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Providing Comprehensive Educational Support in Africa

 

Getting an education is not just a fundamental human right. It is pivotal to increasing employment and income opportunities. It is fundamental to breaking the cycle of poverty. Education is the key to unlocking the golden door of freedom for all in Africa.  It is the bedrock of social and economic development.  Education is crucial as it is an investment in human capital. This yields tremendous benefits at many levels and spheres. It benefits the individual, family community, and nation. Education is a sustainable means to alleviate poverty and bring lasting change. Consequently, to effect permanent change, any effort to bring lasting change must include education, in one way or the other.

Providing quality education to children reflects the fact that every child is entitled to fundamental human rights and should be treated with dignity. Where children lack access to education, this results in poverty, violence, abuse, exploitation, and other undesirable results. Poverty and its related challenges contribute to high dropout rates. Therefore, one of the goals of Develop Africa is to create opportunities for promising but impoverished African children and youths 

Unfortunately, gaining a proper education is challenging for impoverished or underprivileged families in Africa. The quality of education that children receive is affected to a very large degree by the supporting environment. This environment includes access to essential learning materials - books and school supplies. A supportive environment also includes consistent financial support so that kids can depend on being able to go to school, and finish their education.

 

Challenges to education

According to UNESCO of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of educational exclusion. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14. According to UIS data, almost 60% of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school. And, across the region, 9 million girls between the ages of about 6 and 11 will never go to school at all. Consequently, many children are forced to drop out of school because of financial hardships or inadequate funds. According to the United Nations, 42% of African school children will drop out before the end of primary education. These frustrated children sometimes end up in undesirable activities with their potential wasted. The rate of undereducated Africans is not only a tragedy, is a potential disaster for the future leadership of African communities. No child should be denied the right to education - not in this day and age.

Early marriage and early motherhood can put a girl's education at a full stop. Did you know that according to the United Nations Population Fund, Africa has the world's highest rates of adolescent pregnancy? UNFPA's Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin states, "Adolescent pregnancy is intertwined with issues of human rights. A pregnant girl who is pressured or forced to leave school, for example, is denied her right to education."  In many cases, pregnant girls and young mothers are unwelcome in a traditional classroom setting.

This barrier also exists in the Western World, where alternative programs help expectant and young mothers to finish their education. Through Develop Africa's training opportunities, expectant and young mothers can learn, develop skills, and get the education they need and deserve. For instance, in our computer training classes. girls can bring their babies with them, eliminating a significant portion of the barrier to their education. We help provide programs where a young mother is able, for instance, to build on her love of sewing and learn to use a sewing machine. This prepares her for a job as a seamstress or to start her own small business.

Another barrier to a girl’s education in Africa is gender norms. Not unlike in other areas of the world, traditional roles for girls are to help raise siblings, fetch supplies like clean water, and help with the cooking and cleaning. This can hinder both the primary and secondary education of girls who may be pulled out of school to assist with family duties and responsibilities, especially if the family is living in poverty.

 

 

Education is the movement from darkness to light ~ Allan Bloom

 

Why Education?

Providing quality education to children reflects the fact that every child is entitled to fundamental human rights and is to be treated with dignity. By, providing educational opportunities to children we work against the efforts to indoctrinate them into violent and destructive paths. Education is their best weapon against impoverishment, disease, early marriage, gang activities, and prostitution. When children are exposed to poverty, violence, abuse, and exploitation, those children are at risk for taking destructive life paths. Educated children stand a better chance of having opportunities for constructive and positive life paths.

Childhood education gives young people a chance to develop social awareness and is key to cross-cultural understanding. When children are taught social studies, geography, and history they have a better understanding of what life is like for other people. This understanding is the first step in conflict resolution on a continent with many nations and cultures.

 

People who pursue a quality education learn how to be healthier. Educated teenage women are less likely to marry early and become very young mothers. Educated people are less likely to fall victim to a preventable disease. Through education, young people can learn how to maintain their own health, which will, in turn, be less of a burden to their community.

