Actress and ActionAid UK Ambassador Jodie Whittaker has been sponsoring children in Afghanistan since 2013. Here she talks about what it means to her and why she is supporting our ‘No Girl Afraid’ appeal this Christmas.

I have been a proud ActionAid supporter for over 4 years and have been involved in lots of their amazing initiatives to shine a light on the many issues affecting women and girls across some of the poorest countries in the world. 

I began sponsoring 14 year old Sakina who lives in the far north east of Afghanistan.  All she has ever known is a life affected by war and conflict where it is extremely dangerous to be a child.  Decades of war have meant that families are vulnerable to hunger, disease and displacement.

And now I sponsor a little boy called Yasin who lives with his family in northern Afghanistan.  ActionAid is doing great work in his community to improve education and ensure that all the children go to school and it’s wonderful to get the letters and community reports of the real progress that is happening. 

Why I'm supporting ActionAid UK's Christmas charity appeal 

That is why I’m supporting ActionAid UK’s urgent Christmas appeal asking you to sponsor children like Sakina and Yasin in regions of the world affected by fragility, conflict, and violence where a staggering two billion people live.

When a country is hit by conflict, those living in extreme poverty often suffer most and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation.

All around the world millions of girls are living in fear. Left without basic services like light and heat, facing a season of hardship and trauma, many are afraid to leave their homes. 

ActionAid provides direct support to girls living in conflict, and their local staff are crucial to the way they work." 

They understand the deep-rooted problems facing girls and work alongside communities to find solutions.

If girls are in immediate danger ActionAid is there to help. For example in Gaza, they support girls who are making dangerous early morning journeys to school in the dark by providing street lighting, as well as girls clubs where girls feel safe, can overcome trauma and build their confidence. 

Long-term ActionAid’s local staff work with communities to help overcome the violence and discrimination faced by girls supporting them to regain the control to make their own decisions; go and study, earn a living and choose their own future.

For as little as 65p a day people in the UK can sponsor children through ActionAid to help a whole community in a long-term and sustainable way by providing access to a good quality education as well as clean water, healthcare, agricultural programmes and income generation schemes.

There are so many children living in conflict who urgently need our help.

This Christmas you too can help change the life of a child like Sakina or Yasin, please sponsor a child today.

Sponsor a child