Education.

It is a focus of so many of our orphan care and holistic, community-wide programmes. We often ask our supporters for a monthly gift to support a child’s education throughout the year, and this holiday season, it is a focus of our final fundraising goal for 2015.

But why is education so important? Many of you know that education is considered a basic human right for all.  Many of you can imagine the practical impact that an education can have on a child’s prospects for a promising future and a job.

To our team at Bread and Water for Africa UK, we cannot over-emphasise education as a core component of our work. When we partner with an orphan care programme, the goal can never end at merely ensuring basic survival for a child. When we partner with a community project, we do not stop at basic services but also invest in breaking the cycle of poverty by providing accessible education.

When we think about achieving the maximum impact through the donations we receive, we think about long-term impact, sustainability, and reach. An investment in education for a child in a community that we work in means so much more than test scores and graduation. It can change the course of a child’s future and help them to achieve positive change in their own community.

In Zambia, I had the privilege of meeting a young man, Emmanuel, who had received school fee support from our partners at the Kabwata Orphanage after both of his parents died when he was just nine years old. Today he is 25 years old and works in the accounts and marketing department for a large Lusaka-based company. But he still considers the “Aunties” at Kabwata his ‘family’, and all of the younger children lovingly call him “Uncle ‘E’ “. When I asked him about the greatest impact that education and support from Kabwata has had in his life, he said that besides his current job – which he would not have had without his education and support from the Home – he has pledged to adopt a child some day in order to carry on the good luck he received into another child’s life.

These individual stories reinforce our hope that by providing children with care, support, and the means to a better future, they will be able to strengthen their community in a way that could not be anticipated or achieved by any one individual project.

This holiday season, we are celebrating a programme’s success and asking for your support as we strive to repeat this success in 2016. In Kenya, education is not free and the attendance ratio for school drops from 72% and 75% for boys and girls respectively in primary school to 39.5% and 41% in secondary school. In the face of these challenges, we are proud that so many children at the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenyaare making the transition to secondary school and even on to university.

In 2015, 48 children from Lewa attended primary school, 25 children attended secondary (high) school, and 5 pursued university and college education.

However, as more children move up to higher education, the costs continue to grow – which can often mean the end of a child’s education if they cannot afford the fees or books.

To ensure that every child at Lewa can attend secondary school or college in 2016, we need to raise £11,096 before the start of the academic year in January. 

Can you help us by donating today to our Christmas campaign? 

It may seem a large amount, but a gift of £20 could provide a year’s worth of school books. Or a gift of £80 could pay for an entire year of secondary school. Every bit makes a very real difference in the lives of these children.

We hope you’ll help us provide the gift of a life-time this year. With whatever you can spare, do give the gift of education to a child who has already overcome so many challenges in life.

If you can’t make a donation today, we hope you’ll consider sharing with a friend or exploring our many other ways to get involved, like our 2016 Cycle Challenge Event which will have a team of participants cycling and fundraising on behalf of our education programmes!