07/14/2011 03:45 pm ET | Updated Sep 13, 2011

Smarter Girls Make for Smarter Futures

It doesn't take long to see that there are few better ways to change the course of the world than to get girls into school and to keep them there. Furthermore, the United Nations has consistently advocated that educating girls has a larger impact on the world than any other initiative. If girls do not have the opportunity to attend school, we cannot make lasting progress in the fight to eliminate global poverty.

The Nike Foundation and The Girl Effect's The Clock is Ticking campaign is based on this truth and for the past few years has been reaching out to the world through their beautiful and inspiring animated video. This one is my favorite because the message is clear and honest -- to the point. One day I hope Just Like My Child can work with The Girl Effect and promote the Girl Power Project together.

One of the projects the Just Like My Child Foundation has undertaken is to implement a sponsorship program we call the Mandela Project -- the focus is to create leaders who can in turn move their country forward. It costs less than $1700 a year to send a child to one of the best boarding schools in Uganda. This includes tuition, room and board, and uniforms, health care for the child and the family, vitamin supplementation, transportation to and from school, canteen money, and incidental expenses.

According to Sister Ernestine Akulu, founder of the Bishop Asili Hospital in rural Uganda, sending our first student, Nyangoma Rachel to school will most likely save her life. Many students in this village who are not in school will become sexually active as early as 12 years old. With over 30% of the adult population testing positive for HIV, this is certainly a life-threatening behavior.

2011-07-13-SisterErnestine.jpeg Photo by Vivian Glyck

Since Nyangoma Rachel received her sponsorship, the Just Like My Child Foundation has focused on building schools rather than sending individual children to select schools making it possible for hundreds of children (boys and girls) to attend school. Previously, it would have been nearly impossible for these children to go to a safe school. We are focused on building safe schools, educational facilities, empowerment workshops, and trainings to reach more Ugandans. The tremendous efforts have been paying off and now we have so many Nyangoma Rachel's we almost cannot keep count.

It takes so little to help these children achieve their dream and with your help we can help many more children make their dream a reality. It doesn't take much; click here to see the different ways you can contribute.