The key areas of our education initiative are providing school support for remote communities and university scholarships for natural leaders.
School support for remote communities
In remote rural communities, schools are often overlooked and chronically under resourced. Africa Foundation has made school construction and improvement a priority since the organization was founded. The education program consists of infrastructure assistance through construction of classrooms and provision of equipment; construction of sanitary facilities, daycare centers, kitchens, administration rooms and media centers; provision of fencing and security; development of vegetable gardens; and support in career guidance courses for secondary school students.
Scholarships for natural leaders (CLEF)
Africa Foundation has a scholarship program called Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF). Launched in 1995, the CLEF Scholarship Program offers partial funding to students from rural communities bordering conservation areas. The broad objective of the CLEF Program is to develop natural leadership potential by offering deserving students the opportunity to improve their career opportunities by studying at college or university level. Students are required to give back to their communities during their holidays by conducting an activity that involves and uplifts the community, for example, career guidance at high schools, community clean-up campaigns or helping at local clinics. Through CLEF, more than 250 students have received assistance to enable them to attend college or university.
The far-reaching benefits of the school support program
- Schools become eligible for additional teachers (arranged by the government) as the improvements raise the profiles of the schools.
- Classroom overcrowding is reduced.
- Student-teacher ratios are improved.
- Students are nourished at schools with kitchens and feeding programs.
- Overall learning conditions are improved.
- School attendance and pride increases.
- An indirect spin-off is job creation, through both the builders involved in construction projects and the employment of additional teachers.
- Equally important is the strengthening of school governance and parent-teacher interaction. Africa Foundation ensures the progress of the project through the school committees and governing bodies, thereby building their capacity and empowering them.
- The relationship between the school, the community and the Africa Foundation team is cemented, as the request for classrooms is often the most pressing need.
A long and successful track record in education
Since 1992, Africa Foundation has:
- Funded the construction of more than 170 classrooms and facilitated the establishment of 25 pre-schools.
- Built a school for special needs children.
- Built six day care centers for orphans and vulnerable children.
- Funded and facilitated a centrally located community development center which provides access to technology and skills training to four communities.
- Trained more than 500 teachers and 7,000 pupils in environmental awareness through conservation lessons.
- Awarded university level scholarships to more than 250 aspiring community leaders through its Community Leaders Education Fund (CLEF).