The Sonder Project is excited to announce the start of a student sponsorship program to support vulnerable students at Sonder Project schools in Malawi. In its first year, the goal of the program is to support at least 30 vulnerable students (and no more than 50) to ensure they have the resources they need to stay in school. The new program is being initiated in the two communities where The Sonder Project built school blocks in 2020, and we hope to continue to grow the program to continue supporting new students each year.
WHY A SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM?
Even when adequate facilities may exist to attend school, many students are left behind due to a lack of resources. If a student doesn’t have the materials he or she needs to take notes, or if a student is embarrassed by a lack of a school uniform, he or she is already behind before class even begins. According to a report by the Education Policy and Data Center (EPDC), 61% of 15-24-year-olds in Malawi have not completed Grade 6. Our goal is to help more students stay in school by providing the resources necessary to survive and thrive.
Girls are especially prone to dropping out early due to gender norms that prioritize the education of boys first, challenges when a girl first hits puberty, and the responsibilities of household care. As a result, too often girls are encouraged to marry young and get pregnant early. The Sonder Project sponsorship program requires at least 50% of sponsored students to be girls.
HOW IT WORKS?
We work with local community leaders and teachers to identify students in need. The Sonder Project then interviews each student nominated and evaluates them based on an adaptation of the Poverty Probability Index to select the most-needy students. Selected students may remain in the program for the remainder of their education through secondary school as long as they continue to receive passing marks and stay in school. The Sonder Project staff help to keep tabs on the students and track their progress.
All students sponsored by The Sonder Project will receive the following:
- All Necessary School & Exam Fees
- School Uniform
- School Shoes & Socks
- School Bag
- Pencils, Pens, Erasers, Ruler
- Exercise Books
- Washing Soap
- Menstrual pads (if applicable)
WHAT IT COSTS?
A one-time $225 donation or a $19/month commitment will cover the cost of one student for one academic school year.
HOW TO BECOME A SPONSOR?
Sign-up to become a sponsor by donation through our Student Sponsorship Campaign. Supporters must commit to covering the full amount for a student to receive information and updates about the individual student you sponsor. We are planning to distribute our first round of items at the start of the April Term. As a result, we will be sure to provide information about your individual student no later than May 8th!
HOW MANY STUDENTS WILL BE SPONSORED?
Our goal is to sponsor at least 30 students and a maximum of 50 to ensure we have the capacity to support the program as effectively as possible in our first-year effort.