Most children in Nicaragua never finish grade 6. Often, they are taken out of school to work on the family farm or elsewhere. Although public education in the elementary years is free in Nicaragua, many families can't afford the related costs of sending their children to school. Even fewer can afford the school fees in higher grades. Our project goal is to establish a scholarship program, based on need and ability, to provide incentives to help families keep their children in school.
Nicaragua remains the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Unemployment is high and the average worker's wage is as low as $5 per day. The poverty undermines opportunities for education, which in turn detracts from economic development. While education is a priority for the Government of Nicaragua, its scarce resources are stretched thin. This project focuses on improving the opportunity for children to stay in school by creating economic, social and health benefits.
Incentives allowing children to stay in school longer will decrease poverty, create employment opportunities and create lasting change. Scholarships would be based on both need and academic performance and would be given to the families. This would make it more economically viable to keep their children in school rather than withdrawing them to help on the farm or to make ends meet. The project's $5000 target would be sufficient to keep it running for several years, creating sustainable change.
All funds from this project go directly to this community. Children staying in school longer will create an immediate benefit. Scholarships to children will help create role models and help emphasize the importance of education. Better educated children will become adults who can find better jobs and create enhanced opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities. In the longer term, successful graduates may be able to support their own scholarship programs.