ActionAid Child Sponsorship

How child sponsorship is changing lives across the world

Children living in poverty can be denied their basic rights to food, education and healthcare.

In addition, millions of girls face violence, discrimination and injustice every single day, simply because of their gender. Supporting girls, boys and whole communities to realise their rights and challenge gender inequality is the most effective way of tackling poverty worldwide.

By sponsoring a child, you are part of a special global network that is working together with women, girls, men and boys to help change lives in hundreds of communities across the world.

Choose a country from the menu above to see how sponsorship is changing lives. Or, simply scroll down to see all the amazing stories of how child sponsorship has made a difference across the world.

Thank you.

Sponsored children in Afghanistan, Liberia, The Gambia and Nepal open messages sent from their sponsors.

Sponsored children in Afghanistan, Liberia and Nepal open messages sent from their sponsors.

Afghanistan

More than 1,000 children where Laila (14) lives are now learning in a safe and fun environment.

We created child centres in each community and trained facilitators to teach reading and writing. The children are also provided with stationery and school materials to encourage them to study.

“Joining the child centre made me interested in going to school so I asked my parents to enrol me," says Laila, who is thrilled to be receiving an education.

Bangladesh

Around 3,000 children where Tamanna (10) lives no longer face discrimination in school because of their background and learning abilities.

Together we achieved this by training teachers, parents and local government staff on children’s rights and protection, and how to treat all students fairly in school.

“If I didn’t answer questions quickly enough, my teacher would shout at me. I felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave school. But now my teacher helps all of us and gives me the time I need to answer questions,” says Tamanna (right) pictured with her friend Riamoni.

Brazil

More than 5,000 children in the region where mother-of-two Edina lives are now eating vegetables every day. This has improved their nutrition and health, making it easier for them to concentrate in school.

We achieved this by training mothers like Edina to grow a variety of vegetables, including lettuce, kale, onions, carrots, broccoli and aubergine, without the use of harmful pesticides.

“I really like growing vegetables,” says Edina. “And my girls, Rafaela and Ana Luiza, love growing and eating them too. I’m so happy to see them growing up healthy.”

Burundi

More than 1,700 children where Claudine (9) lives no longer go to school hungry and have the materials they need for their studies.

Together we achieved this by providing families with breeding goats, which produce manure to grow nutritious vegetables and offspring which can be sold to buy food. The children also received books and pens for school.

“I no longer spend whole days without food. I go to school every day and the books and pens help me to study hard,” says Claudine.

Cambodia

More than 80 families in 25-year-old Ngaet’s village now earn enough for their children to attend school. But this wasn’t always the case. Families here rely on fishing to earn a living, but the destruction of surrounding mangroves - a vital breeding ground for fish - led to declining fish stocks and reduced incomes.

We helped to change this by working with Ngaet’s community to protect the mangroves and increase their fish stocks. We also trained them to grow vegetables and rear pigs, providing additional sources of income.

“My daughter is two-years-old and my wife is pregnant,” says Ngaet. “I’m excited that I will now be able to afford to send both my children to school and give them the education I never had.”

Democratic Republic of Congo

Hundreds of girls where Anuarite (12) lives are now attending school for the first time.

By working with parents and children, we helped everyone understand the importance of education. We also built 12 new classrooms to accommodate the additional pupils, including Anuarite, who is doing well in her studies.

“I came ninth out of 32 students in my most recent exams. I want to be a doctor. To be a doctor you have to be clever in class,” says Anuarite (centre), pictured with her friends Esperance and Alice.

Ethiopia

Around 1,400 girls where Marta (16) lives are now receiving the education they are entitled to.

We achieved this by encouraging parents to give their daughters time to study instead of completing chores. We also trained school management committees to promote education for girls, established girls’ tutorial classes and built girls-only toilet blocks.

“Thank you for changing attitudes in my community towards educating girls. I am now motivated to continue my studies and go to university,” says Marta (right), pictured with her friends.

