From rural areas that have never had a school to classrooms that have been destroyed because of disaster or conflict, millions of children are unable to go to school across the world today simply because there are no schools for them to go to.
For children who are in school, many schools are not good enough quality, with hundreds of students per classroom, a lack of toilets, sanitary facilities, capable teachers, and/or adequate learning materials.
Parental and community attitudes can often also hold back children's education, especially for girls from late elementary-school age and upwards, stopping them from going to school or making them earn a living for the family instead of getting an education.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We work with communities to build schools, train teachers, promote the importance of education, and ensure that all solutions are sustainable long-term. Building schools in rural communities is at the heart of our schools work. We began in 2010 building 'first-ever schools' for some of the most remote communities in the highly rural Tambakha Chiefdom in northern Sierra Leone. Since then, we have broadened our work to include: building and setting up schools in disaster- or conflict-impacted areas in Nepal and Nigeria. Between 2010 and 2017, Street Child built or repaired over 400 schools.
Street Child also works to improve the quality of teaching and schools. In Sierra Leone we have built high-quality classrooms to help reduce overcrowding in high schools, and we are working to improve the quality of education in schools across rural Liberia.
We also train teachers. From 2010 to 2017 we supported over 400 teachers to complete Government-recognized training courses, and more than 500 teachers have benefited from major in-service training and continuous professional development programs. Many more have benefited from shorter, more specialized interventions on topics such as 'disaster risk resilience' and 'education in emergencies'.
Where attitudes prove an obstacle to education, Street Child staff advocate at community and household levels to promote the rights of all children to education - and the importance of on-going parental and caregiver support to a child's academic progress. Street Child also trains and supports communities in managing and holding to account their own schools.
Even with all the above in place, it is frequently the case that communities, in particular impoverished rural communities where the idea of school is still new, cannot find ways of paying teachers and affording the costs of education. Wherever possible, Street Child seeks to address this challenge by helping communities grow their income. Since 2013 we have provided over 400 school management committees with agricultural grants and technical support to develop rice farms and seed lending programs, where the profits from each harvest help to meet educational costs.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you're looking to support our schools work, just $300 could cover a rural teacher's salary for a year - that's just $25 a month! If you are interested in supporting the construction of a whole school or helping to set up a seed bank, please get in touch with our Philanthropy team.
STORIES FROM OUR WORK
SHRADDHA, THE TEACHER HELPING HER STUDENTS AFTER THE NEPAL QUAKES
Shraddha Timisina is a teacher at Siddheshwor Elementary School. During the Nepal earthquake in 2015, two of the school buildings were badly damaged. The school was also in danger from landslides. Parents were very reluctant to send their children to school out of fear for their children's safety. The principal was forced to move the school and Shraddha had to teach the pupils in a makeshift classroom.
With the support of UNICEF and other funders, Street Child built three semi-permanent classrooms and sanitary facilities to give children a safe learning space. Shraddha and her fellow teachers also received training on Disaster Risk Reduction, psycho-social counselling, and health and hygiene training.
'We are very thankful to Street Child for the training. It is really helpful. We used to tell our children to wash their hands but we ourselves didn't know that there are six steps to washing hands. We taught our students on every topic we learned in training.'
KADIATU, THE GIRL WHO WILL BE A DOCTOR IN SIERRA LEONE
10-year-old Kadiatu lost her father to Ebola and her family could no longer afford to send her to school.
Street Child supported Kadiatu to return to school as part of our Girls Speak Out program helping girls in Sierra Leone and Liberia to go to school.
'They gave me a new bag, pencil, ruler book. I'm very grateful. When I am older I want to be a doctor and mend sick people.'
Learn more about our Girls Speak Out program.