Build Africa is a nonprofit organization that believes “in the power of education to help end poverty. [We] work to give children the education they need and fight the inequalities that stand in their way.” The organization believes that all children have the right to an education for a prosperous and happy life. Education ends poverty by building opportunities and growth, and Build Africa provides the schools and the resources necessary for education to become a top priority.
Build Africa currently works in Kenya and Uganda. Some of its accomplishments include:
- Helping vulnerable girls gain access to a better education in 72 schools.
- Improving 65 schools in Uganda in early learning for young children.
- Giving 4,000 parents access to vital basic financial services.
- Establishing 11 farmers’ networks throughout Kenya.
On the grassroots level of Build Africa, the ultimate goal is to have “every child learning.” Learning the skills they need in order to thrive, such as basic reading and writing, can oftentimes be difficult for children, particularly if that child faces challenges such as working to improve household income, long distances that could potentially be dangerous, or just being a girl. With Build Africa, locals are trained to be staff members to work personally with the children in the schools, meaning they can adjust perspectives and truly get to know the child they are helping. Lesson plans can range from math and reading to basic financial skills and growing sustainable crops.
Applying real-life scenarios in classrooms allows for the students to connect and relate school with their own lives. In other words, they are actually retaining and repeating what they have done in school in their everyday lives. Emphasizing life skills like cooking and doing taxes, rather than making children memorize ordinary academic standards, better prepares these children for the real world.
Build Africa strives to “improve access to education for children and improve the quality of education received.” Quality education on basic life skills leads to independence and more opportunities. One of Build Africa’s most recent projects is called the Parallel Learning Project, a literacy program for young mothers in Western Uganda, where there is a very low female literacy rate. According to the Director-General of UNESCO, if a mother is able to read, her child is twice as likely to survive beyond five years of age.
The outcomes the organization hopes to achieve are:
- Communities actively supporting young mothers
- A safe area where young mothers have access to healthcare services and trainings
- Young women learning to read and write as they learn childcare techniques.
Build Africa is creating change within communities by simply providing education. Whether it be in a school or in a daycare center, knowledge is knowledge, and its long-term effects are nothing but positive.
– Irimar Waters