According to Unicef, key among the barriers to education in poor and resource strained households include direct costs (fees, clothing, books), poor quality environments (overcrowding, poor sanitation), poor quality processes (poor school management) and poor health and nutrition. Habitat for Humanity notes that education poverty remains a concern in such settings, yet opportunities still exist for greater impact. With children, especially from public schools, recovering from 9 months of lost learning due to COVID-19, more concerted global and local action is required to ensure that children from among the poorest of the poorest backgrounds access continuity to their learning.
Poverty is usually packaged with reduced access to opportunities, and this is truer for children from such backgrounds who are hoping to transition to form one in August 2021. With family incomes crunched by the pandemic and coupled by the increased school fees, it is estimated that a big number of children from poor families will not manage to transition to high school.
Unireproc CBO is rolling out a project to support at least 15 learners from such backgrounds in the slum areas of Kayole, Nairobi, to ensure that they are provided with necessities and fee support for joining high school. The CBO is working with the local administration, child welfare officers and the former primary schools to ensure that the brightest but neediest receive support from the project.
The CBO is currently running a fundraising drive to raise at least 300,000/- to meet the need. The type and proportion of support provided will depend on the requirements of respective schools, the need gap of the family and the resources raised. The main goal is to ensure that the learners join high school as the CBO continues fundraising to keep them in school.
As the program grows, the CBO shall link donors who prefer to track the progress of particular learners or who would like to provide additional support to lift the family from poverty.
Other activities to address the inherent issues shall include:
- Sensitization activities on prevention of child labor that interferes with learning
- Facilitation and support for application processes for TVET and other post-secondary learning opportunities
- Holiday learner engagement and life-skills training activities
- Extra-curricular development activities for learners