Secondary school graduation rates for girls in East Africa are dismally low but ASAP has created a holistic model to increase' graduation rates for girls to 80% or higher! The Kupanda Project includes safe housing, academic support, health/sanitation and leadership development. It is being implemented for 144 girls at a secondary school in rural Tanzania and will soon be replicated at other rural secondary schools, creating a paradigm shift in girls' education throughout East Africa!
2/3 of children in Tanzania are precluded from attending secondary school and girls are disproportionately affected. Conventional wisdom is that only a dismal 5% of girls graduate. Why? Many girls are victims of sexual assault, become pregnant and are forced to drop out of school. The ones who are lucky enough to attend most often receive a low quality education with few resources and almost no inspiration to pursue education or employment that would empower them with a brighter future.
The Kupanda Project is predicated on the idea that girls need more than one answer to the question: "What do you need to be successful in school?" Our solution is to empower each girl with support in every aspect of her life so she can pursue a quality secondary level education and secure a healthier, more prosperous life for herself and her family. The model includes dormitories, leadership development, academic programs, health/wellness initiatives, teacher training and science/computer labs
The long term benefits of quality secondary education for girls are indisputable. Girls who receive a secondary education will have higher family incomes, marry later, have fewer children and at an older age with lower infant mortality rates. Educated mothers immunize their children 50% more than mothers who are not educated. And, AIDS spreads twice as quickly among uneducated girls than among girls with some education. The long-term benefits to a community with educated girls is immeasurable.