Frequently Asked Questions:
1) How much is it to sponsor a girl?
It is $420 to sponsor a girl for one year of public education for most of our sponsorships. Most of our girls are enrolled in boarding school as this provides the best opportunity for education by allowing for focused time on her studies and providing 3 meals a day. Proper nutrition helps our girls to maintain focus and stay healthy.
2) What does my sponsorship pay for?
Public education in Uganda is not free. Despite the existence of some government subsidizing for education, the cost of public education is higher in rural parts of Uganda. This exacerbates the poverty cycle in the areas where people are most marginalized. Your annual $420 sponsorship covers tuition (which continues to rise every year), room and board if she is in boarding school, a school uniform, fees for exams. It also includes supplies needed for living at a boarding school such as a mattress, towels, and soap, and it covers basic school supplies such as pencils, paper and notebooks. Finally, we also will provide finances for medical assistance as needed. As a sponsor, you will receive a sponsorship welcome packet which will include a photo of the school girl you are sponsoring along with basic biographical information about her and her family of origin as well as her current guardian. Many of our girls no longer live with their family of origin. She will write you three personal letters per year updating you on her experience in school, and you will have the opportunity to write back to her via email. On occasion, you will have the opportunity to send a letter and a small gift with one of our team members who will hand carry the package with them during their trip to Uganda.
3) How much of my sponsorship dollars go directly to the girl I am sponsoring?
Taproot Charities is an entirely volunteer-run organization which ensures that 100% of your scholarship dollars go directly toward your sponsored girl’s educational needs.
4) How long will I be able to sponsor the same girl?
We ask that when you consider sponsorship, you would do your best to commit to the entire length of your girl’s secondary education. This can vary from 1-6 years based on when the Taproot Girl has entered our program and how many years of schooling she has left to complete. After secondary education, we do our best to ensure that our girls get the opportunity to attend University and/or vocational training schools. In such instances (which you will be made aware of along the way) our hope is that you will continue to financially invest in her on-going educational needs. We have had sponsors get creative in order to cover the costs on their own. Some ideas include throwing a fundraising dinner, dedicating all the proceeds from a garage sale, instead of birthday gifts, asking for donations to be given on her behalf, or asking a cooking club or bible study to help support your Taproot gal. We understand that the cost of post-secondary education can be harder for one sponsor to manage. At that point, if you are unable to pay for all the costs involved, we will pair your Taproot gal with another one or two or three sponsors. In addition to what you are able to pay for, we will be sure that we get enough sponsors to ensure she is able to complete her post-secondary educational program.
5) How do you choose which girls to sponsor?
Taproot Charities has established a local committee of dedicated Ugandans who interview the girls and their families to determine the appropriate level of commitment to the program. Since the needs far outweigh the available funds, this committee works very hard to ensure that the girls selected for Taproot sponsorships have the very highest likelihood of success among the applicants. Not only this, but they also choose girls who are the most vulnerable. These committee members also serve as mentors to these girls to ensure their ongoing educational progress and success.
6) Can I write to the girl I am sponsoring?
Yes! We strongly encourage you to communicate with your sponsored girl. We believe the personal relationship fostered between our sponsors and the school girls is one of the most valuable aspects of sponsorship. The girls feel very committed to their sponsors and often consider them members of their own family in Uganda. You can write to your girl anytime by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send small gifts which will be personally delivered upon upcoming trips to Uganda. We will notify all sponsors of pending trips so that you will have ample time to assemble a care package if you choose.
7) How do I pay for my sponsorship?
At Taproot Charities, we try to make sponsorship payment as easy as possible. You may pay on-line on an annually, quarterly or monthly basis. You may submit payment payment by writing a check and sending to Taproot Charities, P.O. Box 36 Templeton, CA 93465. Auto-withdrawal is also an option.
8) What is your mission statement?
Taproot Charities provides educational and career-building opportunities to assist and empower teenage girls in rural Africa to overcome long-term poverty.