At Bread and Water for Africa® we believe that education is THE KEY out of a life of dire poverty for millions of children throughout sub-Saharan African, especially for orphaned, abandoned and destitute children and youth whose fondest wish is to be able to attend school.
But sadly, for far too many it remains just that – a wish, a hope, a dream – that will never become their reality as they waste their lives away struggling day to day at menial, manual labor earning just enough to feed themselves for that day.
That’s why at Bread and Water for Africa®, and thanks to our generous supporters, we enable thousands to attend school, from the youngest nursery and primary school students to graduating secondary school scholars and for a few especially talented and dedicated young adults, even post-secondary college.
That is the number of children and youth in Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – who in the past three years alone – have benefited from our education support program in one way or another.
Some benefit directly by having the school fees paid, mandatory uniforms purchased and school supplies provided; others benefit from classroom and other school building expansions enabling more to attend; or through our support of teachers’ salaries which encourages and rewards the best and brightest to remain as educators; and the tens of thousands of students at all grade levels benefit every day from the nearly 90,000 text and reference books we’ve shipped to Ethiopia and Uganda.
What is a relatively small investment on our part, such as $200 to pay for a child’s education for an entire year, pays off in big dividends and transforms lives.
Such is the case of an orphaned secondary student in Zimbabwe named Lorcadia who describes the supporters of the Bread and Water for Africa® education program her “guardian angels” and expressing her sincere gratitude “in appreciation of the good work that you are doing in my life.
“I have been suffering a lot in the past years when both my parents died,” she told us. “I was staying with my grandparents and they could not afford to send me to school or provide me with a school uniform and stationery.
“I want to express my gratitude to you – because of you I am now going to school every day and my school performance is improving in that regard.
“It is really a wonderful thing that you are doing, because of what you are doing I am now able to have a second chance in life.”
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, puts the dire state of education in sub-Saharan Africa this way:
“Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14.
“According to UIS data, almost 60 percent of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school.
“Without urgent action, the situation will likely get worse as the region faces a rising demand for education due to a still-growing school-age population.”
And at Bread and Water for Africa®, thanks again to our supporters, we are helping address the issue of “education exclusion,” not just one student at a time, but thousands year after year.