Education is a basic human right, essential for all children to develop, reach their potential and open up opportunities for themselves, their families and communities. Education is vital for sustainable development. If children are not receiving an accessible and consistent education there can be little hope for change in developing communities. Making education accessible plays a central role in the work of the GVI Charitable Trust.
Across the Phoenix projects in Latin America we strive to make education accessible for children who would otherwise be denied this right. In Guatemala we run an independent school for children from Indigenous communities and fund scholarships for national school, secondary education and college providing development opportunities which would otherwise be out of reach in these communities. As Dom Williams, GVI Latin America projects Director explains ‘Without financial help, these children would have no educational future.’
GVI Kenya Programme Coordinator Tess Doogue explains, ‘All children in the world have the right to an education, however in developing nations it is still out of reach for many. Child run households are not uncommon in the poorest areas of countries like Kenya. Children as young as 6 or 7 who have no parents are kept from schooling to provide for their young brothers and sisters any way they can. Enrollment in school and access to basic education is the key for these children to break the cycle of poverty and instead put themselves on the path to self reliance and prosperity.
Poverty is the biggest obstacle to education. Scholarships have many returns. Education is a key factor in ensuring people know their rights, a necessary element in democratic and politically stable societies. With education, people are better able to prevent disease and access medical services. Educated people are more likely to have a shot at economic growth through access to wages, even if basic. Educated girls are less likely to marry young, and are more likely to have healthier children who in turn, receive an education.
Put simply, education is the most powerful tool for vulnerable children to improve their lives and take greater control of their destinies.
Many parents who are stuck in the poverty trap are faced with a conundrum: send their child to school and lose what small funds they have or keep the child at home for free labour or to undertake paid work. The provision of educational scholarships removes this pressure from parents and allows children access to a brighter future.’