How Our Sponsorship Process Works
Our sponsorship process is ever-evolving based on the needs of our girls. We currently have a small list of schools, with their annual costs and an open line of communication to the head teachers, to which we send our girls. This allows us more transparency regarding the processing and handling of the scholarships as well as the girls progress once re-enrolled.
SAWA Kenya is a need-based sponsorship model. We believe that everyone deserves the right to be educated and do not restrict our scholarships on a merit-basis or even by having a lengthy application or interview process that would discourage many of our girls. Many of the young women in the communities we operate in struggle with reading and writing or are simply uncomfortable with asserting themselves and their needs in such a way.
We work with our network of community members and school teachers to identify girls that have dropped out or are at-risk of dropping out. We then meet with the girls to discuss their reasons for dropping out, whether they would like to return to school, and work to identify the best course of action to get them re-enrolled.
Cost of a Scholarship
The average cost to re-enroll one of our girls is currently $560 USD. This includes 1 year of tuition, uniforms, school supplies, boarding supplies and a Days for Girls menstruation kit. The cost of tuition goes directly to the schools, the money for uniforms and school supplies is given to one of our trusted SAWA Kenya employees who goes with the girls to procure the items, and the Days for Girls kits are procured from the manufacturing center in Chumvi and distributed to our girls by one of our community partners.
Monitoring & Re-evaluating the Scholarships
We receive regular updates from the school teachers to check in on the girls’ progress throughout the term. As there are many outside factors affecting girls’ education in Kenya, gaps are very common. Many of our girls are much older than what is typical for a student in the same year in the U.S. It is not uncommon for a student to attend primary school for several years, drop out to deal with a family issue, a pregnancy, or some other such event, and then, circumstances permitting, return to school a number of years later. Keeping this in mind, we re-evaluate each girl’s scholarship at the end of every school year. We regularly check in to be sure she is still committed to her education and ready to continue on to the next year. If she is not, we withdraw her from our pool of students, and check back in periodically to see if the issue has been resolved and to evaluate when she is ready to return to her education.