Ghana

More than 100 children in 8-year-old Esther’s community no longer have to walk up to 10km to reach their nearest school.

By building three new classrooms equipped with desks, chairs and learning materials and providing a playground we changed this situation.

“I am happy there are now classrooms where my daughter can study,” says Peace, Esther’s mother. “I make sure she does her homework every day. I’m so happy that many children will benefit.”

We also provided a water point where Esther and her friends can drink clean water every breaktime.

Guatemala

Hundreds of children in the community where Yulai, the local teacher, lives are now learning in a safer and better equipped school environment.

Together we achieved this by building and repairing classrooms and providing desks, kitchens, water points and toilets. Yulai is delighted her classroom roof has been repaired.

“We no longer need to move the children to the school director’s cramped office when it rains,” she says. “Thank you for giving my pupils a place where they can learn well.”

Her pupils, pictured, are also thrilled that their classroom roof no longer leaks when it’s raining.

Haiti

Hundreds of children in 13-year-old Johny’s community have learned to use a computer for the first time, improving their education and future employment opportunities.

We achieved this by establishing nine computer labs and teaching children like Johny about the importance of information technology in today’s world.

“On the first day in the computer lab, I was so excited. I’d seen computers but never touched one,” says Johny. “I was surprised by all it can do. Thank you for such an interesting activity.”

Pictured, Johny and his classmates concentrate hard during a computer lesson.

India

Thousands of children like Devi (7) are now receiving a nutritious and free school meal every day.

This was achieved by working with schools and local authorities to ensure Dalit (also known as untouchable) children like Devi are no longer discriminated against and refused the food they are entitled to.

“I am so happy that I go to school and can enjoy a meal every day. Thank you!” says Devi.

Pictured, Devi (front) and her friends tuck into their school lunch, which will help them concentrate on their studies.

Kenya

Hundreds of girls where Nancy (15) lives are continuing with their education and studying towards a better future.

Together we achieved this by holding discussions about the dangers of early marriage and the importance of education with children, parents, teachers and local authorities.

“If it wasn’t for ActionAid, I wouldn’t be at school,” says Nancy. “I would have been married off. I work tirelessly at my studies, so my family will not have to live in poverty.”

Nancy (left) is pictured with Susa, a member of one of the amazing women’s networks ActionAid supports which help girls like Nancy to go to school.

Teenisia (third from right) is pictured with her friends. They all say no to early marriage and yes to education.

Teenisia (centre) is pictured with her friends. They all say no to early marriage and yes to education.

Liberia

Hundreds of girls where Teenisia (17) lives are learning about their sexual and reproductive health rights. These girls are increasingly taking ownership of their bodies and, as a consequence, their lives.

We achieved this by establishing five girls’ forums in Teenisia’s community. At the forum, girls are given training about their rights, including their right to make their own decisions concerning sex, marriage, pregnancy and education.

“I never knew that I had rights as a girl,” says Teenisia. “Thanks to the training I know how to advocate for my rights and how to help other girls do the same.”

Malawi

Hundreds of children where school treasurer Fatsani lives are no longer struggling to learn in a makeshift wooden shelter.

This was achieved by building 10 new classrooms and a toilet block. We also supplied new desks. Now more children can study in their own village instead of walking for up to 10km to reach a suitable school.

“Our poor infrastructures led to many children, especially girls, dropping out of school. But now the majority of children are in school and doing well in their exams,” says Fatsani.

The children at his school can’t help smiling as they move from their makeshift shelter to their newly built classrooms.

Mozambique

Albertina (14) is one of hundreds of girls who are saying no to early marriage and instead demanding their right to education.

We achieved this by establishing girls’ clubs in schools across Mozambique. Trained female facilitators work with girls to help them understand what their rights are, including their right to education, and how to prevent and report any violation of their rights.

Since establishing these girls’ clubs, not one girl in the village where Albertina lives has been forced to leave school to get married.

