Eight-year-old Maria Natalia is from a remote, rural area of Guatemala, where more than 50% of people live in poverty.
Putting their children through school is simply unaffordable for many families here. Girls are especially likely to miss out on school - they may never have the chance to learn to read or write.
And without an education, girls are more likely to live in poverty, to experience violence, and even to be forced into child marriage.
But child sponsorship is already changing Maria Natalia’s life, and the lives of many other girls all over the world. Their sponsors are helping them to go to school, eat nutritious food and drink clean water, and get the healthcare they need to grow up healthy and strong.
We know that when girls get an education, they and their families can thrive, and entire communities benefit. That’s why, when you sponsor a girl with ActionAid, you know your sponsorship is helping to lift communities out of poverty - for good.
But around the world, there are many more girls like Maria Natalia who don’t have sponsors, and who might not get the same chances as her.
So this year, to celebrate Day of the Girl, will you help invest in a girl’s future, and make sure she gets the chance to go to school?
Your sponsorship is the start of an amazing friendship. You’ll be able to send letters all the way to your sponsored girl's community, and you’ll receive photos as she grows up.
So at every step of the journey, you’ll see the amazing difference you’re making.
What happens when I sponsor a child?
As soon as you sign up to be a sponsor, we’ll send you a welcome pack with a photo of the child you’re sponsoring and their story so far. And that’s just the start of the journey you’ll go on together.
You’ll get two handwritten messages a year from your sponsored child telling you about them and their life – they might be letters, drawings, or postcards – plus detailed updates about how they’re getting on from our staff in their country.
You can write back to your sponsored child. Over time you’ll get a new photo at special milestones so you can see them grow and thrive.
Messages, photos and drawings from sponsored children
What will my child sponsorship pay for?
Nutritious meals for children and seeds and livestock for families to grow their own food
Schoolbooks, fees, equipment and even a whole new school building in the sponsored child’s community
Building wells, purifying water sources, and better sanitation facilities
Medical and dental clinics, basic medical supplies and health education
How is my sponsorship money spent?
- 80% of the donations we receive through child sponsorship goes overseas (whilst 20% is spent in the UK on raising awareness and finding more supporters).
- Of the 80% overseas gift, 70% goes directly to your sponsored child’s community or, if there is an exceptional need such as a life-threatening emergency, another community within their country.
- The remaining 30% is used to fund other vital work in developing countries, and running child sponsorship so that you can receive messages from your sponsored child, and hear how your gift is changing lives.