Education is the momentum behind the tools adults need to be successful in life. When children engage in education they learn to analyze the information they receive daily. By learning how to critically think, these children have a better understanding of how to identify what is right and good versus what is incorrect or bad for them. Through studying and playing a child will learn logical strategies that will guide them to success. In school, a child will begin the process of building goals and learning what it takes to achieve them. Without these tools, a person can become lost in a world where those with these tools are rising into power, independence, and stability.

As the population is increasing education is growing more important because the needs of people are raising. With rising needs come rising productivity and a need for educated people to create productivity. Without an education, individuals will not be competitive in the growing marketplace and will be more likely to be passed up for opportunities.

Education is important because it is the glue that holds our society together. It is the step-up necessary to see above what is around you. Education provides guidance towards success as well as weapons against poverty. Education empowers women are able to break from oppressive gender roles and contribute more significantly to society. Education can mean the difference between a healthy long life or an unfortunately short one.

 

 

African Child Scholarships

Scholarships or sponsorships make it possible for bright young minds to stay in school. The funds help cover tuition, books, school supplies, uniforms, and other school-related costs.  By providing a scholarship to an African student, we offer a promise to the student that what they do in school has meaning, and they will have the reinforcement they need. Scholarships allow for future educational planning, and continuous support. When a student receives a scholarship to attend school, s/he is less likely to drop out of school. When a student is offered consistent support, s/he has the confidence to thrive intellectually.

Develop Africa’s scholarship efforts contributes to the achievement of the UN Millennium goal - to ensure that children will complete primary schooling. It is an effective long-term investment to eradicating poverty.

 

Taking Comprehensive Action

Globally, the quality of education that children receive is affected to a very large degree by the supporting environment. Unfortunately, gaining a proper education is challenging for impoverished or underprivileged families in Africa. In many areas, specific training opportunities are limited or non-existent. Even in large cities, access to computer training is often out of reach for the average family. 

A key educational metric in every society is the school dropout rate. Our approach targets the root causes of school dropout - to help kids stay in and finish their education.

Based on our research, observations, and user surveys, below are the principal areas that we are strategically and enthusiastically targeting/involved in: 

  • Access to essential learning materials - books, school supplies, and teaching supplies.

  • Scholarships - to cover costs of school uniforms, shoes, and other school-related expenses. 

  • Solar lights - help kids safely study at night. 

  • Adolescent Sexual Health Education, teenage pregnancy prevention, and encouraging families to keep their girls in school (delay marriage).

  • Providing supplemental education in areas that are in high demand - such as computer training.

  • Leadership Training: This helps ensure that children and youths grow up to be model citizens. This helps instill a sense of purpose and develops forward-thinking leaders. The training helps prepare citizens who are patriotic, knowledgeable about the importance of making quality decisions, and passionate about leading their families, communities, and nations

  • Mentoring support helps encourage kids to stay in school and succeed. This includes after-school educational coaching programs where students who are weak can receive the additional support that they need. 

 

Poverty erodes much. It stops people from being able to build decent values of hard work, perseverance, and honesty into their communities. Poverty is not just the absence of material wealth. One thing is clear to me it's always about lack....a deficit!
Nyamacoro Sarata Silla

As you can see from the above, our targeted approach is comprehensive. We have found out from experience that focusing on only one area (and ignoring other pertinent and important areas) is not holistic development. This approach identifies the root cause of issues that affect the education of children. We then proactively address them.

 

 

Looking down the road / Long-term impact of investing in education 

Our activities are effective long-term investments that will help provide quality educational opportunities for bright young minds and young adults. This enables them to rise above poverty and become better decision makers.

By providing these educational opportunities we decrease the number of potential young people falling through the cracks of the system. They will be less likely to walk through destructive paths that harm communities and perpetuate poverty.

