What ‘Count Me In’ means to Sierra Leone
121 million school-aged children worldwide are still not in education and we believe that’s not acceptable. Millions more are in school but failing to learn because the resources simply aren’t good enough. With our ‘Count Me In’ campaign we are aiming to provide more children with access to education and the resources they need to learn ensuring every child has the best chance of success. Donations to the campaign will be used to help children into education in some of the world’s toughest places through support such as paying school fees, buying uniforms and learning materials, training teachers or refurbishing classrooms and building schools. Match funding from the UK Government, of up to £2 million, will be used for similar work to help more children go to school and learn in Sierra Leone.
Despite progress, 40% of children in Sierra Leone still do not complete a basic education and 27% of children of primary age are not in school. Even when in school many primary school pupils are not learning how to read.
Using funds generated from our ‘Count Me In’ campaign Street Child will increase equity in education by improving access, completion and learning in education for the most vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone. Our specialised social work and education teams will work in an integrated way to target the most vulnerable children for support to access junior secondary schooling, including children in the poorest households, those affected by disability; and girls.
Extreme poverty, disability and gender currently have a significant negative impact on children’s life opportunities, particularly education. Children with disabilities (CWD) are amongst the least likely to access and complete schooling. 63% of the disabled population has never been to school, and 94% never completed a basic education. The project seeks to reach 1000 children affected by disability, including CWD and children of persons with disabilities within those households, who will be supported into education with specialised casework, and the provision of basic disability aids.
Despite progress, girls in Sierra Leone remain less likely to start school at the right age, and are less likely to complete their basic education than boys. 5000 children will be identified, who are out of school or at risk of dropping out (3000 girls and 2000 boys), and will be enrolled in junior secondary school with an education kit and support from a social worker. Extra-curricular clubs will also specifically target girls, as will a support package for 500 teenage mothers to secure childcare so that they can return to their education.
Children from the poorest households are least likely to go to school in Sierra Leone due to the costs associated with education. We will therefore target 5000 of the poorest households and empower women to start or develop their livelihoods through the tried and tested Street Child Family Business Scheme (FBS) in order to generate income so that they can afford to send their children to school.
A lack of resources and sufficient primary school facilities within reasonable distance, as well as parents and caregivers placing low value on education remain key barriers for children to access education in remote rural areas. Learning in such under-resourced environments is hampered particularly by un- or under-trained teachers, who are not regularly monitored or supported. Street Child will be improving quality primary education for 8000 children in remote, rural communities, through construction and/or renovation of classrooms, provision of learning materials and teacher training, maximising the opportunity to successfully transition to secondary schooling.
All public donations made before 21st February 2019 will be matched by the UK Government up to £2million, meaning we can help more children in Sierra Leone go to school and learn. Your gift will also help Street Child get more children into education in some of the world’s other toughest places.
For more information on Street Child’s ‘Count Me In’ appeal, please visit: