Asante Africa, Street Child and Literacy for Life are three groups working to improve education in Africa by expanding primary access to strong educational programming in African countries. Developments in this field are vital for global growth in the future.
The Importance of Learning
Quality education remains an important factor for economic growth in countries that exist in states of poverty. If younger generations are able to learn key skills in their youth, they will be able to contribute positively to job development, employment and technological advancement.
Concern Worldwide reports on estimates by UNESCO indicating that “if all students in low-income countries had just basic reading skills (nothing else), an estimated 171 million people could escape extreme poverty.” Therefore, improving educational systems is integral to economic growth and development in struggling countries.
Because of this, aid programs that expand upon current educational programs and resources have the ability to end the cycle of poverty in impoverished nations. In Africa specifically, local NGOs working to increase access to quality education are making a difference on a large scale.
3 Groups Working to Improve Education in Africa
- Asante Africa. This organization works in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with the hopes to soon expand to Rwanda and goals to use education to positively affect the lives of 1.6 million children and young adults by 2025. It sponsors three main programs for students in these countries. The first, named the Youth Livelihood Program, is focused on teaching the leadership skills necessary for a successful future of entrepreneurship, employment and empowered living. The next program, named Wezesha Vijana, works to improve the education of young girls. This demographic faces specific challenges when it comes to education and Asante Africa works to alleviate some of these struggles by addressing the roots of these issues. It educates girls about their rights, teaches financial literacy, encourages leadership skills and facilitates safe learning environments in schools. The final program, titled the Accelerated Learning Program, focuses on expanding access to technological resources and helps support teachers to further develop their educational knowledge. Each of Asante Africa’s specific programs helps focus on key issues hindering progress in education in order to improve education in Africa.
- Street Child. As an organization working to improve education in Africa, Street Child’s “interventions are integrated, coupling instantaneous change for children alongside increasing the capacity of caregivers, communities and schools to support sustainable, long-term change,” its website says. This means that it addresses the problem from both sides, improving education while expanding upon support systems to continue growth. To complete this mission, Street Child builds schools, trains teachers, helps schools increase income and changes the narrative around the importance of improving education. To date, Street Child has helped almost 413,000 children access education while supporting 682 schools by building, revamping and training more than 12,000 teachers. Street Child operates in many countries, focusing on those in Africa but supporting students across the globe. Its practices allow for higher-quality educational systems, which will have significant effects on the minimization of poverty.
- Literacy for Life. This nonprofit has been operating in South Africa since 2015. Its main goal is improving early childhood development (ECD) and assisting in preparations for future education. It supports underprivileged schools through the donation of resources and systems to set schools up for success in aiding the development of young students. This work is bolstered with nutritional programs for youth in underprivileged households, allowing more children to have the ability to focus on education rather than food insecurity. In an interview with ITNewsAfrica.com, Eloïs Lack from Literacy for Life explains that “children will be at a greater advantage when they are in Grade 1 if they have had exposure to a pre-writing and numeracy program that helps to develop visual discrimination, gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, body image and muscle memory.” Therefore, early childhood developmental programming is integral to a successful future in the educational system. Literacy for life has placed a focus on expanding this sector and working with ECD schools to expand accessibility, thereby improving educational quality in South Africa.
The work of these organizations helps to reduce poverty in Africa by improving education to promote future growth. Many similar NGOs, initiatives and nonprofits exist across Africa and the world and their work is changing learning systems for the better.
– Hailey Dooley