“I now know I should not accept early marriage or other types of abuses. I will not abandon my education. I will also help other girls to stay in school,” says Albertina, pictured right.

Myanmar

For the first time, around 1,000 children in 11-year-old May’s village have the books they need to study and read for pleasure.

This was achieved by building a village library. The community supplied the land and labour, while child sponsorship enabled us to equip the library with reference, fiction, poetry and joke books, as well as toys and games.

“I’m so happy with the library,” says May. “The poetry books are my favourites. It’s also nice to see the little children play with the toys.”

May (second from right) is pictured with her friends, who are all delighted to have a place to read together.

Nepal

More than 900 children in 12-year-old Niruta’s community are now learning in a safe and comfortable environment.

We repaired classrooms, provided desks and benches, installed water purifiers and provided girls’ and boys’ toilets to achieve this. Niruta’s school is positioned on the edge of a cliff, so we also built a fence around the school grounds to help protect the children.

“With the new fence, I feel safe,” says Niruta. “I didn’t like being in the playground as I got injured many times slipping off the cliff, but not anymore.”

Niruta (pictured second from right) and her schoolmates are delighted to be learning in a safer school environment.

Nigeria

More than 1,000 children in 12-year-old Destiny’s community now have all the school materials they need to continue their education.

Together we achieved this by providing school bags, books, sandals and socks to all the children, reducing the financial burden on their parents. The children were given these essential items during an event where they and their parents learned how education can benefit the future of their community.

“I now understand the importance of education,” says Destiny. “I’m happy with the school materials I received and am taking my studies seriously.”

Destiny (front right) is pictured with her classmates, who are all set to continue with their educations.

Occupied Palestinian Territory

All the children in nine-year-old Nouran’s school are now enjoying more varied lessons, including science.

Nouran’s community lives with the constant threat of eviction and her school is a temporary classroom equipped with very few learning materials. Together we helped improve the situation by providing science equipment, including microscopes, which has helped bring their lessons to life.

“I am enjoying having proper science classes. I can see different kinds of bacteria rather than looking at pictures of it in a book. This has made me love my science class even more,” says Nouran (left), pictured with her friend Saja, trying out the new science equipment that is enhancing their education.

Rwanda

More than 800 children in 9-year-old Yvonne’s community now have the school materials they need to study well.

We achieved this by providing children with text books that their parents often struggled to afford. Children like Yvonne are now motivated to go to school every day while the financial burden on their parents has been reduced.

“I am so grateful to have been given new books,” says Yvonne, pictured front, right. “Before, I didn’t have enough books for all the subjects we study at school, but now I do.”

Senegal

More than 15,000 girls in 13-year-old Fatou’s community are now aware that they have a right to education and that child marriage is against the law in Senegal.

We worked with children and parents to increase awareness about the importance of education and the dangers of early marriage. More and more parents are now prioritising the education of their daughters.

“I am so grateful I know about my rights,” says Fatou. “I am determined to continue my studies to work in medicine in the future.”

Pictured, Fatou (left) has learned the importance of receiving an education.

Sierra Leone

In 13-year-old Gita’s school, more than 170 children no longer have to walk miles to collect safe drinking water.

Together we achieved this by repairing the local well that was old and damaged. Now Gita and her schoolmates have flushing toilets, can wash their hands and have clean water to drink. This means they can spend all day studying rather than missing classes to go and collect water.

“I am happy that I now have a clean, safe water well so close to my school,” says Gita. “I no longer have to walk miles to fetch water and am happy to be spending more time in school.”

Somaliland

More than 7,000 children in 14-year-old Asma’s community now have the school materials they need to study well.

We provided much-needed school materials that parents were struggling to afford. These simple supplies, including exercise books and pens, ensure that Asma and her schoolmates excel in their studies, while also helping to reduce the financial burden on their parents.

“My favourite thing to do is study,” says Asma. “By getting an education I can escape from poverty and help my mum.”

