Sponsor a child

Abebech is keen to stay in school and has big ambitions for the future – she wants to become a doctor to support her community.

But because her parents struggle to earn enough income she was, like many children in Ethiopia, identified by her school as being at risk of dropping out of school prematurely. But when Link Ethiopia connected Abebech with a sponsor, we saw a big change.

Her confidence improved, as did her grades. Her school’s new library meant she could do her homework properly and she no longer had to worry about coming to school without a uniform. Small things on their own, but together they added up to a big change. Abebech is doing great – and we want to see this happening for many other children.

For just 50p (€0.67, $0.83) a day, you can sponsor a child like Abebech. Your donation will help improve the life of not just one child but an entire community.

How does sponsorship work?

By joining Link Ethiopia’s Sponsorship programme, you are forging a one-to-one connection with an individual student, directly supporting their education, investing in their school and making a real difference. You’re also invited to come and visit to see for yourself.

School resources

The costs of sending children to school can be a difficult burden for many families in Ethiopia. Children must have pens and paper to attend, and often a school uniform. Their studies are greatly enhanced with extra resources such as a dictionary and text books.

Training, tutorials, mentoring

  • extra school tuition,
  • health & hygiene training,
  • extra-curricular support (social, emotional),
  • vocational training (e.g. IT, English, etc.) and more.

School projects

The real focus for improving education in Ethiopia is improving the local school. With your regular sponsorship we can work with your child’s school and identify projects that will benefit not just your sponsored child, but the hundreds and often thousands of other young people who also attend the school.

Emergency Fund

5% of each sponsored student’s contributions are held in reserve each year and used when emergency conditions arise. These special circumstances, such as a family member falling ill, or a sudden change in economic circumstances, can mean a child dropping out of school, often to support the family through work.

At risk

Students at schools up and down Ethiopia are at risk of significant periods of absenteeism, or of dropping out of school altogether. The risk increases as students progress through education – particularly at the secondary and preparatory stages – and is higher for girls than boys. The causes include:

  • Lack of school uniform
  • Inadequate access to school resources
  • Poor sanitation, water and hygiene facilities at school (particularly for girls on their period)
  • Low self-esteem and confidence and more.

A solid foundation

Link Ethiopia’s Sponsorship Programme aims to help students tackle and overcome these barriers and reduce that risk of absenteeism and drop out:

  • Equipping students with a new school uniform
  • School resources – stationary, bag, etc.
  • Projects in schools – library’s, classrooms, water, sanitation, training etc.
  • Sponsorship Clubs – to develop self-esteem, build confidence and offer training and mentoring
  • Focus on Girls – 75% of our sponsored students are girls and young women

A brighter future

Students who stay in school with minimal missed days are setting themselves up to succeed – and to help transform their communities, countries and the next generation:

  • Educated mothers = healthier children
  • Secondary education reduces child marriage by nearly 25%
  • Education accelerates economic growth
  • Education reduces gender inequality
  • Educated mothers better educate their children
  • This builds a better future and reduces the need for sponsors

Source: UNESCO 2013

Already a sponsor? There are loads of other ways you can get involved!

Why choose Link Ethiopia?

20 years on-the-ground experience

Unlike many other sponsorship schemes, Link Ethiopia’s scheme concentrates on just one country; Ethiopia. We’ve been working with partners in Ethiopia for nearly twenty years to improve access & quality of education for young people. Our staff in Ethiopia are made up of members of the local community who have years of experience with the education system and development projects. We have a wealth of specialist knowledge about the problems facing children in Ethiopia and the solutions to help them.

Low overheads

Link Ethiopia prides itself on keeping administrative costs down to an absolute minimum so that more of your donation goes where it is needed: helping improve the lives of disadvantaged children. In the UK we have only 2 full-time and 2 part-time salaried members of staff, supported by fantastic hard-working volunteers. Link Ethiopia manages your donation directly and does not pass it onto other agencies.  In all aspects of our work, we ensure your donation is used as effectively as possible.

A focus on the individual

Our programme really focuses on the individuals involved. As a Sponsor, you will receive a real connection with a child or young person studying and learning at an Ethiopian school. Your support not only addresses school-wide barriers to education, but also connects and enables a child to access a quality education. We want a Sponsor’s connection to be real and tangible – we don’t just lump your funds together for a general cause.

Frequently asked questions

How much does sponsorship cost?

In order to support the education of a child and their local community we ask sponsors to pay £19 (Euro €23, US$26) or more per month.

How does child support get administered?

