Two years ago, Joe Simfukwe enrolled in Grade 8 at Chikankata Secondary School in Zambia. His family was able to pay his school fees for the first year, but when their financial situation changed, he was forced to drop out. With the help of The Salvation Army’s Brighter Futures children’s sponsorship program, Joe was able to return to school. Despite missing a term before the national government exams, Joe received the highest mark in his class.

The Brighter Futures program is a community-based approach to children’s sponsorship, providing food, clothing, shelter, health care, education and vocational training for vulnerable children in 27 countries. Projects vary according to local needs—they may include children’s homes; funding for school fees and supplies, such as uniforms, textbooks and lab equipment; or programs for at-risk youth.

The program also helps ministry units develop their resources to become self-sustaining. Some projects have started kitchen gardens to improve nutrition and save money in their food budget. Others do sewing or basket weaving or sell baked goods. One asked for help to buy a refrigerator so they could sell cold drinks after the Sunday meeting—the profits go toward maintaining their aquaponics system, which provides fish and vegetables. Still others raise chickens and goats.

Brighter Futures helps thousands of children fulfil their potential each year. You don’t need to belong to The Salvation Army to help—anyone can donate. For information, visit or call 416-422-6224.

Major Donna Barthau is the sponsorship co-ordinator in the world missions department.

Fast Facts About the Brighter Futures Children’s Sponsorship Program

Primary schools                               23
Secondary schools                          6
After-school programs                     6
Schools for children with disabilities  8
Children’s homes                           18
Community projects                        8

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