For so many of the families we work with, the cost of education is a high barrier. Simple household poverty keeps millions of children out of school, a tragic pattern which, unless broken, has the potential to self-repeat endlessly.
As one example, in 2016 we asked 2,000 girls across Sierra Leone about the barriers to education. The girls identified poverty as by far the biggest barrier. That’s why our livelihoods programmes are a critical part of our work helping children getting into, and staying in, school
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We support low income families with tailored packages of support to lift themselves out of extreme poverty so they are able to afford the costs of educating their children.
Our teams provide families with business grants and loans so they can set-up or grow a sustainable business. As well as a financial input, we typically provide business training, planning support, mentoring and access to an incentivised savings schemes. Since 2009 we have supported over 15,000 families through these models and over 90 per cent of those families are still managing to fund their children’s education.
how you can help
It costs just £20 a month to setup a family in business so they can afford the cost of educating their children. With your help, we can transform the lives of more families.
stories from our work
Manu, Mamie and Nancy, the three wives caring for 26 children
Manu, Mamie, and Nancy are the three wives of hospital worker Foday Tommy. Their husband, the family’s main breadwinner, died during the Ebola epidemic, and the three women have been left looking after 26 children between them - some biologically theirs and others that they have adopted.
The mothers received a business grant from Street Child, and have started selling pepper, okra, palm oil and vegetables.
Manu: ‘It is only recently that the children have stopped crying. The grant is a source of courage to me - it helps reduce worry. The business is growing gradually but it’s still tough when you have this many children and you have no husband. Life is still tough for us, but I’m glad our children are in school because, at the end of the day, it’s the children that can make their story a different one.’
Fatu Saah, the single mother who has become a successful businesswoman
Fatu Saah is a single mother. She is caring for eight children, three of whom are her nieces and nephews after her brother and sister passed away during Ebola.
With the help of UK Charity Street Child she has setup a sustainable business selling wholesale palm oil. Street Child helped her to expand her business and gave her training on savings methods. Since then her business has been so successful she has been able to save enough to build a new shop! With the profits from her business, she is able to send her children to school.
“Street Child have lifted the burden. They have made our lives change.”
In March 2014 our charity ambassador Nick Hewer travelled to Sierra Leone to learn more about our Family Business Scheme. Below is Nick's experience of our projects, showing how we lift families from poverty by helping them gain a reliable source of income and therefore a more sustainable home life.