Any child living anywhere in the world is destined for a life of poverty without an education.

Nowhere is that more true than in sub-Saharan Africa which in no way could be described as “a land of opportunity” for those who can’t read or write, add or subtract of have a general knowledge of the world.

Theirs is a life of struggle and despair with no hope for anything better in their life than to labor hard – if they are fortunate enough to find work – eat for a day, and have a place to sleep for the night.

That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for school fees and school uniforms for hundreds of children each year in several African countries.

For example, in Cameroon, our partner there Hope Services, enables deserving children whose greatest wish in the world is to go to school with funding provided by supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.

This year, Hope Services Director Esther Ndichafah expects to enable more than 200 underprivileged children including orphans and what she calls “persecuted children” to go to school, giving them their only chance for success in life.

Her mission, she says, is to give “the underprivileged the same opportunities to be educated like others” and helping transform “poor children into established self-reliant individuals” by encouraging academic excellence.

At Bread and Water for Africa® Esther’s mission is our mission. We strongly believe that education is not a key to success, it is THE key to success.

In the villages of Bangolan and Babungo in Cameroon, as well as Lolo in Chad, secondary school tuition is extremely inexpensive compared to what it costs to educate a child in the United States.

That is unless you are a poor orphan and then it may as well be $1 million.

In Kenya, Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for secondary school students living at the affiliated Lewa Children’s Home as well as sponsored children in the local community.

Stella Keino of the Lewa Children’s Home stated that by providing school fees for orphans living at Lewa and others “This benefits the Eldoret community and the country as a whole.”

Stella sees short term, medium term and long term outcomes for the students.

In the short term, children will be able to go directly to high school without any disruption to their education with funding for the school fees in place from the start of the school year to the end.

In the medium term, children will be able to attend all the years of high school without worry of how they will pay their school fees year after year.

And in the long term, the students will be able to attain a higher education than they otherwise might not have been able to “and develop themselves to be better citizens.”

In Zimbabwe, working with our partner there, Margaret Makambira, director of Shinga Development Trust, 30 primary school students and 20 secondary school students, will benefit from our school fee support program.

Margaret firmly believes, as do we, that an educated population will empower the nation, build healthy communities and lead to a long-term goal of self-sufficiency as she works to eradicate illiteracy in her community, one child at a time.

The result of our efforts – all of us, Bread and Water for Africa®, our grassroots partners working every day to better the lives of children in the communities, and you, our supporters who make it all possible – is that today hundreds of children are in school instead of the streets, and tomorrow they will have a bright future, leading the way for thousands to follow.

Every year on the fourth Thursday of November millions of Americans across the United States gather with their families and friends for a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings and giving thanks for all the blessings they have received in life.

In sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of a few Americans residing there, it will be just another day.

But despite the hardships and challenges facing citizens of countries where Bread and Water for Africa® works in partnership with grassroots organizations including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and elsewhere, there are tens of thousands who have plenty of reason to be thankful.

In 2016 alone:

  • In Cameroon, more than 250 children benefited from the completion of a school, and another 142 orphaned and destitute primary and secondary school students benefited from school fee support.
  • In Ethiopia, 86,000 citizens are thankful for the medical services they received through five hospitals and a clinic supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while another 12,400 students benefited from a shipment by Bread and Water for Africa® of 22,000 books which was distributed to 20 secondary school libraries.
  • In Kenya, 74 orphaned an abandoned children are thankful to have found a loving home at the Lewa Children’s Home, while another 400 Kenya students from nursery to grade eight benefited from an education provided to them at the KipKeino school, constructed nearly 20 years ago by Bread and Water for Africa®.
  • In Sierra Leone, more than 76,000 residents are grateful for the healthcare services received through hospitals and clinics supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, 3,000 students and local residents benefited from having access to clean, safe water by a well dug by Bread and Water for Africa® on the school grounds, and another 1,006 students are thankful for the education they received at four nurseries, four primary schools and three secondary schools.
  • In Zambia, 93 orphaned children are thankful to have a loving home which provides for all their basic needs and another 146 children living in foster care are grateful for the food support, assistance with school fees and basic health care support they receive.
  • In Zimbabwe, 207 children are thankful for an orphan feeding program supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while 35 secondary school students are grateful for the opportunity to continue their education through our school fee support program.

But the credit doesn’t belong to us – it goes to you – supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who without which none of this would be possible.

 

zimbabweCapital:
Harare 

History:
A series of Shona and later Ndebele empires dominated in the millennium prior to the onset of British colonialism, which began in the 1880s. With most other African nations independent by the mid 1960s, Ian Smith, a white Zimbabwean, unilaterally declared independence from the UK in 1965. He set up a white supremacist government that was effective in maintain economic production (mostly based on agriculture), but bore the brunt of a protracted guerrilla war and economic sanctions. 

In 1979, Smith signed a peace treaty with the main rebel movements in the United Kingdom, which allowed for a quick transition to majority rule. However, Robert Mugabe, one of the leaders of the independence movement, has been president since independence and is widely condemned for election rigging, organizing political violence, and overseeing the collapse of the economy in the last decade. The economic collapse is closely related to dispute of land ownership, with an ill-fated attempt to redistribute land away from the white owners (who constitute a very small part of the population but own almost all of the best land) resulting in the fall-off in agricultural productivity. Widespread violence surrounding the disputed 2008 presidential elections has led to a coalition government and a marginally more stable political situation. 

Climate:
Tropical 

People:
Population – 11,651,858
Median Age – 17.8 years
Population Growth Percentage – 2.954%
Life Expectancy – 47.55 years
Literacy – 90.7%
Average Number of Years of Schooling – 9 years (male and female)
Urban population – 37% 

Languages/Ethnicities/Religions:
English is the sole official language and widely spoken. Shona and Sindebele are officially recognized ethnic languages (though there are many others), and one or the other is spoken natively by the vast majority of the population (principally Shona, the language of the largest ethnic group).  

The two largest ethnicities are Shona (82%) and Ndebele (14%). There are very small white and Asian minorities. 

Mostly Christian, with much influence from traditional beliefs.   

Economy:
GDP Per Capita – Less than $100 (2009 est.)

GDP Composition by Sector:
Agriculture: 19%
Industry: 23.9%
Services: 56.9% (2009 EST.) 

Labor Force by Occupation:
Agriculture: 66%
Industry: 10%
Services: 24% 

Main Exports:
platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing 

What it is known for:
Ancient ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, wildlife 

BWA’s Focus Areas in Zimbabwe:
Orphan Care
Women’s Literacy and Empowerment Programs
Health Care
Education