What your scholarship buys — it’s so much more than you think

Sending a girl to school will change her life. And she will give you one of the biggest returns on investment you’ll ever make — for years to come.

A $17 scholarship amazingly pays a girl’s school fees for the whole year.

“I am happy and delighted when I got this scholarship which every girl wish to have this opportunity.”

— Emilia, 9th grader in Bumpeh Chiefdom

$35 pays for a scholarship AND a new school uniform for a 7th grader or 10th grader.

We asked how can we do more this year to help girls go to school — and stay in school. The answer was, “Add a school uniform.” We’re targeting 7th and 10th graders entering a new junior or senior high school with a new uniform. They cost a little more than school fees. Girls will wear the same uniform for a year or more.

$50 will send three girls to school for a whole year. Giving has never been a bigger bargain.

No, we’re not offering a 3-for-1 sale. The leone has lost 25% of its value since Ebola, and the cost of school fees has been held flat. So, our dollar buys much more than it did two years ago.

This is only the beginning of a long cycle of good a scholarship brings to a girl, her community, and her country.

A girl can stay in school and focus on her studies without fear of dropping out. A burden is taken off her family. Girls spend less time working to earn money for school, and more time studying.

“If not for your support, definitely I would have become a drop-out. My father is dead, and my mother is a gardener. She could not afford paying my fees. I can boast of going to school now because of your support.” 

— Hellen, 8th grader

Girls avoid the life-altering event of pregnancy and becoming a teenage mother.

Teen pregnancy in Sierra Leone is one of the highest in the world at 12.5 for every 100 girls age 15–19. The pregnancy rate is down drastically among Bumpeh Chiefdom girls with scholarships. Girls work harder in school in order to keep their scholarship. They know there’s competition. Girls now have bigger goals and pregnancies are reduced to only a few. Many young mothers return to school after their child is born.

Reduced teen pregnancies mean fewer girls dying while giving birth and infant mortality is lower.

Sierra Leone has had the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world. One-third of all pregnancies are among girls age 15-19. Their young bodies are not ready to carry and deliver a child, and health care is too far away from villages when emergencies arise.

Schooling eliminates illiteracy – probably the single greatest factor feeding the cycle of poverty.

Only 1 in 3 Sierra Leone girls are enrolled in secondary school. In Bumpeh Chiefdom, it’s more like 1 in 4, making this one of the poorest chiefdoms and districts in the country. We fight poverty by putting more girls in school.

Educated women greatly increase their incomes – and invest them in their children & communities.

Women increase incomes 10% for every year of schooling they receive and triple their lifetime incomes, according to the UN and World Bank.

Educated women have fewer, healthier, better educated children, breaking the cycle of poverty.

With education, women learn how to limit the number of children they have. They learn about health and hygiene to protect their children against common illnesses that claim too many under-5 kids. And with greater incomes, women make educating their children a priority.

A country’s development and economic growth shifts into higher gear when half the workforce is no longer illiterate and untrained.

“Invest in girls and you invest in the whole nation. We will fight poverty in our country by educating girls. It’s a means of development.” 

— Daniel Koroma, Bumpeh Academy Vice Principal

Educating women accelerates a trend to greater gender equality and less violence.

Education makes women more empowered and less vulnerable to bullying and harassment their illiterate peers fall prey to. It also informs women of their legal and human rights. “You can’t assert your rights if you don’t know what they are.” Educated women are eager to enter roles of leadership at the village and district level, as well as in national government.

Who knew a $17 scholarship could buy this much value?

You can open up a girl’s world. Give her a scholarship. Do more – add a school uniform.

We want to do more, too. Sherbro Foundation will match every gift. That means you’ll have double the impact.

It’s so simple. Click here: I want to send a girl to school.

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