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  • Nikki Brown

Why Sponsor a Child This International Women’s Day

Today marks International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the achievements of women across the globe. It’s a day that empowers women and acts as a call to action to accelerate gender equality across the globe.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Choose to Challenge’. The team behind International Women’s Day claim “We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”

If you’re looking for a way to create an inclusive world and have a real positive impact in the fight for gender equality, why not sponsor a child? Sponsoring a girl can improve their life prospects, improving their chances of going to achieve the very incredible things that this day aims to celebrate. Ultimately it can help challenge gender bias by giving girls the strength to create their own future, in countries like Cameroon where it’s increasingly difficult for them to do so.

Women and girls make up half of the world’s population, which means half of its potential. However, in many countries, Cameroon included, women are not always perceived as equal and there is still a long way to go. Sadly many countries still see a lower rate of education for women, high volumes of child marriage, violence towards young girls and injustice on many levels.

According to the United Nations, gender equality must be achieved if a country hopes to both advance development and reduce poverty. With access to education alongside the right encouragement and empowerment, women across the world have the opportunity to improve prospects for the next generation. They can be role models and leaders for girls everywhere.

Why sponsor a child?

By choosing to sponsor one of our girls, you could help give them access to education and ultimately break out of the poverty cycle, opening up a world of opportunity. It’s part of our mission to ensure all of our children can go to school safely with no barriers to education or to their dreams.

Globally, 132 million girls are currently out of school. This includes 34.3 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67.4 million of upper-secondary school age. There are many reasons for this, including poverty as typically poor families favour boys when investing in education, they’re not going to bear children and will be working for much longer. There are also terrible issues like child marriage and gender-based violence which remain commonplace in countries like Cameroon.

With such barriers, promising young women who could have the potential to change the world are being left behind, stuck in a cycle of poverty or worse, living in fear.

Sending a girl to school could mean:

1. Child marriage rates decline

Unfortunately, early marriage often means the end of education for young women. Their new role as a wife and often a mother means they are unable to go to school and must instead keep a house and raise a family. Many girls in Cameroon aren’t enrolled in school because they are inaccessible or expensive when a child reaches secondary school. Often, parents in poverty don’t see the value of education for their lifestyle or simply cannot afford to send their kids to school, and if they have to choose between son and daughter, the boy will win. With few alternatives, parents often see marriage as the best option for their daughter.

Girls who have no education are three times more likely to marry by age 18 than girls with secondary or higher education. Therefore, by sponsoring a girl who otherwise could not afford to go to school, you’re reducing the likelihood that she will be married young and forced into motherhood prematurely.

2. Child mortality rates fall

Child mortality rates are also linked to girls' education in developing countries like Cameroon. Firstly, it can help to train more healthcare workers and pioneers of medicine who can fight diseases and child mortality. However, education can also help women on a more personal level. It helps to build behaviours and habits that can improve personal health and wellbeing but can also educate women in childcare. Children with a basic education become parents who are more capable of providing quality care and make better use of health and social services available. When girls with a basic education reach adulthood, they are more likely to manage the size of their families according to their capacities and provide better care and education for their children; ultimately helping to end the poverty cycle.

3. Girls’ lifetime earnings increase

It may not be surprising when we say that education means girls have the potential to earn more money. However, according to research by the World Bank, for every extra year of primary education, a girl’s individual wage increases by an average of 10–20% and 25% with an extra year of secondary school. This means going to school is proven to help women break out of the poverty cycle, which can have ripple effects throughout their families and communities. On average, 90% of a mother’s wage goes towards caring for her family, which means that earning more can lift a household out of poverty and hunger. This is why sponsoring a child has such a positive impact, the effects can be seen for years to come and has the potential to change many lives along the way.

4. More female role models

Most importantly though, in light of International Women’s Day and the wonderful women this day celebrates, giving a girl the opportunity to go to school through sponsorship could create tomorrow’s role models. With an education, a girl can go on to change the world. She could become a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher or a pioneer in any field; changing the lives of her immediate community and for people all over Cameroon. By sponsoring a child this International Women’s Day you’re giving a girl the gift of belief; your belief in her but also the chance to believe in herself. Your sponsorship could be the inspiration a girl needs to go on to do brilliant things and forge a better path for herself. In playing your part and giving a girl an education, healthcare and a better quality of life you could make a role model for many girls in the future; someone that they can look up to and aspire to be. Meaning your sponsorship could make waves in communities like Cameroon.

To sponsor a child with us, help to change a girl’s life and fight gender inequality, take a look at our children currently searching for sponsorship and get in touch with our team today.

You can also help us raise awareness for our work by following us on social media, you’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Plus, you can sign up to our newsletter to make sure you never miss an update about our work helping the children of Cameroon to achieve a better quality of life. Our volunteers work to find sponsors as well as help the children to access safety, education, nutritious food and basic health and safety.

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