The principal economic advantage of investing in education is that it produces people who are capable of making a greater contribution to the national economy. These future leaders' incremental earnings represent the added social output generated by investment in their education.

 

You can help - invest in education

Your donations matter to young eager scholars and their communities. You can make a world of difference.

One way you can help is by sponsoring a child’s education through monthly giving. You can be the person who opens the door to education for a deserving student in need.

Another way is by donating to help cover the cost of shipping the books and school supplies. Every week we receive several boxes of supplies and we need help on an on-going basis with covering the shipping costs.  A single drum costs over $200 to ship to Africa. Every dollar donated gets us one step closer to getting these supplies into children's hands.
  

Make a donation today and help boost education in Africa!


 

Quality Education - 4th Sustainable Development Goal

The 4th sustainable development goal is quality education because it is the foundation for improving people’s lives and sustainable development. Develop Africa believes that education is the key to unlocking the golden door of freedom for all in Africa. Education is the glue that holds our society together. It is the step-up necessary to see above what is around you. Education provides guidance towards success as well as weapons against poverty. Education empowers women are able to break from oppressive gender roles and contribute more significantly to society. Education can mean the difference between a healthy long life or an unfortunately short one.

“767 million people live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day and More than half of children that have not enrolled in school live in sub-Saharan Africa”-https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/education/

Since 2006, Develop Africa has worked to help change those statistics for children in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cameroon.  One of the ways that Develop Africa aids in quality education is through book and school supply donations.  Develop Africa has distributed school supplies to tens of thousands of children. This includes pencils, paper, solar lights, and solar radios, books, crayons, notebooks.  

Another way Develop Africa helps children receive a quality education is through scholarships/school tuition fees paid for hundreds of students through generous child sponsors and donors. Thomascia has been able to attend school for the past eight years and she graduated high school this year thanks to the scholarship program through Develop Africa.   

Develop Africa also provides computer training to children and young adults to help bridge the digital divide and give these students the skills necessary to be successful in the future. More than 100 students have completed their basic computer training in the Creating Pathways Center, which was opened for young single mothers or pregnant who were unable to return to school because of their pregnancy.  Develop Africa also works with multiple schools, including the all-girl FAWE school to provide ongoing computer training for children and young adults.

Develop Africa is working toward reaching the SDG goals by 2030- “By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular, the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology, and financial services, including microfinance”- https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/education/

We are working on opening doors to equal educational opportunities for children who live in poverty and also to give girls an equal opportunity at getting an education. We are also working to provide vocational training, computer training, and microfinance loans specifically to young women.  Our goal is to provide children with a full education, vocational opportunities and aid in starting or growing businesses. Our goal is to provide effective long-term investment that will help provide quality educational opportunities for more youths and young adults so that they can rise above poverty and become better decision-makers. The principal economic advantage of this education project is that it will produce people who are capable of making a greater contribution to the national economy. These future leaders' incremental earnings represent the added social output generated by investment in their education.  Read more about SDGs

 

 

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Recent News - How We are Making a Difference

 

October 6

Twenty-Nine Students in Bo are Ready for School!

Thanks to your ongoing support of future leaders’ education, 29 students in Bo, Sierra Leone received financial support to pay for their school fees and school supplies for the 2021-2022 school year.   The students receiving school support ranged

 

September 22

Twenty-One New Computers for Computer Training

On August 30th the Develop Africa Sierra Leone Computer Lab received twenty-one new computers for the lab.  Twenty computers are for the students and one of the new computers is for the teacher.  This would not have been possible without generous

 

September 17

86 Students in Freetown are Ready for School

Students in Freetown are looking forward to starting school this year because you helped cover their school fees making school possible for 86 students.

 

September 10

New Computer Hardware Networking Course at DASL

Computer networking and hardware courses are becoming increasingly popular in universities, polytechnical institutions, postsecondary colleges, and private training institutions worldwide because of the high demand for people with computer network

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