Q. Why is my 18-year-old sponsored friend in fifth grade?
A. Education in other countries is very different from education in the United States.
Many countries may have public school at no cost, but the school supplies, uniform and books can sometimes equal a family’s entire monthly income.
Sometimes, difficult choices must be made: food for the family or a school uniform.
The Hope for a Family sponsorship program helps families in these predicaments.
Your monthly contribution helps your sponsored friend prepare for school, which may include purchasing a uniform or supplies. Once a child is accepted into the CFCA program, they can receive benefits and begin their education.
First-time students must start at the beginning, regardless of their age, which is why some older children are placed in elementary courses.
Another common reason may be that your sponsored friend had to repeat a grade or skip school at times to help the family put food on the table.
Many projects offer benefits such as tutoring programs for students who get behind in school or economic development programs for parents so they don’t have to pull their children out of school.
One thing these older children need more than anything is encouragement. It can be quite daunting to start school so far behind your peers.
If this is the case with your sponsored friend, you can send letters to show her or him your support. (Try sending an eLetter on our website.)
You’d be surprised to know just how much your words mean to your sponsored friend.
(Read about 16-year-old Gladness in Tanzania who used sponsorship benefits to purchase a new school uniform.)
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.