sponsor a student

student sponsorship

At the start of 2021, we initiated a new student sponsorship program to support vulnerable students at Sonder Project schools in Malawi.  In our first year we sponsored 50 primary school students, and the feedback we received from the students, their teachers, and their parents, has inspired us to expand the program in 2022!  

The program is being implemented in two primary schools where we previously constructed classrooms.  Our staff on the ground work with community leaders and teachers to identify students vulnerable to dropping-out and high-performing students who could benefit from the program.  Then our staff interviews each student individually at their home to make our final decisions.  

In 2022, our goal is to sponsor a total of 200 students including 100 primary school students, 50 secondary school students, and 50 students in a Sonder school in Burkina Faso.  We can’t do it without your support!  Learn more below and sign up to sponsor a student today!

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. In our first year, 72% of our sponsored students are female.


Our staff on the ground work with local community leaders and teachers to identify students in need. We then interview each student nominated and evaluates them based on an adaptation of the Poverty Probability Index to select the most-needy students. Selected students may continue in the program through high school.

In 2022, we added some initial sponsorship opportunities to increase student motivation.  We now sponsor the top 3 performers (including the top girl and the top boy) from each upper primary grade, and we sponsor secondary school students from the same primary school communities.

The Sonder Project staff keep tabs on sponsored students and track their progress.  When a student is failing, Sonder Project staff meet with the student and parents to identify obstacles and come up with ways to improve performance.


Students sponsored by The Sonder Project will receive the following:

  • All Necessary School & Exam Fees
  • Boarding Fees (Secondary School Students – if applicable)
  • School Uniform
  • School Shoes, Polish, Brush, & Socks
  • School Bag
  • Pencils, Pens, Erasers, Ruler
  • Exercise Books
  • Washing Soap
  • Solar-powered flashlight
  • Menstrual pads (if applicable)

Sonder Staff on the ground also monitor student progress and meet with students, teachers, and their parents to provide support throughout the year.


    A gift of $19/month supports a student for one academic year (or $230/year).


    Sign-up to become a sponsor by donation through our Student Sponsorship Campaign.


    Our goal is to sponsor 200 students in the 2022 school year!  Sponsor a student today and help us reach our goal. 

    student sponsorship NEWS

    WeSonder for Education

    WeSonder for Education

    Meet Sonder sponsored student, Misheck Banda, and learn how our student sponsorship program is renewing students’ belief in their own potential.

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    Exciting Student Sponsorship Updates

    Exciting Student Sponsorship Updates

    Our program leadership team recently traveled to Malawi to observe and assess the impact of our programs on the ground. We wanted to understand the impact of our Sonder Student Sponsorship Program, which we established at the start of the year. We were so encouraged by the success of the program, that we want to do more.

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    Student Sponsorship Program

    Student Sponsorship Program

    The Sonder Project is thrilled to share the commencement of a brand new student sponsorship program supporting vulnerable students to stay in school.

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    Welcome to Malawi!

    Welcome to Malawi!

    In January of 2020, our CEO, Chad Zibelman, traveled to southeastern Africa to establish a Sonder Project office in Malawi. Often referred to as “The Warm Heart of Africa,” the country is known for its friendly people and Lake Malawi, its vast freshwater lake.

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