Educational challenges in Nicaragua

Written by Agnes Amaral

Nicaragua is a Central American country that the Spanish colonised in the 16th century. Its independence began at the beginning of the 19th century, with a split between groups that defended monarchical ideals and groups that defended independence. For a time, the country became part of the provinces of Central America, and only in 1838 did it become a republic. Understanding this process of late independence is relevant to understanding the country’s politics and how these relations affect education.

There is an intense process of political rivalry between liberal and conservative groups, which has led to civil war and fostered close relations with US politicians. As a result of these close ties, Nicaragua suffered a series of American interventions aimed at protecting its interests in the region. These interventions led to another civil war, starting in 1926. These conflicts occurred between liberals and conservatives, with various political and local consequences for the population.

Another historical event that has led to analysis of the country’s current situation was the Sandinista insurrection of 1972. These revolutions sought to end a period of dictatorship that had been in place since 1936. This movement was one of the first to align two strands: liberation Christianity and Marxism. Christians played an important role as allies of the revolutionaries in this historic moment.

There are undoubtedly many other nuances and other relevant moments in Nicaragua’s history, but these specific moments indicate the attacks on students that have been taking place recently, especially on university students.

Attack on human rights

In 2018, the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) reported the deaths of more than 280 people and more than 2,000 injured due to President Daniel Ortega’s reaction to protesters. The protests were against a reduction in budget pressure. In addition, several university students took to the streets to demand more assertive government action on other issues, such as forest fires. It can be said that this year was crucial for human rights in Nicaragua, especially in terms of education, since students were responsible for demanding fairer actions for the country’s population.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The reactions of the government and government-backed groups against the protesters shocked the country and the world, even causing threats to the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), which closed its office in the country due to harassment and death threats over the phone.

Human rights activists become targets of a backlash against protests. Not only students have suffered from this political situation of curtailment of rights, but also doctors and health workers have reported constant attacks and threats.

Since then, it has been possible to observe the role of President Daniel Ortega’s government and how it reacts to social demands. Mainly by attacking students who participated in protests to guarantee human rights.

Attack on universities

In 2022, the struggle of university students continues. Daniel Ortega’s government has instituted reforms to control the country’s education system better. As an example of these oppressive attitudes, the Central American University (UCA) announced that classes and administrative activities had been suspended in August 2022. The UCA’s assets and financial accounts were to be transferred to the government.

Groups from the Jesuit order and students claimed that Daniel Ortega’s government declared the UCA a centre of terrorism against the government. Therefore, it should be held responsible for the university’s accounts. The UN issued a statement reaffirming the impact of this authoritarian change on the right to education. Dictatorial attitudes characterise these actions aimed at the university in an attempt to curtail critical thinking and the right to demand social policies for all.

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

The question arises regarding the right to education, especially an education that provides free and critical thinking. A variety of theorists and researchers have reinforced the event as dictatorial since not even the university with the highest level of teaching quality in the country was unscathed by government oppression.

The process of revoking these universities, which began with the repressions in 2018, has been accentuated. In 2022, private universities were legally placed as hotbeds of opposition to the government. Several foreign universities with campuses in Nicaragua were closed because they did not follow the authorities of the government in question. The complexity of the issue can be seen in the use of the legal apparatus to silence the voices of students and university professors.


The news from 2023 shows that this event is not over. Daniel Ortega’s government continues to attack university institutions in retaliation for the 2018 protests. Specific attacks on private centres and religious institutions demonstrate a curtailment of the right to education in Nicaragua.

Academics and students are silenced at every turn because there is an attempt to strengthen power and silence political opponents. This is not the first government to try to take away the right to a free and critical education, which shows human rights defenders the need for a continuous struggle to guarantee this right in all spaces. The government’s regulation is mainly aimed at leading institutions in social studies. Researchers are banned from accessing public reports and statistics to carry out their work. It can be said that there has been a definitive attack on education in Nicaragua in recent years.

Many scholars report a totalitarian tendency on the part of the government. The legal apparatus and the force of the state are being used to curtail the right to education, critical thinking, and protests to guarantee quality of life. It is essential to pay attention to this situation since critics and students report disproportionate oppression. The use of militias has been intensive, and the threats to the voices of this oppression have been silenced.

International reactions can be observed, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the perception of the events suffered by Nicaragua students, academics, and human rights defenders. It is necessary to emphasise and discuss what can be done to guarantee human rights, especially critical and quality education, in Nicaragua.

  1. Álvarez, M. (2023, May 9). Transforming rural education in Nicaragua: “Rural and Inclusive Digital Education” project advances towards educational equity. UNESCO.
  1. BBC News. (2018, August 6). Nicaraguan human rights group closes offices after threats. BBC News.
  1. Confidencial, R. (2023, September 17). Nicaragua’s state universities impose the “Ortega truth.” Confidencial.
  1. Jazeera, A. (2018a, July 17). Nicaragua unrest: What you should know. Al Jazeera.
  1. Jazeera, A. (2018b, July 17). Nicaragua unrest: What you should know. Al Jazeera.
  1. Jazeera, A. (2023, August 17). Nicaragua seizes Catholic university accused of being ‘centre of terrorism.’ Al Jazeera.
  1. Selser, G. (2023, September 12). UN says Nicaragua’s human rights violations and persecution of dissidents are on the rise | AP News. AP News.
  2. Seizure of university a blow to science – Researchers. (n.d.). University World News.

Prostitution and violence against women and girls

Presented by Daphne Rein, Ioana-Sorina Alexa, Olimpia Guidi, Sarah Kuipers and Sterre Krijnen

In the Netherlands, where prostitution is legalised, hidden forms of prostitution are characterised under illegal forms of prostitution by Dutch law. The city of Amsterdam is well known for its many districts where prostitution attracts tourists1, and in this city, hidden forms of prostitution are illegal. For example, it is illegal for massage parlours to supply sexual services without a licence2. In addition, it is illegal to supply sexual services in private residences unless it is an individual working alone who holds a licence under the municipality of the city to carry out this activity3.

And even if it is illegal and can be prosecuted, child pornography can be considered a hidden form of prostitution4. In the Netherlands, the production, distribution, exhibition, importation, forwarding, exportation, and possession of child pornography are explicitly outlawed under various sections of the Dutch Penal Code5. Specifically, Article 240b criminalises these activities, making them illegal and subject to prosecution. This legal provision, along with related sections such as Article 240c addressing the grooming of minors and Article 240a concerning engaging in sexual acts with minors, forms the comprehensive legal framework aimed at combating child pornography. However, despite these stringent laws, a significant challenge persists. The Internet Watch Foundation revealed in 2019 that the Netherlands hosted 71% of known URLs containing child pornography content online within the European Union6. This alarming revelation underscores the complexity of tackling the issue, prompting a critical examination of the effectiveness of existing laws and the need for enhanced measures to address the online hosting of such illicit content.

