Neema International’s Education Sponsorship Program pulls children out of the cycle of poverty, responding Tanzania’s education crisis one child at a time.
Tanzania responded to poor national literacy rates by making education free in 2013. The government did not have the funding, workforce, infrastructure or physical resources to meet the huge demand for education. As a result, Tanzanian public schools are overcrowded and under-resourced. Student to teacher ratios average 60:1, with one book for every 5-10 students. There is a less than 30% enrollment for secondary schooling, leaving millions of children with no academic career after the age of 13. For those who do enter secondary school, many are forced to drop-out due to the switch in language of instruction from Swahili to English. These children, left without any academic or vocational options, often start a family early and enter the cycle of poverty.
We connect motivated, intelligent children and adolescents with the resources they need to succeed. NIESP is much more than an individual sponsorship, but a life-changing mentorship program.
Who We Sponsor
We are selective about which children we chose to sponsor, only choosing those who are committed to their education. Our recruitment process focuses on vulnerable children and adolescents. Many children in our sponsored program are orphaned, and we serve the role as guardians. We also take in adolescents from our Digitruck Program, who have previously dropped out of school and are ready to return.
The Scope of Sponsorship
Sponsored students get their immediate needs met through receiving all costs associated with attending school, ranging from transportation, tuition to textbooks. To maximize our budget, we buy school supplies and personal care items in bulk, giving them to sponsored students at the start of each semester. When sponsored students get sick, we pay their hospital fees and ensure proper care. Other costs that we sometimes cover for NIESP students include life skills camps, field trips and transportation for interviews.
Sponsored students are taught responsibility by signing a contract. They commit to maintaining good behavior and grades in return to NIESP support. They are required to refrain from drug use and avoid pregnancy. Students and their parents must attend annual meetings, discussing student progress and behavior. NIESP students also are required to volunteer a few days a year at the orphanage or school.
By signing a contract and having a sponsor, NIESP students receive guidance. In contrast to adolescents not in our program, NIESP students understand the role of education in their future. They receive proper family planning training, and aspire to become financially stable before starting their own family. Neema International provides educational counseling to children that struggle, adjusting schools, grades or coordinating with teachers when necessary. We aspire for all NIESP students to continue their education and provide information about the SAT, international applications or vocational schools.
By providing high-quality mentorship and education to children in Tanzania, we are setting off a chain reaction. Sponsored students share their financial literacy, family planning and life skills information with their friends and family. They volunteer, showcasing their future as leaders in their communities. They have the vocational skills to bring economic resources into their communities and the critical thinking skills to solve the tough problems the nation faces.
Sponsorship gives children the physical and intellectual resources to become changemakers.