If you’ve ever wanted to get involved directly in supporting a child’s education and development, sponsoring a student with Pagus:Africa might be the perfect option for you. Unlike other forms of support, sponsorship allows you to build a connection directly with a specific student. Read on for all of the information you’ll need if you’d like to know how to sponsor a child in Ghana with Pagus:Africa.
If you already know that you’d like to sponsor a child with Pagus:Africa, you can start the process by making your first donation. We would love to hear from you to discuss the program and what you hope to help your sponsored child achieve, and what kind of relationship you may like to build with them. Additionally, If you have any questions about sponsorships that aren’t answered here, please feel free to reach out to our Executive Director, Ellen Berenholz.
Pagus:Africa was founded in 2005 with a mission to strengthen poor rural communities in Ghana through targeted projects in education, health, and poverty reduction. Our holistic, locally-driven approach has helped to improve the lives of more than 1,000 young people in Ghana, creating ripple effects in families and communities.
In 2014, we redefined our mission and approach. Instead of working directly with schools to support children, we decided to create our own Center for Achievement and hallmark internship program to empower youth to be change-makers in their communities. Now, we work with youth to support their academic progress through secondary school, then a select group each year is chosen to be Path to Success Student-Interns.
Our Student-Interns receive direct, one-on-one support from our Ghana-based staff to help them to prepare academically for university. In addition to their university preparation, Student-Interns design and implement meaningful community projects in one or more of our focus areas: education, community health, and leadership. After completing either one or two years in our internship program (depending on their individual needs and goals), they go on to attend university, where they receive supplemental support until graduation.
By providing academic support, community resources, and leadership training, Pagus:Africa is changing what is possible for young people in rural Ghana. Each year, hundreds of children’s lives are positively impacted by Pagus:Africa.
Why you can trust Pagus:Africa
You can trust Pagus:Africa because we have a long track record of creating meaningful, long-lasting change in Ghana. Our program has successfully implemented infrastructure projects, including building schools, libraries, and clean water sources. We’ve also designed impactful educational programs to foster creativity and critical thinking. We detail our annual achievements in our Impact Reports.
As part of our locally-driven approach, we’ve found that students require assistance navigating complex problems at home and in school. Often, children want to continue their education or attend university, but a sudden death in the family or unintended financial hardship could derail their plans for good. Our Ghanaian staff take the time to get to know each student and their individual circumstances so that we can offer support where appropriate, keep children in schools or in our programs, and help to set them up for success in university and beyond.
Pagus:Africa’s work is driven solely by a mission to help improve the lives and opportunities for youth in Ghana. Our Executive Director says it best, “If this work were easy, we wouldn’t be needed.” The challenges faced by youth in rural Ghana require creative, innovative interventions that are tailored to the needs of the community and responsive to the changing global landscape.
Why Pagus:Africa is the best program for sponsoring a child in Ghana
Pagus:Africa is the best program for sponsoring a child in Ghana because we focused on growing capacity in communities through education, leadership, and community health. Many programs sponsor students’ tuition and school fees, but without support navigating the complex challenges of life in rural Ghana, many children will never make it through secondary school.
We have years of experience supporting students through school while also addressing some of the many barriers that could jeopardize their success, such as period poverty, family conflict, or even something as simple as not having the right uniform to attend school.
Pagus:Africa is not a school. Students in our programs attend local schools, and through Pagus:Africa’s programs they receive remedial academic and social support during their gap year(s) before going on to university.
We are committed to the whole child and that means building relationships with their families and the schools they attend. Sponsoring a child is a commitment beyond sending them to school – at Pagus:Africa we shepard them through adolescence and into adulthood. In order to succeed, we focus on empowering students to make wise decisions and teach life skills that no other school or program has taught them before.
Why sponsor a child in Ghana
Ghana’s stable democracy and growing economy creates great opportunities for youth equipped with education and practical skills. Unfortunately, many young people who go through the traditional school system lack the soft and hard skills to get the best jobs. The outlook is even more bleak for rural students, who often do not have access to computers in their communities.
The children that we work with in Ghana are striving for opportunities and a chance at breaking the cycle of poverty in their communities. They’re hardworking, compassionate, and bold young people who need the additional support and guidance we provide in order to realize their potential. By sponsoring a child in Ghana, you’re providing critical academic, personal, and social support.
Why sponsoring a child helps to create lasting change
The students we work with are hungry for opportunity, but they often lack the resources and support to complete secondary school or attend university. When you sponsor a child, you’re giving the gift of education, a powerful force that raises up the entire community. The success of even one child means that an entire community of children and their families are able to imagine a better future.
At Pagus:Africa, we take this one step further. As part of our rigorous programs, our Student-Interns complete project work directly in nearby communities, offering critical services like literacy training, health education, and summer camps for at-risk youth. Student-Interns spend one or two years creating positive change in their communities while gaining the academic and social skills that set them up to excel in university.
The impact of sponsoring a child
The children who receive sponsorship from Pagus:Africa go on to complete university at an astounding rate of nearly 100%. In a country where only 22% of rural children complete secondary school and even fewer have the opportunity to enroll in university, this is a remarkable feat.
By sponsoring a child, you’re making a significant and meaningful investment in their future. A child who is able to attain a university education has a significantly higher chance of breaking out of the cycle of poverty and finding a good job. They’re also likely to be healthier, happier, and live a longer life.
Frequently Asked Questions: How does sponsoring a child work?