This is a report submitted to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Download the PDF here.

Featured Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

1Julie Bindel, “Amsterdam turns on its sex punters.”. UnHerd. April 2023.

2City of Amsterdam, “Policy: Prostitution”, n.d.

3City of Amsterdam, “Policy: Prostitution”, n.d.

4Government of the Netherlands, «Crime and Crime Prevention: Sentencing » n.d.

5 Government of the Netherlands, «Crime and Crime Prevention: Sentencing » n.d.

6 European Commission, “Increased amount of child sexual abuse material detected in Europe”. Migration and Home Affairs. April 2020.

Solutions to promote digital education and prevent online threats

Presented by: Olimpia Guidi

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed significant challenges for young Filipinos adapting to digital education. The abrupt shift to online learning, driven by social distancing measures, revealed inequalities in access, particularly affecting marginalised youth1. Economic disparities contribute to obstacles in acquiring essential devices and stable internet connections, intensifying the existing digital divide2. This transition disrupted traditional learning methods, emphasising the immediate need for inclusive strategies to cater to diverse student needs3. Additionally, the absence of face-to-face interaction exacerbates feelings of isolation among vulnerable groups, impeding their overall educational experience4.

Emerging Threats

The convergence of digital education and online threats introduces a multifaceted challenge for Filipino youth. The increased reliance on online platforms exposes young learners to explicit content and potential hacking risks. Insufficient digital literacy programs compound these issues, leaving students ill-prepared to navigate the complex digital landscape securely5. The prevalence of cyber threats has direct implications for the mental health and well-being of young individuals6. Integrating robust cybersecurity measures and comprehensive digital literacy curricula into educational frameworks is crucial to empower students to navigate the digital world safely.


Download the PDF here.

Featured Image by Mircea Iancu from Pixabay

1 Tria, J. Z. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of education in the Philippines: The new normal. International Journal of Pedagogical Development and Lifelong Learning1(1), 2-4. Available at:

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Medina, V. G., & Todd, R. J. (2019). Young people’s digital safety and wellbeing: findings from Philippines and Qatar. In Information Literacy in Everyday Life: 6th European Conference, ECIL 2018, Oulu, Finland, September 24–27, 2018, Revised Selected Papers 6 (pp. 176-187). Springer International Publishing.

6 Ibid.

French Guiana’s Education System: Current Challenges

Written by Juliana Campos.

France’s largest territory in South America, French Guiana, faces social and economic growth challenges still yet to be addressed by the French government, including difficulties in administering the Guianese education system.

Guianese population has doubled in the last 20 years and is now estimated at 301,099 inhabitants i. Recently, due to its status as an overseas department of France, the region has experienced a surge in immigration from neighbouring countries such as Brazil and Suriname. The uncontrolled immigration, along with inadequate infrastructure, poverty and elevated unemployment rates have significantly lowered the quality of life in French Guiana and the region faces several challenges which make access to basic services such as healthcare and education more difficult.

The issues which stem from social and economic inequality would greatly benefit from a bigger interest of the French government in improving and expanding education in French Guiana. Although substantial investments have been made in the last decade, money alone is not enough to ensure access to quality education.

The Guianese Education System

In French Guiana, education is free and mandatory from ages 6 to 16. Primary education lasts five years and, for that particular stage of school life, enrolment rates are as high as ever in bigger cities and are slowly improving in more remote areas where there aren’t as many resources, such as in Indigenous settlements. As it is the reality of other developing countries, high Primary School enrolment is contrasted by alarmingly high drop-out rates in Secondary School and High School.

One big contributing factor to this phenomenon is the fact that Primary school is usually cheaper for governments to provide and children in that age group are more likely to stay in school, as parents can’t yet leave them unattended at home while working. In Secondary education, however, many children are given extra tasks at home or in the growing informal market, some live too far from school, and others simply do not receive encouragement from family members to continue their studies.

Besides, it is worth mentioning that although all Guianese children have the right to attend school free of charge, studying is not free. Additional costs with transportation, clothes, food and school materials take a toll on low-income families and may affect students’ attendance rates.

To address this issue, the French government and Guianese authorities have come up with financial aid programmes that aim to motivate students and their families. The bonuses are given to scholarship holders, aiding 46.4% of all middle school and high school students in French Guiana.ii However, there is a lack of follow-up data on whether these measures are actually effective.

Teacher shortage and inequality

Another issue currently hindering quality education in French Guiana is the shortage of trained teachers. The number of licensed educators native to the region is insufficient compared to the number of students, a problem which resulted in overpacked classrooms as the Guianese population grew. This demand brought teachers from mainland France and adjacent countries in South America to work in French Guiana, causing new problems as these professionals are usually unaware of the region’s specificities.iii

In fact, one of the biggest challenges faced by the French government when administering education in French Guiana is its extremely diverse and multicultural society. Though teachers are given freedom to adapt materials to their students’ realities, textbooks are usually made in mainland France and classes are administered in French, the official language.

By erasing French Guiana’s history, geography, languages and heritage from textbooks and national exams, French authorities perpetuate the colonialist idea that mainland France’s history and culture are somehow more relevant than that of its other territories. As a result, children may find school contents difficult to understand or hard to relate to and can grow up unaware of many of their local heroes and historic figures. Besides that, this erasure has a direct effect on students’ self-esteem and may discourage them from continuing their studies.

The adaptation of school contents by local teachers cannot derive much from the French curriculum, as French Guiana students are also subjected to standardized national exams such as the Brevet, the Lower Secondary School exam, and the Baccalauréat, the French academic qualification exam.

Considering the points previously mentioned, it is unsurprising that Guianese students do not reach the same results as mainland French students. According to GrowThinkTank and INSEE (2014), the year of the study in French Guiana, only 76% of students aged 15 to 19 were enrolled in school, whether as pupils, students or apprentices, compared to 89% in mainland France. Furthermore, more than one in two Guianese no longer attend school from the age of 19, compared to 72% in mainland France at the same age.

This stark difference surely doesn’t come from lack of resilience, lack of intelligence or any characteristic exclusive to French Guiana’s youth. It is simply a product of inequality and lack of opportunity. Not being in school or dropping out of school has long lasting effects on young people, not only for their professional future, but also for their individual growth as human beings and as citizens, as school is also the main place where children socialise.

