East African Community Services (EACS), based in Seattle, Washington, has partnered with five schools in Galkacyo, a city of half a million people in North-central Somalia to provide funding for tuition, uniforms, and other fees for impoverished children, primarily girls, whose families would not otherwise be able to afford to provide them with an education.
Civil war in Somalia has resulted in a breakdown of the country's infrastructure, including the public education system. Access to education, for most families, is well beyond their means. Most schools in central Somalia are privately owned institutions. As a result, only 19-23% of children in Somalia are in school, one of the lowest rates of primary school enrollment in the world. Girls are especially impacted negatively - currently, only a quarter of all students enrolled in primary are girls
The five schools partnering with EACS have the capacity for many more students. All that is lacking is funding to pay for tuition, uniforms, and other fees. EACS will work with entities in the United States to secure funding for low-income children in Galkacyo who wish to attend school. EACS will also work with traditional leaders, NGOs, schools, and government groups in Somalia to identify barriers to education, recruit students, recruit and train more women teachers to support their children
Youth in Somalia have few opportunities for gainful employment. As a result, many turn to piracy, sign on with tribal militias, or are condemned to a life of hard labor. Given an opportunity to learn employable skills, these young people will turn away from crime and violence toward a life full of hope. The youth of Somalia represent the future of a country that has been torn for over 20 years by war. This project envisions the beginnings of an educated population with capacity to rebuild Somal