The fall session in schools has just started and most of us are probably wistfully looking back on summer as some kind of recent, warm, dream that slipped away far too quickly. Around the world students, parents, and teachers alike are gearing up for a new school year which will begin (if it hasn’t already) in a few days.
We’d like you to think back (for some of you, way back) to your first day of school. We’ll set the scene: The pencils are all sharpened to a fine point. The folders, notebooks, and backpacks are all in pristine condition, and you’re wearing a brand new, albeit perhaps uncomfortable, outfit. Were you nervous? Excited? Were you counting down the days to next summer? For many of us, school was something we always knew would be there, even after a summer away. School was as dependable and familiar as the favorite pair of shoes we picked out just for the occasion. But for many other children around the world, this is not the case.
At Asante Africa, the students in our programs in Kenya and Tanzania are going back-to-school as well, although the experience is made that much more meaningful because of the struggles they have had to overcome to continue their education. Many of our students come to us with little or no family for support. They are held back by the poverty and limitations of their villages. In the cases of young women, many are also taken out of school at a young age to be married and are not able to continue their education or accomplish their dreams. When we look at the figures surrounding childhood education globally, they are simply daunting: As many as 121 million children and adolescents globally do not attend school at all. Of these, 73 million (59%) out-of-school children of primary and lower-secondary school age live in developing countries. And finally, more than 4 out of 10 out-of-school children of primary school age will likely never enter a classroom.
Our focus is not only to get the students to school but also to create an environment that allows them to go Back to School. Regular mentoring from peers and other students in Asante Africa’s scholarship programs, helps these kids ‘keep the faith’ and move forward.
Our students excited to go back to school
‘The Government Officials (MoEVT-TZ) and Corporate Partners (P&G), recognize our model of TRULY engaging educational stakeholders and community members. This means that the parents’ voices are essential, the school principal’s voice is critical, and the community makes the decisions, while we at Asante Africa Foundation facilitate the process and create a transparent process for all.’
– Erna Grasz.
In Kenya, our students have an 83% pass rate from primary to high school, while the national average is only 56%. 100% of our scholars have successfully graduated high school, and 30% score high enough for full university scholarship, while the national average is only 5%. In Tanzania, we have a 100% pass rate from primary to secondary (66% are girls), and 91% of our students graduated from high school.
With numbers like these, we know our programs are working. We have and will continue to focus on creating and sustaining an environment which keeps children coming back to school each year.
To learn more about our scholarships program and how you can contribute to our continuing efforts in bringing our students back to school, click here. Its less than $3 a day!