Kids and a Teacher in a Classroom / Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz via Pexels

Education of Indigenous People and other minorities

Indigenous peoples play a substantial role in Guianese society, preserving culturally valuable knowledge, fighting for structural change and demanding protection of their territories. The erasure perpetrated by the French school curriculum affects these populations even more strongly, starting by the lack of data available on them. The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) affirms that, according to estimates, Indigenous peoples represent some 4% of the Guianese population, or more than 12,000 individualsiv, but there is no way to be sure, as the French Constitution prohibits the collection of race-based census data.

For decades in French Guiana, as well as in many adjacent regions, education was only present in the form of Catholic Schools, residential institutions where Indigenous children were forcibly interned and required to replace their traditions and religions with the Catholic ideals. Their native languages were also prohibited and children were taught French instead.

This serves as an example of how school can be used as political tactic, as colonial France risked the disappearance of invaluable Indigenous knowledge in order to maintain its territory. To this day, the French government has not directly dealt with the cultural loss from French Guiana’s period as a colony, and the erasure of Indigenous minorities is still a very present issue, with their history, culture and languages often being ignored by the French education system.

Future Prospects

French Guiana suffers from social and economic inequalities that would greatly benefit from an education system that is better tailored to its extremely multicultural society. The French government has a responsibility to invest in French Guiana’s education by building new schools and preparing and hiring native teachers, as well as training foreign teachers on how to approach French Guiana’s diverse society. This would partially solve the issue of overpacked schools, while also stimulating the local economy.

In addition to these measures, the government should also include more about the history, cultures, geography, climate and religions present in French Guiana in textbooks and standardized exams, which could make school more relatable to students and have a direct effect on the current drop-out rates. A special effort should be made to ensure Indigenous peoples and other minorities have access to quality education which also respects their culture and heritage.

In order to effectively make these improvements, it is crucial that the French government monitors the developments of their investments, either by conducting their own research on the ground or relying on local leaders and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). It is particularly important to collect data on enrolment rates for both Primary and Secondary Education, but also to understand what can be done to make sure these children receive quality education and encouragement to finish their studies.


Educational challenges in Kosovo

Written by Veronica Grazzi

Located in the center of the Balkans, Kosovo is mostly known for its turbulent historical and political events. With its 1.8 million inhabitants, Kosovo has experienced many conflicts and declarations of independence, including changes in government and policy shifts. After separating from Serbia in 2008, the country faces numerous challenges in education, where a lot of obstacles prevent the creation of a consistent and inclusive system.

Because of the conflict, international intervention and post-conflict funds were channeled through the country through the international UN Interim Mission to Kosovo (UNMIK). Education was perceived as one of the ways to contain the conflict between Serbian and Kosovo Albanian imaginaries of Kosovo’s nationhood, so the international community opted for a divided education system.

Today, Kosovo is experiencing substantial reforms in its higher education system. This transformation includes the establishment and growth of higher education institutions, including nine public and twenty-two private universities. While significant improvements have been made, persistent issues continue to hinder the development of a robust and inclusive educational system.

Ethnic Divides and Integration

One component which is normally not missing from any narrative of a nation’s history is that of a nation’s origin or foundation.”

The discursive construction of National Identity, 2009

This citation very well applies to Kosovo; the basis for the current nationalistic discourse in Serbia and Kosovo lies in the various historical interpretations of the contested area of Kosovo.

The society in Kosovo is divided along ethnic lines, and this is evident also in Kosovo’s education system. Up until 1980, Kosovo’s educational system was a component of the old Yugoslavian system. The 1999 Kosovo War left strong antagonism between Albanian and Serbs communities, hampering the creation of an integrated and harmonious educational environment.

More specifically, to avoid further clashes, while Kosovo Serb pupils are taught in schools overseen by the Serbian government, Kosovo Albanian students and other non-Serb minorities attend state institutions of the Republic of Kosovo. The two groups not only follow two distinct curricula, but also they don’t interact or communicate with one another. This results in an obstacle for collaboration among the younger generations, and more in general for the rebuilding of solid peaceful-coexistence process.

Evidence suggests that the existing national curricula in the education systems of Serbia and Kosovo are motivated by sociopolitical and nationalistic ideologies that legitimize the narrative of contested victimization. Both systems do not objectively address historical events, present only one side of the story, and actively work to promote a positive image of the corresponding ethnic group.

Especially in universities, the division follows the political lines and becomes stronger, with opposite visions over the future policies.

Inclusive education

In the Kosovo Education Strategy Plan 2021-2025 launched by the Ministry of Education, providing access to equal and quality education is not only a priority but also a challenge.

Kosovo is among the Balkan countries where girls and boys aged 0-6 have fewer opportunities to attend pre-school education. According to research published by KOMF – a coalition of 29 NGOs dedicated to child protection – only 4.8 per cent of children between the ages of 0 and 4 attend nurseries or kindergartens. The percentage rises to 90 per cent in the 5-6 age group.

According to UNMIK, in 2019 38,000 children with disabilities were not attending schools. Social norms are the first step in this process, as they have the tendency to stigmatize individuals with disabilities. From there, structural barriers like inadequate transportation, inaccessible classrooms, and a lack of specialized support follow. UNMIK reported interesting data about which are the causes according to the young population; society’s mentality (39%), lack of cash benefits (22%), lack of services (14%), and lack of inclusive legislation and policies (14%).

Across all educational levels, inclusive education in Kosovo faces numerous obstacles. Rural locations have low pre-school attendance because of perceived travel distance and indifference. In an analysis promoted by the Kosovo 2.0 portal, it was revealed that most kindergartens are located in cities and few are located in rural areas. This is also partly related to the lack of coherent and coordinated actions between central and local authorities. There are no public transport services to take girls and boys to the kindergartens closest to their residence.

Increasing parent awareness, increasing the number of pre-school classes offered, and enhancing transportation services are some ways that can be used to increase participation. Even though basic education (grades 1–9) is required, up to 25% of students drop out, especially in villages that have satellite schools. Travel distance, females’ security concerns, and budgetary limitations are obstacles. Enrollment rates for secondary education are lower in rural areas than in metropolitan ones, indicating a preference for gymnasiums over vocational institutions. Vocational education reform is essential, and household finances and travel distance have a role in secondary school selection.

