There are approximately 264 million children out of school in the world today. Moreover, according to the survey held by UNESCO about 387 million children who are supposed to be in primary do not know how to read and write. In countries such as Africa, the main reasons for this tragic reality are poverty, low standard of living, and behavioral issues in children (e.g. lack of focus) that can cause dismissal from school.
Access to school supplies is a fundamental right of all children that will help them build a future for themselves. In the trying times of the pandemic, with virtual learning in full swing, NGOs such as Africa Hope Fund (AHF) are collecting necessities to donate used school supplies to the families in need. These include all the basic tools that the children could find in their classrooms to help teachers explain lectures more accurately and could help the children in understanding the concepts and maximizing their true potential.
Even during the peak of the corona virus, NGOs saw an influx of people willing to donate old notebooks, calculators, pocket dictionaries, and many more items to the less fortunate. This hugely positive response can help reduce the education gap in the society and help individuals in leading more successful lives as skilled professionals.
Apart from the pandemic, many people in America and Australia cannot afford the basic school essentials because of the overwhelming back-to-school costs. This lacking of necessities hinders with the learning process of many children and may also make them prone to bullying for not being able to afford these materials like their other class fellows. The donations of used school supplies can boost the confidence of many children and make them more active in class activities.
Developing Africa: Africa’s drought and famine issues have reversed the country’s last 10 years of progress. The Sokoto state of Africa in northwestern Nigeria has one of the biggest gender gaps in the world when it comes to education. More than 50 students are stuffed into a single classroom without any textbooks or learning material. It has been reported that 1 out of 3 children will reach adolescence without even having basic reading skills.
In response to this, people from all over the world are not just donating books anymore, but individuals are also volunteering their time in providing training to children and adults for up to 2-3 years. They provide the locals with practical skills and educate them on sexually transmitted diseases which are very common in Africa. They also encourage parents to send their daughters to schools to study in the hope to narrow the gender gap in the community.
Moreover, a few organizations have also set up scholarship programs for up to 10 years for students in Africa. They recognize that education is a powerful stimulator for development and helps promote economic growth. This has given the locals something to look forward to.
Studies have shown that the donations of used school supplies have encouraged people to show up to training programs and actively participate in all their classes. This has given them an optimistic outlook on life and created a positive learning environment for both adults and kids. Moreover, there has been an increase in the job opportunities throughout Africa due to local’s newly acquired knowledge and training hence increasing the country’s GDP by 3.7%. A number of brands like H&M, J. Crew, and many more have seen potential in Africa and opened their outlets across the country, creating thousands of job opportunities for many citizens.
People should actively participate in donating stuff they don’t use anymore, especially school supplies. One of the main reasons for this is that something that might not be of use to us anymore might have a positive effect on others and help brighten their day.