Scholarships and support of the community school
Since 2013, we support talented girls from poor families in school. Although primary school is free, families have to pay for additional costs for school uniforms, school supplies, transportation and lunch. The scholarships, which the girls have to apply for, allow them to continue to go to school.
Studies clearly show that girls’ education has a far-reaching effect: girls who go to school longer marry later, have fewer children, and have a chance of higher wages. In the community school, the children make the first learning experiences. Where necessary, we support and promote the participants with the aim that the parents enroll their children at an early stage.
Peer to Peer and Early Childhood Education
Each support requires its own contribution. Individual scholarships are helpful, but we want to reach more children. Therefore, we have developed the P2P program. The idea is simple, the effect amazing: the older students from the scholarship program teach the younger children in the village in arithmetic. It’s all about playfully getting an idea of the number space and being able to solve simple arithmetic problems.
With the Early Childhood Project we are increasingly trying to reach preschoolers. Again, the older students are trained in workshops, how they can playfully encourage the little ones.
A great side effect is that the young female teachers themselves become more confident in arithmetic and learn how to playfully convey knowledge to younger children.
Vocational Training for Youth
In 2016, we supported a young person to finance a job training for the first time. He worked nine month with his master, a bicycle mechanic. Then we sponsored a set of the most important tools and our first apprentice in the village started his own business. Now he is mending bikes for everyone who needs his service. A welcome additional income to his farming work.
Further vocational training is provided for young people, in particular graduates from the scholarship program. A practical training is the basis for the young people to later find a job, to have an income, to support their families and to be able to start an own family.
This project combines the idea of education, the promotion of entrepreneurship and microcredit. When a Swiss women’s association made a major donation, we decided to donate it to the local women’s groups and launched a competition. Twenty-seven applications were received, three were selected at the end and the women’s groups received the start-up capital. The women worked hard on their business plan. In Kulaa and Gbirima, one group is now involved in soap production, and in Gbirima a second group is engaged in fabric and clothing sales. The project is linked to educational offerings that are open to anyone interested in the village.
The “Garlic Project” was developed in cooperation with another NGO on site. Some women were given the opportunity to participate in an experiment on the extension of the cultured plants. A doctoral student brought new cultivation techniques and a new type of garlic to the village.
In 2011 we started our first project: the provision of a microcredit in Kulaa and a year later in Gbirimah. The Magazia (head of the women’s groups) managed the money and negotiated the repayment terms with the women. The women were assisted by Walisu, who came by regularly. This microcredit scheme had been accompanied by several workshops.
In 2015, we placed the credit in the hands of the magazines and decided only to become active when an individual women or a women’s group needs support in accessing a microcredit institution.
2011 begannen wir unserem ersten Projekt: Die Bereitstellung von einem Mikrokredit in Kulaa und ein Jahr später in Gbirimah. Die Magazia (Chefin der Frauengruppen) verwaltete das Geld und hat gemeinsam mit den Frauen die Rückzahlungs-bedingungen ausgehandelt. Unterstützt wurden die Frauen von Walisu, der regelmässig vorbeikam. Begleitend zum Mikrokredit wurden einzelne Workshops veranstaltet.
2015 haben wir den Kredit ganz in die Hände der Magazias gelegt und werden nur noch aktiv, wenn es darum geht, einzelnen Frauen oder Frauengruppen beim Zugang zu einem Mikrokreditinstitut zu unterstützen.
In 2017 we organized various workshops in both villages addressed to mothers. A community nurse explain by using simple examples, how they can make a first wound care for minor injuries. In addition, the mothers are provided with information on nutrition and health needs of their children and supported in getting the health care card (health insurance).
Knowing about risks and dangers, but particularly strengthening self-confidence is best communicated in group events. For example, clean water and an elementary knowledge of hygiene in everyday life, are important factors for staying healthy and maintain the ability to work. And these are basic requirements for the hard working farmers in the villages.
In regular workshops, knowledge is disseminated, discussions are conducted and many questions can be clarified.
Topics are e.g.
– Hygiene and water
– First aid for minor injuries
– Knowledge of health insurance and access to medical services, and many more.