With a few notable exceptions, like the prosperous agricultural school in Lipjan, the rural economy, which has been influenced by previous industrial collapse and conflict, affects interest in agricultural vocational schools. Sustaining interest in hands-on training programs and matching educational offerings to changing rural economic demands are continuing difficulties.

High Dropout Rates and Unemployment

High dropout rates are a problem in Kosovo, especially for secondary school. Youth unemployment is a result of both economic difficulties and a mismatch between the skills taught in schools and those required by the job market. This problem is made worse by the poor options for vocational training, which leaves many young people without the skills needed to find work and feeds the cycle of economic stagnation. Kosovo’s economic problems, such as high jobless rates and a faltering economy, have an impact on the educational system. The availability of educational materials, teacher pay, and the quality of education can all be impacted by a lack of funds and resources.

Adults in rural areas report having less access to education, while non-formal education is mostly concentrated in urban areas and occurs occasionally. In order to close the educational gap that exists for adults and youth who are not in school, lifelong learning programs, government backing, and private sector engagement in capacity building and self-employment promotion in rural areas are required. Continued funding from NGOs is essential to keeping up capacity-building initiatives in these communities.

Public Spending in Education

The state budget dedicated to pre-school education, according to a recent Kosovo 2.0 study, has not changed much in recent years. It increased from €14 million in 2017 to €17 million in 2019 and then, in 2020, it dropped to €16 million. In its annual report on Kosovo in 2020, the European Commission pointed out that the shortcomings of Kosovo’s education system – also highlighted by the PISA tests – were also to be attributed to the low inclusion of children in pre-school education.

The demands of the labor market are not being sufficiently met by the educational system. Compared to middle-income nations with similar age demographics, Kosovo invests 4.7% of its GDP on education; nonetheless, the amount spent on elementary and secondary education per student is comparatively low. This is mostly due to the high student-teacher ratio, which is twice as high as the EU average, and the high cost of teacher wages.

Primary school enrollment rates are high, at 96%, and secondary school enrollment rates are high, at 88.1%. However, low PISA scores and relatively high unemployment rates for postsecondary graduates (19.2% in Q2 2018) when compared to the EU indicate deficiencies in the relevance and caliber of education. In the early stages of reforming the vocational education system, the condition of vocational education training (VET) schools is being examined. Nowadays, research expenditures account for a small 0.1% of GDP. Following the inauguration of a new Ministry of Innovation in 2018, two regional innovation centers were awarded a grant of EUR 1.1 million for specialized labs and equipment.

Possible Government Actions

Some improvements can be noted in the field of education. The enrollment rate at all levels is increasing, but it is still significantly below the average, and a lot of young Roma and Ashkali do not reach higher levels of education. In this academic year, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has increased the number of scholarships for Roma, Ashkali (and Egyptian) students from 500 to 600, and has also allocated funds to learning centers that were previously primarily funded by donors.

Promoting Inclusive Education: The government should encourage integrated classrooms that bring together pupils from many ethnic origins as a proactive way to promote inclusivity. The younger generation may become more united as a society and help heal divisions through cultural exchange and shared learning opportunities. Kosovo should prioritize implementing an inclusive education system in order to shield susceptible youth from radicalization. It has advanced somewhat, as seen by the development of a manual for instructors and the thorough training of educators (refer to the section on education). It is one of the active participants in the project for the Western Balkan Counter-Terrorism (WBCTi).

Investing in Infrastructure: A focused investment plan is necessary to address the gaps in infrastructure and resources. Funds allocated for modernizing classrooms, supplying instructional materials, and augmenting educational resources as a whole will help to build a more just and efficient educational system in both urban and rural regions.

Revamping Vocational Training Programs: Redesigning vocational training programs should be the government’s primary priority in order to address high dropout rates and youth unemployment. By matching these programs to industry demands and working together to offer real-world, hands-on experience, we can better prepare students for the workforce, which will lower unemployment rates and promote economic growth.

Building a robust educational system requires addressing historical differences, raising educational standards, encouraging inclusion, and addressing financial limits. Kosovo can set the stage for a society that is centered on knowledge, cooperation, and shared prosperity by making investments in its youth. Although the road ahead is still long, Kosovo can improve its educational system and create the groundwork for a better future by working together.

Cover Image by: Ben Wicks, 2018 via Unsplash


Educational Challenges in Djibouti

Written by Priscilla Thindwa

Education is a human right, not a privilege. This means education is legally guaranteed for all human beings without discrimination and for this reason, states are obliged to “protect, respect, and fulfil the right to education”.i In instances where states violate or deprive their citizens of the right to education, they are expected to be held accountable for such violations.

As a member of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), the Republic of Djibouti, has ratified several human rights conventions. Among these is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights which was adopted in 1948. As proclaimed in Article 26, everyone has the right to education. As signatory, Djibouti has made legally binding international commitments to adhere to the standards including protecting and respecting the right to education. In addition to its obligations through international commitments, the Constitution of Djibouti emphasises the right to education as an essential element for growth and human development. Despite this emphasis, Djibouti has not been able to guarantee the right to education to everyone in the country. This article will address the challenges standing in the way of the right to education, but also highlight some good practices.

Djibouti’s Educational Landscape

As a former French colonial state, its education system is based on the French system with French and Arabic as instruction languages. Compulsory education runs for nine years: primary school lasts five years and middle school lasts four years.ii For primary school, enrolment rates were under the regional average in 2020. The enrolment rate of girls in the appropriate age group for primary school was 65 percent in comparison to the regional average of almost 80 percent. For boys, the enrolment rate was 68 percent in comparison to the regional average of 81 percent.iii In 2022, 42 percent of children in the primary school age were out of school.iv

Secondary school lasts three years and thereafter, students can attend skills training college (TVET) or the University of Djibouti for at least three years.v While for primary school Djibouti does not reach the regional average, the gross enrolment rate for secondary schooling exceeds the regional average. In 2022, an enrolment rate of 57 percent was reported. According to the Oxford Business Group, this is a huge improvement as in 2001, enrolment was only 16 For tertiary education, Djibouti again does not catch up with the region: total enrolment is only 5 percent.vii

Despite the fact that Djibouti underperforms in primary and tertiary education on the regional level, the Oxford Business Group reports clear improvements. One improvement mentioned earlier are the enrolment rates in secondary school. In addition, while enrolment rates in primary school are still below the regional average, there has been great improvement over the last two decades. The number of girls not attending primary school fell from 42,620 in 2001 to 16,872 in 2021, while the number of boys fell from 39,088 to 15,284 over the same period. Another improvement in the student-teacher ratio from 34 students per teacher in 2008 to 29 in 2018.viii

Such improvements are partly owed to the the Education Action Programme 2017-19 (Plan d’Action de l’Education, PAE). Under this programme, several results were achieved including developing a preschool strategy and recognising second-chance education centres and mainstreaming of life skills and citizenship education. Another important aspect of the programme was the inclusion of refugee children into the national education system. Such developments have been important in working towards achieving quality and accessible education for all in Djibouti.ix

Source: Global Partnership for Education | Via Flickr

Challenges Associated with Education

One of the challenges has already been noted: many children remain out of school. Other challenges include inequitable access to education, low quality of education, low availability of learning materials, and disparities due to gender, geographic areas, and socio-economic status.

