Why we focus on education

We believe that education is one of the best ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty. Accessing a decent education has multiple benefits, including the ability to secure a decent job and therefore an income, to have healthier children, and to hold governments to account. The benefits of educating girls are particularly striking: girls with secondary education are likely to marry 4 years later, less likely to die in childbirth, likely to have an average of 2.2 fewer children, more likely to have healthier children and more likely to send their children to school. Educated children are also more likely to invest in improving their community – and wider society – when they grow up.

The Challenge

  • For most children, a secondary school education is beyond their reach. In Kenya only 41% go to secondary school, in Lesotho this figure drops to 33%, and in Uganda only 17% do so (UNICEF);
  • Very few students get the opportunity to access higher education: in Kenya only 4% enrol in tertiary education – half of these do not graduate (UNESCO);
  • Secondary school fees/ university tuition fees are too expensive for most families. In Kenya, a year at university costs an average of £900. With GNI per capita at £764 and 67% of the population living on <$2 per day it is simply impossible for most families to pay for their children’s education beyond primary school; and
  • Without a secondary education, children are much less able to access decent jobs, hold their governments to account, bring up healthy children, choose who they marry and when, and break themselves out of the cycle of poverty.

Our response

Through our programmes, we aim to remove the barriers stopping children and young people in Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda accessing education. We do this by simply paying school or higher education fees for children and young people whose families are struggling to pay their fees, by developing school infrastructure in order to ensure the children attending our partner schools are able to learn in a suitable environment. Many of our projects, including our ‘Eat Well to Learn’ programme, through which we provide free school meals for children who would otherwise go hungry, as well as projects providing sanitary towels to girls and safe places for pupils to stay over at school, aim at preventing children from dropping out of school.

Learn more about the current status of education in each of our focus countries:








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