Sponsorship Graduate Stories
Without sponsorship, Tamilika wouldn’t have the chance to realize her dream of graduating college and becoming a teacher.
Tamilika wants to do something no one in her family has done before - earn a college degree.
In a place where girls are often forced into marriage at an early age and deprived of an education, 21-year-old Tamilika from Nepal is forging her own path to success. Through sponsorship, Tamilika learned how empowering an education can be and was able to stay in school to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Now, Tamilika teaches in the same school she once attended and is on her way to earning a college degree.
Tamilika is proud to be a role model for her students, showing them first-hand how a sponsored child can succeed. She credits the letters she received from her sponsor for instilling faith in her abilities to thrive in school and inspiring her to learn English so she could write back. “I was 12 years old when I began participating in sponsorship programs,” Tamilika says. “Without sponsorship, I wouldn’t have the confidence today to stand at the front of the classroom and teach.”
Maybe once she graduates, Tamilika will show her students her college diploma and inspire them to reach for their dreams too!
“The most important thing I learned as a sponsored child was that all children have the right to go to school so they can become whatever they want in life,” says Shivdas.
Like many young boys in his village in Nepal, Shivdas didn’t like attending school. Instead, he spent his days grazing cattle to help support his family. But when he was 10 years old, Save the Children’s campaign to bring out-of-school children back into the classroom changed his life.
Upon his return to school, Shivdas was surprised to find the dilapidated concrete block had been transformed. Thanks to gifts from sponsors, there were not only new learning supplies and play materials but functioning toilets and handwashing stations as well.
Shivdas continued his education and when he joined the sponsored Empowered Teens program at his school, it motivated him to change his life for the better and advocate for changes in his community. As a student program leader, he campaigned for all school-age children to have access to school and spoke up against existing child marriage customs in his village.
Today, as the first member of his family to complete high school, Shivdas works as an advisor for the Empowered Teens program. He’s grateful for the leadership skills he gained as a sponsored child and even more grateful for the second chance he received to pursue his education. “My elder brother left school after grade 9 and I would have done the same if it were not for Save the Children,” Shivdas says. “Now my father plans to make sure my younger brother and both my sisters complete their education.”
Together with sponsors like you, we’re empowering girls in Haiti to prevent early pregnancy and continue their education.
18-year-old Julienne has a few more years of schooling ahead of her before she earns her nursing degree, but she knows she’s on the right track to fulfill her dream. Having been sponsored as a child, Julienne also knows first-hand about the life-changing difference sponsorship makes for kids in need.
Her sponsorship story started in 2005 when she began participating in student clubs and summer camps at her school. After receiving training on hygiene, nutrition and reproductive health, she volunteered as a peer educator in high school so she could share important information with her peers. Julienne says she’s seen the impact of early pregnancy in her extended family and she remembers how many girls were forced to drop out of school before Save the Children introduced sponsorship in Dessalines.
“Sponsorship has helped me find the right path to achieve my life goals,” says Julienne. “It also inspired me to make a difference by giving young people knowledge about their changing bodies so they can make healthy choices and follow their dreams.”
Sonu and her brother Ganesh are role models for change in their community. They’re now sharing household chores so Sonu can devote more time to her schoolwork.
Sonu’s society is changing. In the small Nepali village where she lives, it’s long been customary for girls to attend school only until 7th grade. This allows them to learn only enough to find a husband. In Sonu’s community, parents are afraid that if girls become educated, they won’t be obedient or want to get married.
Sonu is in 11th grade and hopes to be allowed to complete her final year of secondary school and then continue her education. “I’d like to become a social worker,” she says. She’s taking the first steps toward that dream as a facilitator in the Choices, Voices and Promises program at her school.
Choices, Voices and Promises works to debunk local gender norms and encourages dialogue within families and communities. Although her parents were hesitant at first, they agreed to participate with Sonu and watched videos of parents helping daughters with chores so they could have more time to study.
Sonu has already seen the difference. The fact that her 19-year-old brother now helps with the laundry and dishwashing proves that the younger generation is getting the message and leading the way for change.
“I can’t imagine my life without Save the Children. It engraved a long and lasting change in me,” says Mark Anthony.
In the small Philippine village where Mark Anthony grew up, he shared the outlook of most kids he knew - his future was limited. His circumstances at home only made things tougher. His father died when he was 8 years old and he was the fourth of seven children being raised by a single, overwhelmed mom.
Then he began participating in the newly introduced sponsorship programs in his community and his life changed. “I was 11 years old and this was the first time I was part of something. It was extraordinary,” he remembers. “After attending Save the Children activities, my perspective widened and my sense of responsibility developed.”
As a young adult, he became a sponsored peer facilitator at his school in order to help other students, especially those who felt trapped by poverty. “I always wanted to uplift my family from poverty. Sponsorship put me on the right path and gave me a positive life view.”
Now at 29, Mark Anthony is a Deck Officer for an international cargo company and has been able to support himself while traveling the world. He’s living proof that, through sponsorship, we can break the cycle of poverty and make the future brighter for children.
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