When children who live in poor countries think about being educated there are many hurdles they face first before stepping foot in the classroom from the sheer proximity to a school to school fees to the cost of a uniform. It adds up quickly and means that many children remain uneducated in developing countries because of their family’s lack of financial resources. Everyone has a basic right to education, but that basic right oftentimes goes unfulfilled. There is no doubt about it: education transforms lives. This is true around the world, but in countries where the only means of rising out of poverty is through education the stakes are particularly high.
The Education for All global initiative that was first created in 1990 says that every child has a right to free primary school. There has been progress over the past decade. In sub-Saharan African children in school rose from 59 percent to 77 percent, but there are still millions more children who are not enrolled in school at all despite increased global enrollment. For example, Nigeria has the worst percentage of children who are not in school. According to UNESCO that number has risen from 7.4 million Nigerian children that are not in school to 10. 5 million since 1999.
Opportunity International, an organization that provides microfinance loans to help people rise out of poverty in developing nations, has recognized that there is a fundamental problem with access to education for children in sub-Saharan Africa where parents typically have to pay 30% of their children’s school fees. Their program, Invest in One Child, asks donors to help send a child to school for less than $1 a day. Working in Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, and Rwanda, Opportunity International provides access to loans for parents who desperately need money to pay for their children’s school fees. An individual family can borrow up to $240 per child per year.
Through Invest in One Child you can invest in one child going to school for one year. Here’s how the donation flow works:
To learn more and to invest in a child’s education in sub-Saharan Africa visit opportunity.org/give/project/child.
Photos courtesy of Opportunity International