We find that many of our donors are interested in sponsoring a child, but they’re not entirely sure how the process works. Please start by reading through our Frequently Asked Questions, but if you have a question that isn’t covered here you’re more than welcome to reach out to us directly.
How much does it cost per month to sponsor a child?
The cost to fully sponsor a student is $150 per month. Although each student’s circumstances and needs are a little bit different, this is the average amount that a child in Ghana needs in order to be successful. You can start the sponsorship process at any time.
Are partial sponsorships available?
Partial sponsorships are a great option to support students if a full sponsorship is not an option. Partial sponsorships require a minimum monthly contribution of $50 per month/ $600 per year. You can begin the process of sponsoring a child by visiting our donations page.
If you would like to sponsor a child in partnership with another donor, please let us know! We have occasionally had students who were jointly sponsored by two or three partial donors.
Where does the money go when you sponsor a child?
When you sponsor a child with Pagus:Africa, your money goes directly to benefiting the student you have chosen to sponsor. Pagus:Africa manages the funds directly to cover school fees, school books and supplies, and transportation costs associated with attending school. Additionally, we supply technology, training, mentorship, and practical training through our Center for Achievement that gives students the extra leg up they need in order to succeed.
Our students also receive a modest weekly stipend, which they use for local transit to our Center and lunch. In our experience working in Ghana, we’ve found that modest cash stipends are critical for ensuring attendance and success in the program. Without it, students often couldn’t consistently afford their transportation costs, and they would suffer from fatigue due to inadequate nutrition during the day.
What percentage of your donation goes to the child?
100% of sponsor dollars go directly to supporting the child. At Pagus:Africa, we work hard to stretch every dollar and ensure that donations have the maximum possible impact on individual children and their communities.
How long do you sponsor a child for?
We ask that you sponsor a child for at least 3 years, or until they begin university in Ghana. We understand that can seem like a tall order; this is not a requirement, but a suggestion. Your commitment to the child and the program is most meaningful when sustained.
How do you choose a child to sponsor?
Pagus:Africa accepts students into our program based on their interests and needs. Most of those applying have participated and benefited from the outreach classes and camps we run at their schools and are well-known to us. Students may range in age from 14 to 21.
Should you, as sponsor, have a specific idea of what age or gender student you hope to support, we encourage you to discuss that with us. We will do our best to accommodate your preferences.
Once you become a sponsor, the students will send you a letter to introduce themself and write to you several times throughout the year to tell you of their progress. If you want to see school report cards, let us know so we can forward them on to you. We also do our best to send photos of the students and provide updates throughout the year. You are encouraged to reach out to us anytime you want information or have questions, and to correspond with your student if that is of interest.
Please contact our Executive Director, Ellen Berenholz, for more information
Can you send gifts to your sponsor child?
It is sometimes possible for sponsors to send gifts to the students they sponsor. Should you wish to give a gift to your child, please discuss that with us first so we can make sure the gift is appropriate. Gifts can sometimes cause more harm than good, so we take care to ensure that your gift is appropriate and that it won’t cause jealousy or other negative feelings for other students in the program.
Gifts that can be shared equally among all of our students are a better fit for our program. Gifts like digital cameras, office equipment or books would be appreciated by all of the students in our Center for Achievement. If you have any questions about a particular gift idea, please discuss it with our Executive Director, Ellen Berenholz.
Can you visit the child you are sponsoring?
We hope you will want to come to Ghana and meet your child! It can be a very rewarding experience for both the sponsor and the child, and it’s always helpful for sponsors to see the program in action and to witness the impact that their donations are having.
Trips to visit the Center for Achievement in Ghana and/or the schools your child may be attending, must be coordinated directly with our US-based Executive Director, Ellen Berenholz. Please contact her directly at Ellen@pagusafrica.org.
Visitors and volunteers are responsible for all their own expenses and encouraged to leave a contribution to support this work. We are happy to assist with every aspect of your trip planning to make the experience smooth and enjoyable.
Ghana is a country in West Africa with a population of about 32 million people. The country’s GDP per capita was $2,445 according to the World Bank, and its major exports are gold and cocoa. If you’ve eaten chocolate recently, it most likely contained Ghanaian cocoa, as Ghana is the world’s second largest producer of cocoa beans.
Although Ghana is considered to be among the least developed countries in the world, it is rated as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. It is a low-income economy; using the purchasing power parity conversion (which allows for the low price of many basic commodities in Ghana) GDP per head was US$1,900 in 1999.
Ghana has a diverse and rich culture, and you’ll hear about eighty languages being spoken around the country. Although English is the national language,
Many young people in Ghana struggle with generational poverty, lack of access to healthcare and education, and experience limited opportunities. Young people are concerned for their futures and want to ensure that they’ll be able to finish high school, attend university, and, ultimately, get jobs that allow them to make an impact on the world.
Without the help of NGOs like Pagus:Africa, children in Ghana are vulnerable to a variety of forms of exploitation, including forced labor and sexual exploitation. Among older children, many face teenage pregnancy and may be forced to drop out of school in order to help support their families.
Help a child to become change-makers in their community today by sponsoring a child with PagusAfrica
By sponsoring a child with Pagus:Africa, you are making a commitment to changing the life of a young person in need. We work throughout the year to recruit the hardest working and most driven students in rural Ghana, and then we support them through their journey all the way through university.
By taking a holistic and locally-driven approach to building sustainable change, we’ve been able to change the lives of hundreds of young people in Ghana.