoria Zegler

Multimedia Storyteller

Save the Children in Egypt

March 20, 2018

“How does it make you feel to be a representative of your school, Aseel?” I asked.

She froze, hesitant to answer.

Then she admitted that she didn’t want to sound “arrogant,” so I reassured her, “Confident, Aseel! Not arrogant.”

It was at that moment she took a deep breath and let out the most genuine response I could have hoped for.

“As an ambassador, I feel that I have a nice talent,” she said. “They chose me from the entire school, they chose me from among 800 students! I cannot believe this!”

10-year old Aseel participates during a letter writing activity within Save the Children's refugee sponsorship program in Egypt.
Aseel participates in a letter writing activity within our refugee sponsorship program in Egypt.

As the war in Syria enters its eighth year,  there are still children who are out of school, and most are up to six years behind in their reading and math skills. This, I cannot believe!

For refugee children, war has put their educations – and therefore their futures – at risk.

Back in October, I was able to visit Save the Children’s refugee sponsorship program in Egypt. I witnessed firsthand the impact being made in the lives of children who, at one point, were without an education.

During my visit, I was given the opportunity to meet our four child ambassadors – Aseel, Mohanad, Malak and Karim. Each of these inspiring children expressed their gratitude for having Save the Children in their community school and felt honored to be chosen as a representative among their peers.

I watched plays orchestrated by local Save the Children staff to promote hygiene in a fun and inclusive atmosphere (think big toothbrushes constructed out of cardboard and plastic straws!). I heard the excitement in the children’s voices when they talked about attending summer camp and art exhibits. It made me smile knowing that our sponsors are giving vulnerable children the education and support they need to succeed.

Global Sponsorship Multimedia Storyteller Victoria Zegler takes a selfie with children participating in Save the Children's refugee sponsorship program in Egypt.
Global Sponsorship Multimedia Storyteller Victoria, takes a selfie with children in our refugee sponsorship program in Egypt.

After meeting each of these children and hearing their stories, I couldn’t help but notice their sense of self-awareness. All of the incredible support we receive from sponsors like you allows refugee children to thrive in a safe environment, one where they can focus on learning and just being kids again. These children recognize what is happening in the world, even though they may not understand it. They realize that they have been given a second chance, and they know they have to work hard. Because of your generosity, refugee children are able to continue their educations and dare to dream of their futures.

It moved me to see these young children serving as leaders within the community and talking about their hopes for the future. This is what your generosity is doing. You’re helping provide the care and support these children desperately need to pursue their dreams.

Thank you for making a positive difference in the lives and futures of refugee children like Aseel.

Within our impact area of Greater Cairo, Save the Children responds to both short-term and long-term needs of vulnerable refugee children and their families by offering child protection, education, health and livelihoods support, counseling and psychological support. Learn more and find out how you can help at SavetheChildren.org/RefugeeSponsorship