Inequitable Access to Education, Low Availability of Learning Materials and Lack of Schools

Three of the main challenges facing the education sector in Djibouti are the unequal access to education, low availability of learning materials, and the lack of schools. These challenges disproportionately affect children in rural areas, especially girls, migrants, refugees, disabled children, and children on the street.x According to a 2020 report by the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFOP), an estimated 50.5 percent of students lived within 1 km of a school, meaning the other 49.5 percent lives further away. 3.3 percent resided further than 10 km from their nearest school. Disparities due to geographic areas and socio-economic status continue to hinder the progress in improving education systems in the country.xi

With regards to refugees, Djibouti hosted 31,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the beginning of 2022. This number remained stable in 2023.xii Because of this high number, providing education for refugee children is essential. For most refugee children, language was the main barrier for accessing education. To counter such barriers, the government has translated the national curriculum into English and Arabic and has trained teachers in local languages of Afar and Somali. Also, the government recognises education previously provided to refugee students in other countries which has made it easier for them to take the Djibouti Baccalaureate examination.xiii

Additionally, as a way of making education inclusive and accessible for all, the government has developed the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector whose main goal is to alleviate unemployment within the country. Such trainings economically empower those from disadvantaged households who cannot afford university costs to attain skills. This shows the government has taken steps to bridge access to education between the rich and poor.xiv

Low Quality of Education

Despite progress made in recent years, low quality of education remains a challenge for Djibouti. For instance, based on the grade 5 assessments conducted in 3 subjects (French, Mathematics and Arabic), the success rate for children at the end of 2017-2018 academic year was 71.8 percent. In 2016-2017, the ratio was pegged at 64 percent.xv In light of such lower quality of education, the government has been working collaboratively with agencies such as UNICEF in order to improve the quality of education in the country.

Gender Disparities

Similar to most African countries, the gaps between male and female students in school attendance is persistent. The number of girls’ school drop outs is usually higher than that of boys, and girls are in rural areas are particularly affected. In comparison to rural areas, urban areas show an increase in gender equity in primary, secondary and tertiary education.xvi

Djibouti is observed to have made progress: as noted before, there was a large increase in the number of girls attending primary school between 2001 and 2021. Even though gender inequality is still persistent, national policies and strategies promoting women’s rights and gender equality have contributed to changes in attitude towards girls’ education. Another intervention aiding progress is the revision of teaching and learning materials in which images defying traditional depiction of women and girls in society are now displayed.xvii On this note, the government of Djibouti has made some considerable progress in bridging the gender gap in access to education, albeit slow.

Source: Global Partnership for Education Via Flickr

The Covid-19 Pandemic

Similar to elsewhere, the COVID-19 pandemic had grave consequences for education. As a way to limit the spread of the virus, measures such as containment were put in place in most countries around the globe. Such measures restricted children and adolescents from going to school and any other public facilities, which exacerbated already existing inequities in many countries. In Djibouti, the government closed down schools in April 2020. All activities were suspended until August 2020.xviii

To ensure students continued to have access to their education, MENFOP developed a distance-learning programme for both rural and urban areas. This was done, for example, through televising and radio courses as well as providing the learning materials on internet platforms. Moreover, booklets and paper materials for rural communities and refugees were provided.xix Also, through funding from the World Bank, the government supported improvement in access to remote learning and provided electronic devices and internet connectivity to schools across the country.xx In addition, the programs focused on vulnerable students, including children living in remote areas, refugees, and girls.xxi

While the programme did not reach every students, it is considered successful: 86 percent of students had access to online learning, of which 45% were girls, 18% lived in remote areas and 5% were refugees. Also, many children returned to school after schools reopened. With support of UNICEF, a campaign was launched to engage the community and parents, leading to positive results. In addition, students who experienced high levels of learning loss were offered remedial programmes.xxii Thus, even though the COVID-19 pandemic posed as a challenge within the education sector, the government together with international organisations was able to alleviate the effects caused by creating alternative ways to accessing education.


As discussed above, different factors continue to hinder full enjoyment of the right to education by people living in Djibouti. Many children continue to not attend schools, and low access to educational institutions remains a problem. This is compounded by low quality of education and low availability of learning materials. Such challenges are exacerbated by inequitable access to education, as well as disparities due to gender, geographic areas, and socio-economic status.

Despite aforementioned challenges, the government of Djibouti undertakes efforts to increase access to and coverage of education, especially in rural areas and for refugees. Also, its improvement in reducing gender disparities should be commended. With regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government managed to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic by providing alternative learning avenues and equipment. The involvement of local communities and parents can be praised.

