Jun 8 2012

Sponsorship helps families afford school, part 2

Last week we blogged about Rachel in Kenya, who received a school uniform through money saved from sponsorship benefits.

Providing children with the required uniform, books and supplies does not guarantee they will learn. The quality of the school has a significant impact on the child’s education.

Manjula lives in the Rasulpura slum in Hyderabad, India, with her two children. Her 12-year-old daughter, Aarthi, is sponsored through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. Manjula earns about $60 a month as a maid.

Aarthi, her brother and her mother

Aarthi with her mother, Manjula, and her brother, Sai, outside their home in Hyderabad, India.

She has switched Aarthi to a different school twice because of overcrowded classrooms. One class of Aarthi’s had 60 schoolchildren.

“It became very difficult for the children to follow the class,” Manjula said. “There was no personal attention towards the children.”

Manjula uses Aarthi’s sponsorship funds to help pay the higher school fees at Aarthi’s current school.

“It is a better school in our locality,” Manjula said. “Each class is in a separate room. Benches are there. Teachers are also good.”

Like CFCA projects in Kenya, the Hyderabad project deposits sponsorship funds into a child account. Parents decide how to use the funds with oversight from their CFCA social worker.

CFCA sponsorship can impact other siblings in the family, too. Because Aarthi is sponsored, Manjula belongs to a CFCA mothers group. She borrowed money from her group’s collective savings program to send her son to school.

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May 29 2012

Sponsorship helps families afford school, part 1

Because education is so effective in helping families build a path out of poverty, the Hope for a Family program places a high priority on the education benefit.

Children and youth who are of school age are eligible for CFCA sponsorship as long as they are in school.

Rachel, CFCA sponsored child in Kenya, with her new school uniform

Rachel, sponsored as a child through CFCA, has a new school uniform provided by money saved from her sponsorship account.

Parents in the CFCA program accept this requirement and work hard to keep their children in school. They are committed to helping their children reach their educational goals.

“Many parents of sponsored children didn’t have the opportunity to complete their own education,” said Dan Pearson, CFCA director of international programs. “They want their kids to have more choices and better opportunities that come with a more complete education.”

However, the greatest barrier to education for families in the CFCA program is the cost. That includes direct costs, such as tuition, books and supplies.

It also includes the hidden cost of lost family income when a teenager continues in school instead of working full time.

The families CFCA serves live on very narrow margins. Costs such as bus fare or uniforms can have a very large impact on their lives.

“Sponsorship widens those margins and gives families a little more breathing space, which allows them to keep their kids in school longer,” Pearson said.

During the next few weeks, we’ll present several examples of how sponsorship empowers families to support their children’s education. Today we take a closer look at Kenya. Read more

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Jan 12 2012

The gift of clothing to boost self-esteem

Gladness, CFCA sponsored youth in Tanzania Think back to your high school days when all you wanted to do was to fit in and make friends with your classmates.

Now imagine going to school with a badly worn, patched-over uniform because your parents couldn’t afford a new one for you.

Gladness, a sponsored youth from Tanzania, faced this situation every day. But no longer, thanks to some help from a CFCA social worker, her mother’s diligent budgeting and a tailor’s magic touch.

Read the rest of Gladness’ story.

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