Child Sponsorship Program
Educational support for dozens of children of war victims and those with disabilities. Sierra Leone, Africa
Our experience has convinced us that peace begins at the community level and that sustainable peace is only possible when peoples’ basic needs are met and they have the tangible hope for a better future that is often instilled through education and training.
In Sierra Leone, education is considered a privilege not a right and literacy hovers around 38%. Unfortunately, even basic education is something many families can’t afford in this post-conflict country – especially families where one (or more parents) was killed or disabled in the war, or where one of the children is disabled. Despite this, children yearn for the opportunity – displaying an appreciation of education rarely seen outside Africa.
The child sponsorship program was the first program The Peace Project implemented – selecting 25 children and matching them up with families in the United States and the UK. We realized quickly that our skill set and resources lent themselves better to larger programs where we could make a bigger impact. Ultimately, we didn’t expand this program, but continued with the children that were originally part of it in 2010. We have seen them grow and most are in the top 15% of their class. One participant is currently in Turkey where he is getting an advanced degree in Peace and Conflict studies, something that may not have been possible without the support of his sponsor family.
Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation.
– Nelson Mandela