Thanks to the regular support of people like you we are able to buy the educational resources that young people in Ethiopia need in bulk, and therefore keep costs low.

We assess the needs of your individual child and ensure they receive exactly the resources they need. The receipt of these gifts are acknowledged officially and transparently and we provide you with photocopied records.

What are Sponsorship Clubs?

Sponsorship clubs are a major element of support, and are set up in schools where sponsored children attend. All sponsored students are invited to attend on a regular basis.

These clubs provide us with a valuable opportunity to support the progress and condition of all sponsored children. They also provide a safe and reassuring social environment in which sponsored children and young people can interact, learn and play with one another, and where they can find the support of our dedicated Sponsorship Managers.

At the same time our Sponsorship Managers can then easily assess their educational, social and medical condition. We can then, for example, intervene with our Contingency Fund, if necessary and appropriate (see below).

They also provide a forum in which we provide:

  • extra school tuition,
  • health & hygiene training,
  • extra-curricular support (social, emotional),
  • vocational training (e.g. IT, English, etc.) and more.

What sort of project will we fund?

Access: Most of our partner schools in the north of Ethiopia have insufficient classrooms, which means that class sizes can be large and that the school is unable to cater for the many local children who don’t yet get an education. We work with the local community to jointly finance and construct new classrooms, libraries, science facilities, desks and chairs. These projects open up access to education to many local people who would otherwise have no experience of schooling.

For children attending school, basic facilities are often lacking. Toilets and clean running water are taken for granted in much of the world but, in Ethiopia, schools are fortunate to have such infrastructure. This has an impact on the health and well-being of pupils and subsequently on school attendance. The needs of schools in this regard can vary widely and we work with the local community to finance decent and appropriate water supplies and sanitation facilities.

Quality of education is another major focus. Teaching resources in schools will generally be scarce. Text-books, where they exist, are often old and dated, visual aids are rare, more modern technology such as computers can be unheard of. We support schools with the provision of these resources and work with and train teachers to encourage more effective usage of them. In many rural schools the standard of teacher training is basic and we work with local Teacher Training Colleges to introduce more pupil-centred teaching techniques which compare favourably to the traditional method of teaching by rote.

What support is given?

The costs of sending children to school can be a difficult burden for many families in Ethiopia. Children must have pens and paper to attend, and often a school uniform. Their studies are greatly enhanced with extra resources such as a dictionary and text books.

Here is how your sponsorship will help your individual child. You will be ensuring your child has:

  • A school uniform
  • A school bag
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Reference books, such as an English-Amharic dictionary and atlas
  • Textbooks
  • Extra out-of-school tuition or extra-curricular training, as necessary

Sometimes, depending on your child’s situation, you can help towards:

  • Transport to school
  • Sanitary towels for girls who might otherwise not be able to attend school
  • School equipment for siblings
  • Nutrition support

How does your money get spent?

All of the money that you contribute goes towards our work supporting your sponsored child or young person, and the schools they attend. But of course there are different ways in which the money is allocated. On average your sponsorship money is spent in the following way:

  • 55% supporting your child’s educational needs – resources, sponsorship clubs, emergency funding.
  • 45% supporting projects in your child’s school – teacher training, classrooms, gender equality, literacy.

The Emergency Fund

A small proportion of each sponsored student’s sponsor’s monthly contributions are held in reserve each year, and used when medical or other emergency conditions arise. These special circumstances, such as a family member falling ill, or a sudden change in the families economic position, can necessitate a sponsored child dropping out of school (often to support the family through work).

This Emergency Fund allows us to support student’s and their families in times of extra need, and has successfully enabled students to return to school in the past.

What do you receive?

We value the continued support of donors throughout the world and we want to ensure you are regularly updated on the developments of your sponsored child and its school in Ethiopia.

As a child sponsor you will receive each year:

  • Letters and/or pictures from your child to hang on your fridge. Younger children will be unable to write in English and we will translate their letters into English if that is the case.
  • A record of the resources your child has received, photographic and/or a receipt.
  • Wherever possible the school exam results for your child.
  • News of the projects completed and under construction in your child’s school, thanks to your support.
  • A new photo every year.
  • Monthly e-newsletters on Link Ethiopia’s work.

Register online or get in touch

Arranging your sponsorship couldn’t be easier. There are two options we recommend:

  • Online – Simply fill in the form below, wherever you are in the world. When we receive it we will let you know about setting up your payment.
  • Standing Order (UK only) – If you have a UK bank account you can download our Standing Order form here, fill it in and post it back to us.

If you have any questions you can email us at [email protected]