My kids go back to school next week. G will start 3rd grade and Biz will begin his second year of preschool.
After I pick them up from daycare today, I will take them out to go school shopping. We have a school supply list for G, and I’ll probably buy them an outfit for the first day of class.
Back to school shopping isn’t a big deal in my house. The boys grow so fast, it just doesn’t make sense to buy clothes for an entire school year in one trip. I get them what they need throughout the year.
It’s simple really. My son goes to public school, so the only thing I have to pay for is an occasional hot lunch. While I pay for Biz’s preschool, it is part of the daycare fee I already pay.
I take for granted how easy back to school is for my family.
Education isn’t so easy in other parts of the world. Here are a few eye-opening statistics:
- A staggering 130 million children around the world are not in school. Of those children, 70% are girls.
- A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. (World Bank)
- Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school. (UNICEF)
Did you know that the number one reason that African families do not send their children to school is lack of financial resources? I had no idea. In Sub-Saharan Africa, even public schools come with big costs including fees, uniform, books, food, shoes and extra teacher payments. Families are forced to cover up to 30% of primary education expenses.
The second reason African families don’t send their children to school is due to the fact that rural communities lack access to educational facilities, and the government isn’t able to fund construction or meet the demand.
Opportunity International has created an education finance initiative that will address this financial problem in Africa. They are working to ensure all children have access to an education through school fee loans. Through the Invest in One Child Back to School Campaign, parents are able to receive loans that will allow them to afford their children’s tuition and change their future.
I’ve written about and donated to Opportunity International in the past (read: Mother’s Day Gifts That Give Back). They provide microfinance loans, savings, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world.
Opportunity International knows that education is a pathway out of poverty and has seen the accelerator effect it has on improving lives and strengthening communities. This month, as part of my Giving Pledge, I donated to the Invest in One Child fund to help pay for three months of education for a child.
Here’s how my donation will work:
The best part of these donations is that they will be matched dollar for dollar by two generous donors, up to $35,000.
Today, I will not only invest in my children’s education, I will also invest in another child’s in Africa.