International Day of Education: Be a Part of Worldwide Education
Education empowers youth to meet global challenges. Asante Africa Foundation alum, Michel, an aspiring author, reminds us that through her education from Asante Africa’s programs, she is able to write about her experiences and inspire others to seek education for themselves.
“I felt good when I joined Asante Africa because I was able to continue learning. I learned how to share the knowledge I have gained from Asante Africa.”
While attending secondary school, Michel became connected with Asante Africa Foundation. Michel was motivated by Asante Africa’s Learn-Do-Teach and Pay-It-Forward philosophies in which students are encouraged to learn and then pass on their knowledge to others to advance entire communities.
This year’s International Day of Education on January 24th reinforces why we believe in Michel and others like her through the theme, “to invest in people, prioritize education.” Asante Africa recognizes that every individual has potential, but doesn’t necessarily have opportunities for educational growth. Other worldwide agencies share this sentiment and are actively working to raise awareness by supplying aid and resources for education.
In 2015, all United Nation members adopted a plan to advance “peace and prosperity for people and the planet,” known as the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” This plan includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals addressing global issues including poverty, health, education, clean water, affordable energy, climate change, and more. This year’s International Day of Education supports the UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal: Education – To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The problems with education deepened with the Covid-19 pandemic. The UN states, “There is a crisis in foundational learning, literacy, and numeracy skills among young learners.” This crisis is especially prominent in rural East Africa where only 52 percent of adolescents in Kenya are enrolled in secondary school, 31 percent in Tanzania, and just 24 percent are enrolled in Uganda.
Unice, president of Asante Africa Kigaraale Entrepreneurs Club at Kigaraale Secondary School in Uganda, is persevering in her education and helping others to do the same. She says that through Asante Africa’s programs, impoverished students at her school are provided with hygienic kits, educational materials, digital devices, educational lessons, and scholarships for children who are unable to attend school due to their inability to pay school fees.
“With your support, our vision of a thriving school is coming to life.” – Unice
Now in its fifth year, the International Day of Education serves to remind us of the dire importance of education. National Today states, “The quality of education varies for children around the world, with millions still deprived of this basic human right.” Educational opportunities prepare both boys and girls to enter the job force with the skills they need to succeed. For East African girls, in particular, access to education helps to protect them from plural marriages and lives of poverty.
UNESCO says it well – “Education must be prioritized to accelerate progress towards all the Sustainable Development Goals against the backdrop of a global recession, growing inequalities and the climate crisis.” Education has the power to resolve gender inequalities and relieve poverty around the world, and rural, East African girls and boys are showing the world that where education is offered, education is obtained. Thanks to donations to Asante Africa’s programs, youth in East Africa are offered opportunities to attend school and thrive academically while learning job readiness and personal development skills.
In 2009, Loibon had no money for secondary school. “I slept in the classroom for 18 months without a bed, school uniform, shoes, and shamba dress. I had no one to help me pay for school and accommodation fees.” Loibon continued to apply himself to his academics and through his success, he qualified for a scholarship from Asante Africa. The support he received allowed him to continue his education and in 2018, Loibon earned his Bachelor of Science in Education with Economics and Mathematics from Mwenge Catholic University.
“The scholarship I received from Asante Africa for 9 years created a safe space for me to realize my dreams and receive quality education. Today, I work with Asante Africa as the Youth Livelihood Program and MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning) Associate in Tanzania.” – Loibon
According to UNESCO, 244 million children are out of school. Asante Africa’s educational programs aim to get children to school and keep them there. Through Asante Africa’s merit-based scholarships, low-income families receive financial aid to support their child’s education.
WRITTEN BY: Shauna White
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