  • Donaher, M. (2023). USAID Djibouti’s Early Grade Reading Activity (DEGRA) Is Transforming Gender Norms in the Classroom and Beyond. Education Links.,to%20drop%20out%20of%20school.
  • Hamlaoui, Souad. (2021). Djibouti: An opportunity to transform education through enhanced sector dialogue during the COVID-19 crisis. Global Partnership Education.
  • Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why education in Djibouti is more accessible across the country.Oxford Business Group.
  • Reliefweb. (2023). Djbouti: Operational Update. Reliefweb.,asylum%20seekers%20from%20neighboring%20countries.
  • Right to Education. (2023). Understanding Education as a Right. Right to Education.
  • https://www.right-to
  • The World Bank. (2015). Djibouti Needs to Build and Expand on Achievements to Educate the Next Generation. The World Bank.
  • UNICEF Djibouti. (2019). Djibouti: Education Thematic Report. UNICEF.
  • USAID. (N.d.). Djibouti: Education. USAID.
  • USAID. (N.d.). Djibouti: Gender. USAID.
  • i Right to Education. (2023). Understanding Education as a Rights. Right to Education.
  • ii Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • iii USAID. (N.d.). Djibouti: Gender. USAID.
  • iv USAID. (N.d). Djibouti: Education. USAID.
  • v Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country”. Oxford Business Group.
  • vi Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • vii USAID. (N.d.). “Djibouti: Education”. USAID.
  • viii Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • ix Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • x UNICEF Djibouti. (2019). Djibouti: Education Thematic Report. UNICEF.
  • xi Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • xii Reliefweb. 2023. Djbouti: Operational Update. Reliefweb.,asylum%20seekers%20from%20neighboring%20countries.
  • xiii Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • xiv Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • xv UNICEF Djibouti. (2019). Djibouti: Education Thematic Report. UNICEF.
  • xvi M. Donaher. (2023). USAID Djibouti’s Early Grade Reading Activity (DEGRA) Is Transforming Gender Norms in the Classroom and Beyond. Education Links.,to%20drop%20out%20of%20school.
  • xvii M. Donaher. (2023). USAID Djibouti’s Early Grade Reading Activity (DEGRA) Is Transforming Gender
  • xviii Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • xx Oxford Business Group. (2023). Why Education is More Accessible Across the Country. Oxford Business Group.
  • xxi Souad Hamlaoui. (2021). Djibouti: An opportunity to transform education through enhanced sector dialogue during the COVID-19 crisis. Global Partnership Education.
  • xxii Souad Hamlaoui. (2021). Djibouti: An opportunity to transform education through enhanced sector dialogue during the COVID-19 crisis. Global Partnership Education.

Educational Challenges in French Polynesia

French Polynesia/ Tahaa: School Bus via Flickr, photographer: Enrico Silva

Written by Luzi Maj Leonhardt for Broken Chalk

French Polynesia represents a French overseas collective and consists of 121 islands in the eastern South Pacific. The islands comprise the five archipelagos, Society Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Marquesas Islands, Gambier Islands, and Austral Islands. The island of Tahiti and the capital Papeete, represent the political and economic centre of the country. Together, the size of the overall territory can be compared to the size of Europe. French Polynesia has approximately 300,000 inhabitants. 

French Polynesia was colonized by France in 1880 and became a French overseas territory in 1949. Since then, France granted more and more autonomy to local authorities, while the 2004 ‘Organic Law’ played a significant role in the country’s self-government. Consequently, since 2013, French Polynesia has been officially listed as a self-governing territory by the United Nations. 

The political system present in French Polynesia is a parliamentary democracy, with a 57-seat assembly and parliamentary elections in five-year terms. The current president is Moetai Brotherson, who won elections in May 2023 and, for the first time since 2004, belongs to a pro-independence party. However, according to local experts, this will most likely not result in a political referendum, but the high voter turnouts are due to dissatisfaction with the previous government during Covid 19. 

In general, the president of the French Republic is also the head of state of French Polynesia, which reveals the strong influence France remains to have on the economic and political development.

French influence in French Polynesia

Historically, for many people, the French administration in French Polynesia is strongly connected to the 193 nuclear tests conducted by the French state between 1966 and 1996. These areal and underground tests had severe consequences for the environment, health, and economy, and victims struggle to obtain compensation and recognition until today. Even though, in 2021, compensation procedures reached new importance in the Macron administration, the French government still denied their minimalization of the impacts of contaminations during the project.

Nowadays, the economy of French Polynesia is rooted in tourism; approximately 68% of Polynesians work in the service sector. Therefore, the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown had severe consequences for the economy. Additionally, the country relies on the cultivation of black pearls and subsidies. The latter is mainly based on financial support by France to their overseas territory, which makes up 30% of the country’s GDP. These spending are distributed equally on the jurisdictions of the territorial government and French state-based responsibilities. French Polynesia reached autonomy in most local affairs and regional relations over time. However, France retains responsibilities in competencies such as law enforcement, defence, and education.

The educational system in French Polynesia

The French Polynesian educational system is regulated by local authorities and the French government. The state finances public education and subsidizes private institutions, operated by the church. Thereby, France holds key responsibilities in budget management and organization of state exams, such as teacher certifications and high-school finals.

The general school system is similar to the system in place in France, complying with French standards, including the curriculum. However, since the 2004 ‘Organic Law’, local authorities have gained more say and autonomy in the educational sector. This led to slight changes in the curriculum to match local needs and take historical, geographical, cultural, and social realities into account. 

In French Polynesia, education is compulsory until age sixteen, whereby primary education falls between the ages of five and twelve, while secondary education finishes at age seventeen. However, many children fail to comply due to language barriers, economic struggles, and cultural differences. As a form of higher education, the ‘Université de la Polynésie française’ was founded in 1987 in Outumaoro, Punaauia, Tahiti. The university is a non-profit higher education institution and has displayed a significant increase in students since 1999. In 2019, the number of students rose to 2898. Additionally, several technical schools offer special programs such as hotel business, service, and teaching. There are also different adult educational programs. 

The language of instruction in formal educational institutions is French. However, with new efforts of local adjustments and accessibility, the incorporation of the Tahitian language as a language of instruction makes up on average one in seven courses.

Language barrier in the educational system

French Polynesia has always been a multilingual country, with five different local languages in the archipelagos. Tahitian is the language of the islands, however, its recognition as an official language alongside French only took place in the 1980s. The formal recognition of indigenous languages has long been neglected and still plays a role in the contemporary educational system. 

Since the beginning of French influence, the language in the educational system has been French. This also means that until French became more popular in society, children started their academic careers in a foreign language. Especially on smaller islands, people mainly spoke Polynesian as their everyday language of socialization. The former educational system was not very tolerant towards indigenous languages and even formally banned Tahitian in schools for some time. However, in the early 2000s, France extended their early childhood and foreign language promotion as part of the EU’s multilingual education movement. This led to meaningful changes in language learning policies in French Polynesia. The program aimed to provide culturally responsive education and meant the inclusion of the Tahitian language in schools. 

Nevertheless, Tahitian only makes up a couple of hours per week, so nationalist groups proceed to fight for the equal incorporation of indigenous languages in the educational sector. Even though, the literacy rate on Tahiti is 98%, many smaller islands struggle with the educational system provided by the French administration, leading to high dropout rates. Education is compulsory until age sixteen, but only 20% of the students in French Polynesia, mainly from outer islands, finish elementary school. One reason for this is language difficulties, which lower the accessibility to the educational system. 

Additionally, English has become increasingly important over the last decade, especially in the tourism sector. Therefore, it was integrated into the elementary school curriculum in 2010 as a foreign language after a pilot project of five years. Unfortunately, this policy change faced severe difficulties due to a lack of teachers with sufficient language competencies. 