Asma (left) is pictured with her classmates.

South Africa

Children in 17 primary schools in the area where 12-year-old Nengwekhulu lives are learning to grow vegetables as part of their school curriculum.

Together we achieved this by creating school gardens. Five girls and five boys in each school received training in growing vegetables and shared these skills with their classmates. The vegetables provide children with healthy food and the surplus is sold to raise additional funds for the school.

“I am very happy for the training I’ve received on how to grow vegetables,” says Nengwekhulu. “It gives me pleasure when I see people buying vegetables that I’ve grown.”

Nengwekhulu (centre) is pictured with her classmates in their school garden.

Tanzania

Almost 60 children at 12-year-old Riziki’s school are now enjoying their lessons in a dry, weather-proof classroom.

We achieved this by building two new classrooms after one was destroyed by a storm. The project brought the whole community together, with locals providing the labour while we supplied the materials needed to build the classrooms.

“We used to take our lessons under a tree, but now we are enjoying them in our new classrooms,” says Riziki, pictured in her new classroom that has also been equipped with new desks.

The Gambia

More than 140 children in seven-year-old Fatou’s school now have the school materials they need to continue their education.

We provided much needed classroom essentials including exercise books and pencils. These simple supplies have enhanced the education of children like Fatou and helped reduce the financial burden on their parents.

“I am very happy to receive these learning materials,” says Fatou, “They help me with my learning and writing.”

Smiling children at Fatou’s school are pictured receiving their new school materials.

Uganda

More than 70 children in 17-year-old Viola’s school can now keep their school books dry and their community clean.

Together we achieved this by teaching children about the importance of disposing of rubbish properly and how to recycle plastic and cloth to make much-needed school bags.

“I didn’t have a bag to carry my school books in and they always got dirty and wet during the rainy season,” says Viola. “Now I have learned how to make bags using recycled materials, I can keep my books dry. I am also training others to make these bags.”

Pictured, Viola has not only made herself a new school bag using recycled materials, but she is also helping to keep her community clean.

Vietnam

More than 560 children in 9-year-old H’Suly’s school are now enjoying free, nutritious school meals every day.

Together we achieved this by building a new school kitchen. Community members donated their labour and we equipped the kitchen with utensils, rice cookers, a refrigerator and a gas stove. The meals prepared in the kitchen are helping to improve the health and wellbeing of children like H’Suly.

“Everything has changed in school; we now have a place to eat and rest with yummy meals,” says H’Suly, pictured with her friends during school mealtime. “I have earned many perfect scores now that I am always full of energy at school!”

Lumingu’s classmates, Ngombo, Mwitumwa and Mbuyoti (left to right), are also happy with their new desks.

Lumingu's classmate Ngombo is happy with his new desk.

Zambia

In the school that Lumingu (8) attends, more than 50 children no longer have to sit on the dirty floor during lessons.

This was achieved by supplying the school with much-needed desks, benches and chalk boards to improve the quality of learning for all students.

“Sitting at a desk is really nice as I am able to write properly,” says Lumingu. “My books and clothes do not get dirty from the dust and I am able to sit and learn with my friends.”

Zimbabwe

Thousands of children in 13-year-old Lubelihle’s community no longer miss school because their parents are struggling to pay their fees or buy uniforms and shoes.

We were able to achieve this by training 900 women in vegetable farming. These women are now equipped with the skills to run their own businesses, helping them generate their own income and secure their children’s education.

“My schoolmates used to laugh at me because I would go to school barefoot,” says Lubelihle. “But today I am one of the smartest kids in my class, thanks to my mother’s hard work.”

Pictured, after school Lubelihle helps her mother pick sweet potatoes to sell at the local market.

Sponsored children in Bangladesh open messages sent from their sponsors. As you can see, they love receiving them!

Sponsored children in Bangladesh open messages sent from their sponsors. As you can see, they love receiving them!