The right to education is one of the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and an important tool in the fight against poverty. Victoria Sports Association (VSA) desires to see an end to the poverty cycle in Kenya. We feel the best way to make this dream a reality is to invest in the education of the next generation. We have started with “small” steps with some children from the communities of Deep Sea Slum (Nairobi) and in Nyanza.
Every child deserves an education, but if families live on one or two dollars a day, school is an impossible luxury. Most teenagers in the slums are unable to continue past 8th grade, at which point tuition fees drastically rise, therefore dropping out before reaching high school. Students, often female, that cannot afford fees are forced to leave school and work, or in some cases marry at a young age. These children have no chance at securing a job and the cycle of poverty continues on to another generation.
Our Scholarship Program ensures that a family’s material situation does not limit a child’s right to education, a safe school environment and a future career. Our hope is to find sponsors for each of our scholarship students. However, we do not ask for purely a financial investment, instead we want sponsors to partner with our project and build lasting relationships with our students.
In fact, the Scholarship Program fully invests in student development, providing counseling, tutoring, career panels, study skills and community service. None of the scholarships are full awards. Families share responsibility for fees as a demonstrated commitment to students’ academic success.
Since 2009, the Scholarship Program has awarded 160 scholarships to primary, secondary and post-secondary students from Deep Sea Slum.
The project will provide one year of scholarship support for 23 children (5 girls, 18 boys) from Deepsea slum to attend secondary school. Scholarships will cover school fees and supplies. In a country where only half of school-age children are enrolled in secondary school – and rates are even lower in Deepsea where the population lives on less than $2 per day and few secondary schools exist in the community – this support will give children an opportunity to achieve a unique goal.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Unable to afford school fees and scholastic materials, many youth in Kenya are forced to drop out before they enroll in or complete secondary school. These children are forced to work, care for younger siblings and sick relatives in the home, and, for girls, even marry and bear children at an early age. Without education, they are less able to pull themselves out of poverty, to stay healthy, to provide care to their families in the future, and to be productive members of the national economy.
How will this project solve this problem?
The project will provide 23 children with funding to cover school fees and other school costs (for example textbooks, uniforms, and in some cases, boarding fees), for the school year. These children have been selected from the Victoria Sports Association based on need. In addition to financial support, students’ performance is monitored by VSA and invited to participate in tutoring and other activities during school breaks.
Potential Long Term Impact
While education is one of the most powerful tools for reducing poverty and inequality, secondary education is out of reach for so many children in Deepsea. Scholarships will help children pursue life goals. For girls in particular, an extra year of education results in 20% more in earnings as an adult. Girls with secondary education are 6 times less likely to be married as children and an educated mother is more than twice as likely to send her children to school.
SANITARY TOWELS FOR KENYAN GIRLS TO STAY IN SCHOOL
Healthy educated girls realize their dreams. Make it happen. Let’s keep Kenyan girls in school by providing them with sanitary towels.
850,000 Kenyan girls miss 3-5 days of school per month due to lack of sanitary towels. This deliberate absenteeism is mainly a result of lack of financial resources to afford the cost of conventional sanitary towels available in the market.
Most of these girls as well as women are forced to use unhygienic clothing materials to keep dry during their menses, a situation that on many occasions causes embarrassment, as the materials are leaky. To avoid such situations, girls avoid school while women curtail certain social engagements.
The lack of affordable sanitary pads in the market is among the key contributors to the high school dropout rate among girls in Kenya. Eventually, these girls are condemned to a vicious poverty circle.
Studies show that providing sanitary towels for girls:
1. Reduces absenteeism by 75%, from 4.9 days to only 1.2 days per month;
2. Enables girls to stay in the classroom and learn enough to advance to the next grade level;
3. Prevents girls from controlling menstruation through risky, unhygienic methods.
With your help, Victoria Sports Association seeks to change this by providing 320 girls in 4 schools in Kileleshwas primary School, Highridge Primary School and North Highridge Primary school in Nairobi and Onding Primary School in Siaya Kenya with sanitary towels for a whole year.
What We Need & What You Get
For this project to succeed we need USD ($) 8,000.
$5,000 will be used to purchase 250 cartons of sanitary towels with 24 packets with 8 pieces of high quality sanitary towels.
$800 Monitoring and Evaluation
$800 Project Administration (communication costs, stationery and cartridges)
$1,400 Project staff facilitation and allowances
If we don’t reach our target and we get around $ 6,000 we will still use the $5,000 for sanitary towels and look for in kind donations for some administrative requirements and volunteers for monitoring and evaluation.
SPORTS & EDUCATION CENTER
Read about our project in our blog post: VSA Sports and Education Centre project