Although the educational system in French Polynesia mirrors the French educational system, statistical data conducted in elementary schools reveals a deficiency in the academic success of French Polynesian students. Experts connect this deficiency directly to the socio-linguistic context and emphasize the dependency of further professional opportunities for the students on educational success.


French Polynesia faces growing challenges of social and economic inequalities, including differences in wealth. About ¼ of the population lives below the poverty line, while most of the wealth lies with the rich elite, mainly French civil servants. The reason for this involves the absence of redistribution measures in the tax system, namely an income tax. One-half of the citizens live in rural areas due to poverty and a lack of opportunities for young people in urban areas, which leads to the creation of ‘shanty towns’ or slums surrounding bigger cities.

Demographically, French Polynesia is a young country; Approximately ¼ of the population is under 14 years old, and 35% is under 20 years old. However, due to the economic difficulties of the families and the already mentioned language limitations, many children drop out of school before the compulsory age of sixteen, narrowing their prospects for future employment. Consequently, 50% of the under twenty-five-year-olds are unemployed, and a big part of the young population struggles with underemployment. 


In conclusion, the educational approach in French Polynesia based on the French system and curriculum, is stable and provides a basis for substantial education. The foundations of education do not face severe challenges. However, by transferring the foreign French system to the academic sector in French Polynesia, the French administration failed to consider local societal and political circumstances. This is reflected in the clash over the language used in schools. Given that language poses the main challenge in French Polynesia, other issues, like the increase in unemployment, are connected to it. So, it’s crucial to focus on making improvements in this area.

Research on child learning suggests significant advantages of bilingual and multilingual education. Including the children’s native language by linking socialization and education will improve cognitive skills, leading to positive development of language ability and educational success. 

Even though academic policies in French Polynesia started to open up to indigenous languages, the dimension of Tahitian in schools compared to French is still minimal. Therefore, it is necessary to expand on the further development of multilingual programs in schools and universities. 

Additionally, enhancing the dialogue and direct cooperation in originally French political responsibilities, such as education, will improve the legitimation of the system, standing against critical voices in the political sphere, such as nationalist parties. 

The decision-makers on education in French Polynesia set a new goal for evaluating multilingual education. To successfully attain this objective, the implementation of innovative policies to reinforce resolutions, coupled with financial support aimed at equipping teachers with the necessary competencies, is imperative.

Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash.


At Broken Chalk, we believe that education is not just a privilege, but a fundamental right for every person on this planet. That is why our team of dedicated individuals has poured their hearts and souls into creating the World Education Report 2023.

Each team member contributed with several reports. We aimed to focus on critical key topics concerning education, such as access to quality education; school infrastructure; discrimination in the educational system; teachers’ working conditions, and education in conflict settings. Each team member brought their own unique expertise and perspective, ensuring a well-rounded and comprehensive examination of the state of education worldwide.

We drew on a vast variety of sources concerning education in different countries to realize this report and ensure a comprehensive overview of the state of education in
2023, worldwide. This report, therefore, provides an important basis to ensure further developments within countries’ educational systems.

We did this report to further promote the goals of Broken Chalk. Broken Chalk is a non-profit organization devoted to addressing human rights violations in the educational sector. Broken Chalk advocates on behalf of educational victims. The interns working for Broken Chalk prepare comprehensive reports for international organizations, stakeholders, and governments to highlight human rights violations in education.

As you dive into the World Education Report 2023, we invite you to join us on this journey. Together, let’s rewrite the narrative of education—empowering individuals, eradicating inequality, and creating a brighter, more equitable future for all.

Download the full report!

Broken Chalk calls for recognition of the importance of access to education in the mother language

Written by Luzi Maj Leonhardt, Dooyum Stephanie Tseke, Sara Rossomonte

Today, on the International Day of the Mother Language, the acknowledgement and advancement of the mother language in education, and social and cultural development are inevitable.  

International Mother Language Day was first introduced by the UNESCO initiative of Bangladesh, at the 1999 General Conference. Since then, it was established by the UN General Assembly, and its importance was formalized as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

However, limitations in access to education in the mother language remain, as approximately 40% of the global population lacks this fundamental right. In some regions, these numbers even go up to 90% of the population, according to the UN.  Access to education in the student’s mother language fosters an inclusive learning environment, which welcomes indigenous and minority groups and leads to better learning outcomes, especially in the early stages of education.  Broken Chalk recognises the need to address the issue of a lack of native language representation in education in many countries worldwide. Especially the educational sector in countries with a colonial or foreign administrative past continues to be strongly influenced by their language of instruction.  Broken Chalks strongly supports the creation of accessible and high-quality educational materials in the native languages of various countries.

The importance of mother language in education cannot be overstated. In most sub-Saharan African countries, approximately 85% of students receive instruction in a language other than their native tongue (UNESCO, 2017). Nigeria, a nation with over 600 different languages, solely employs English as the language of instruction in primary schools, prohibiting the use of local languages that are deemed informal.

Similarly, many Asian societies, formerly under colonial rule, such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesia, only began actively promoting their national languages after World War II. In Sri Lanka, Tamil was officially recognised as an official language in 1978, yet English has become the predominant language in recent years.

The absence of mother tongue instruction in education leads to knowledge gaps, particularly at the primary and secondary levels, hindering effective learning and exacerbating inequality and discrimination against diverse cultures, resulting in low student enrolment rates. Broken Chalk calls for urgent investments to lower the educational gaps of children with speak in their mother language.

Ethiopian schools have introduced instruction in students’ native tongues, resulting in significant improvements, including a half-year increase in education attainment and a 40% rise in the likelihood of students reading complete sentences (Rajesh, 2017). Similarly, the Bolivian Campaign for the Right to Education (CBDE) advocates for inclusive educational approaches, particularly for the indigenous population. Broken Chalk believes that education is crucial to working towards the elimination of discrimination against indigenous populations.

Children benefit from embracing both their own and others’ cultural identities while using the same language, as exemplified in Zimbabwe, where the government has prioritised mother tongue education. However, challenges persist globally, including inadequate funding for minority language education, lack of standardised teaching materials, and qualified teachers for indigenous languages. Colonial language policies contribute to linguistic inequality and marginalisation, necessitating governments and educational institutions to prioritise mother languages in curriculum development and teacher training programs. Funding is essential to preserve endangered languages and promote multilingualism through bilingual education initiatives. Broken Chalk calls for the allocation of more funding to promote multilingualism in education.

