Poverty and education – Increasing access to education
Poverty is a major barrier to education, especially for girls. UNESCO estimates that 258 million children are not in school. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, 1.2 million girls are at risk of dropping out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Low-income families often have to choose between sending their children to school or providing other essentials, such as meals or medication. Even if tuition is free, families can struggle to cover the cost of transport, uniforms, books, and exam fees. Girls are more likely than boys to drop out early, with child marriage one of the most common reasons.
Our Education program therefore provides scholarships for disadvantaged children, especially girls, to complete their schooling. We also offer vocational training opportunities for girls and young women so they can find decent jobs or start micro-enterprises and become self-sufficient.
Relevance to the SDGs
This program contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
Increasing access to education in Africa
We support scholarship programs for marginalised girls in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Unfortunately, girls in both countries are at risk of dropping out of school early and marrying for a bride price, especially due to the financial pressure on families during the pandemic. Scholarships cover exam fees, tuition, uniforms, and other necessities to help girls achieve their educational aspirations and go on to further study or employment.
Supporting education in Asia
In Cambodia, we support vocational training for vulnerable girls who are at risk of falling victim to exploitative labour or unsafe migration, helping them gain skills and start small businesses, such as hair salons or sewing shops.
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