Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Struggle for a Higher Education

Education is West Africa can be hard. If a family is able to afford to send a child to school, that child may be in a classroom with up to 150 students. If a child has trouble hearing, seeing, a learning disability or just processes information in a different way, the chances of succeeding are low. Repeating classes in the norm.

Many children may have an opportunity to attend primary school, but as they get older and the school and supply fees increase, there is a significant drop out rate. Many children are in school, but are not succeeding and would be better served going to a specialized school to learn construction, sewing, soldering, wood working, hair.

Those children who excel and are able to complete all thirteen grades and the three pass/fail exams are now left with the question, "What now?"

There are Public and Private Universities as well as schools that train students to become Nurses and Teachers, but the number of graduates that are able to attend any such school is staggeringly low. The fees do not seem very high by Western standards, however to your average African family it is an impossibility.

Jeanne is 22 years old. She came to live at the Sheltering Wings orphanage four years ago after her parents died. She was living in another country so, even though she had passed her 10th grade exam, she had to repeat 10th grade and take the exam again. She is a very hard worker and very helpful. She is like a big sister to the children at the orphanage and has worked each summer helping our baby caretakers with our babies and toddlers. She sends the money to her extended family to help put the younger children in school. Last year Jeanne was taking her final exam, the BAC. This is the exam you take to finish and graduate school. Unfortunately Jeanne did not pass and needed to repeat 13th grade. She was devastated and ready to give up, but we encouraged her to give it another try. This year Jeanne passed! It is Jeanne's dream to become a nurse and help people. Jeanne would often accompany the staff nurses to villages and help clean and dress wounds.

Juliette is 25 years old. She was in the Sheltering Wings sponsorship program. When Juliette failed the 10th grade exam two times, we could see that she was a hard worker so we gave her another change to try that class again. Unfortunately Juliette did not pass again. The success rate for this test is 25% for the whole country. Impressed by her spirit, determination and responsibility, we invited Juliette to work as an assistant alongside our nurses in our clinic. For the past three years, Juliette has worked hard and a passion has grown inside of her for nursing. Despite Juliette not passing the test, there is a program that will allow her to work on a nursing degree and finish traditional education at the same time.

The cost for Nursing School is $700 per year and it is a three year program. Consider helping Jeanne or Juliette achieve their dreams and have a brighter future. These girls can help the growing need for medical professionals and help lower the rate of children who die from preventable, easily treatable disease. Right now the number of deaths is 1 in 5, under the age of 5.

How can you help?

Click here to help Jeanne

Click here to help Juliette