St George's (Ethiopia) Sponsorship FAQ

In 2021, Mwembe partnered with Northwood African Education Foundation (NAEF) to keep 20 disadvantaged Ethiopian students in school at St George’s School. 

Who are NAEF and St George’s School?

NAEF is a registered UK charity who have built and run St. George’s School in Gondar, Northern Ethiopia. St. George’s provides an education, healthcare and two meals a day to 450 of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world.

Where did NAEF begin?

Established in 2011 by parents, children and staff of Northwood Schools, a group of independent schools in Southwest London, NAEF’s aim was to build and run a school for orphans and the most vulnerable in Gondar. Named after St. George, the Patron of both England and Ethiopia, St. George’s school opened its doors in 2014.

How many children attend St. George’s School?

Approximately 450 children from kindergarten (age 5) to year 8 (age 14).

How are the children chosen to attend St. George’s School?

Children are selected to attend St. George’s School by the Kebele (the local government). The following conditions are considered for selection:

  • Level of poverty (i.e., living on less than $1 a day)

  • A child is an orphan

  • A child is dependent on another family or member of the community for their care, shelter and upkeep

  • Single parent family

  • A child that is deemed to be very vulnerable

How can I support St George’s School?

Through fundraising, donating or becoming a sponsor with Membe. You can also help us spread the word by talking to your friends or hosting a casual dinner/drinks evening where one of our volunteers can come and talk about the great work St George’s does. 

Can I make a donation?

Absolutely. Mwembe keep our overheads to a minimum (usually only bank fees, registration fees and website costs) and we aim to pass 98% of your donations to our charity partners. Please help us cover our overheads by making a general donation.

How do I sponsor a child? 

Visit http://www.mwembe.org.au/ and click on the “become a sponsor” button to pay using your credit card. If you’d prefer to pay via bank transfer, please email sponsorship@mwembe.org.au 

How is the sponsorship money spent?

98% of your sponsorship goes to educating and supporting your sponsored child. Your sponsorship also provides your child with two meals a day, this can be life changing to pupils who often are not provided enough food at home.

What percentage of my sponsorship is spent on admin?

Mwembe take a 2% admin fee to cover our charity registration fees, website and other overhead costs. A small credit card fee may also be taken by Stripe if pay by credit card. 

How does Mwembe keep overheads so low?

Mwembe is run by a dedicated team of volunteers which means we are able to keep admin and overhead costs to a minimum. If you’d like to contribute to covering our overheads you can do so on our website. If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer, please reach out to us at hello@mwembe.or.au.  

What sponsorship options are there?

You can opt to fully sponsor a student at a cost of $780/year or $15/week. If you can’t afford a full sponsorship, half sponsorships are also available. 

Can I sponsor a child for someone else?

Yes, absolutely. If you wish for someone else to receive the details of the sponsored child, for example as a gift, simply write these details in the 'Additional comments' section when completing your sponsorship payment. You will need to include the name, email and phone number of the person who correspondence is to be sent to.

What percentage of my sponsorship is spent on admin?

Mwembe take a 2% admin fee to cover our charity registration fees, website and other overhead costs. A small credit card fee may also be taken by Stripe if pay by credit card. 

What do I receive when I sponsor a child?

As a sponsor you will receive:

  • Initial picture profile of your child and welcome letter

  • Annual Christmas card from your sponsored child

  • Regular newsletters and updates from St. George’s School (only if you tick the box authorizing us to add you to our newsletter when you sign up to sponsor) 

  • End of term report for your sponsored child

  • Invites to all Mwembe events

What do I do if I need to cancel my sponsorship?

To cancel your membership email sponsorship@mwembe.org.au

How long am I expected to sponsor for?

We ask that you commit to sponsoring for at least 3 years, however, in an ideal world, we’d love for you to commit to sponsoring your student all the way through school. 

 

We understand that circumstances change though and if a child’s sponsorship is discontinued, we do our best to find a replacement sponsor for the child to ensure their education continues.

Can I sponsor more than one child?

There is no limit to the number of children you can sponsor.

Can I communicate with my sponsored child?

Our students love receiving letters, emails or videos from their sponsors. The best way to send your correspondence is by scanning a picture of your letter/card or sending a link to the video you shot, etc. and emailing it to sponsorship@mwembe.org.au. We’ll make sure your student gets your correspondence and we’ll also send you their reply.

 

If you’d prefer to send a physical letter/card, one of our volunteers or supporters will take it with them next time we visit (note that this may take a while, particularly during the COVID pandemic). Snail mail is very unreliable in Ethiopia and not a good option.