At Broken Chalk,celebrating World Mother Language Day reaffirms our commitment to cultural diversity and acknowledges the value and heritage of all languages. In addition to efforts being made globally, Broken Chalk will continue to publish articles in different languages to encourage and advocate for Cultural and Language Diversity.

Broken Chalk announces it to the public with due respect. 


Broken Chalk 

From Slums to Success: The Remarkable Story of Kianda Foundation and Its Impact on Kenya’s Most Vulnerable Communities

Written by Frida Brekk

Kianda Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to empower underprivileged communities in Kenya through education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. Founded in 2001 by a group of young professionals, the Kianda Foundation has since impacted thousands of Kenyans’ lives. The foundation’s focus on education is evident in its various programs aimed at providing quality education to children in low-income areas. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) program targets children between the ages of 3 and 6 years and provides them with a solid foundation in literacy, numeracy, and social skills. The primary education program focuses on providing quality education to children in grades 1 to 8, while the secondary school program provides scholarships to deserving students to enable them to complete their high school education.

Kianda Foundation’s healthcare program provides basic medical care to children in low-income areas, focusing on preventive care. The program also provides health education to children and their parents to promote healthy living practices. Additionally, the foundation runs a nutrition program that provides meals to school children, ensuring they have access to healthy and nutritious food. The Foundation’s entrepreneurship program aims to empower women and youth through skills training and access to capital. The program provides training in various skills, such as tailoring, hairdressing, and catering, among others. Participants are also provided with capital to start their businesses, enabling them to become self-sufficient and contribute to their communities’ economic development.

Photo by Kevin Menya on Unsplash

One of the notable achievements is the establishment of Kianda School, a top-tier primary school located in the affluent suburb of Muthaiga, Nairobi. The school provides a world-class education to children from diverse backgrounds, with a focus on academic excellence, character formation, and social responsibility. The school’s alumni have excelled in various fields, including medicine, law, and entrepreneurship. The Kianda Foundation founded Kianda School as a flagship school that provides a world-class education to children from diverse backgrounds. One of the school’s notable achievements is its focus on character formation, social responsibility, and academic excellence. The school’s curriculum includes classes on social justice, environmental conservation, and community service, instilling values of empathy and leadership in students. Kianda School’s alumni have excelled in various fields, including medicine, law, and entrepreneurship, and many have become leaders in their communities and beyond.

Kianda Foundation’s impact is evident in the thousands of lives it has touched over the years. Its commitment to empowering communities through education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship has made a significant difference in the lives of underprivileged Kenyans. The foundation’s programs have improved the quality of life for individuals and contributed to the development of communities and the country as a whole. Kianda Foundation is undoubtedly a testament to the power of individuals coming together to make a difference. Its commitment to empowering underprivileged communities through education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship is an inspiration to many.

Grace was a young girl living in the slums of Nairobi when she was enrolled in the Kianda Foundation’s Early Childhood Development program. Before joining the program, Grace had never held a pencil or attended school. However, Grace quickly learned how to read and write through the program’s quality education and nurturing environment. She also developed social skills and gained confidence in herself. After completing the ECD program, Grace was enrolled in Kianda Primary School, where she excelled academically. She received a scholarship from the Kianda Foundation to complete her high school education. Today, Grace is a successful businesswoman and a role model to many young girls in her community.

Mary was a single mother living in a low-income area of Nairobi. She had always dreamed of starting her own business but needed more skills and capital to do so. Through Kianda Foundation’s entrepreneurship program, Mary received training in tailoring and was provided with a microfinance loan to start her own tailoring business. With hard work and determination, Mary’s business grew, and she was able to support her family and employ other women in her community. Mary is now a successful entrepreneur and a mentor to other women in her community who aspire to start their businesses.

Another remarkable accomplishment through the Kianda Foundation is the story of Rosemary Njeri. Rosemary grew up in the slums of Nairobi and had limited access to education and economic opportunities. However, her life changed when she was enrolled in Kianda Foundation’s primary school. Rosemary excelled academically and was awarded a scholarship by the Kianda Foundation to attend a prestigious high school in Kenya. She continued to excel in her studies and was awarded a scholarship to attend the United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) in Nairobi. At USIU-A, Rosemary pursued a degree in international business administration and was actively involved in various extracurricular activities. After completing her degree, Rosemary worked for several years in the private sector in Kenya before returning to Kianda Foundation as a program officer. In this role, she oversaw the foundation’s entrepreneurship program, which provides training and microfinance loans to women and youth in low-income areas. Under Rosemary’s leadership, the entrepreneurship program expanded and reached more people in need. Many of the program’s beneficiaries went on to start successful businesses, creating jobs and contributing to their communities’ development. In recognition of her outstanding work, Rosemary was selected to participate in the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that brings together young African leaders for leadership training and networking opportunities in the United States. Today, Rosemary is a successful social entrepreneur and a role model to many young women in Kenya. She is the founder of La Fédération Des Femmes Entrepreneurs Du Cameroun, a social enterprise that empowers women entrepreneurs in Cameroon. Rosemary’s success is a testament to the transformative power of education and the impact that grassroots organizations like the Kianda Foundation can have on people’s lives.

These stories are just a few examples of the many lives impacted by the Kianda Foundation. The foundation’s commitment to sustainably empower individuals and communities through education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship has made a significant difference in the lives of underprivileged Kenyans. The foundation’s impact is a reminder that with dedication, hard work, and a sense of purpose, we can all make a difference in the world.

Kianda Foundation’s programs and impact:

  • Since its inception in 2001, the Kianda Foundation has impacted over 25,000 children and young people in Kenya.
  • The foundation’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) program has provided quality education to over 10,000 children in low-income areas.
  • The primary education program has supported over 1,500 students in their primary school education.
  • The secondary school program has awarded over 500 scholarships to deserving students, enabling them to complete their high school education.
  • The healthcare program has provided medical care to over 8,000 children in low-income areas and has reached over 20,000 children through health education programs.
  • The nutrition program has provided over 250,000 meals to children in schools.
  • The entrepreneurship program has trained over 1,000 women and youth in various skills and has provided over 500 microfinance loans to entrepreneurs.
  • Kianda School, the foundation’s flagship primary school, has over 700 students from diverse backgrounds and consistently ranks among the top schools in Kenya in national exams.
  • Kianda Foundation’s programs have received support from various donors and partners, including USAID, Rotary International, and the Kenyan government.

The foundation’s impact goes beyond just the numbers. Kianda Foundation has empowered communities through its various programs by providing access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. The foundation’s focus on empowering women and youth is particularly noteworthy, as it has enabled individuals who would otherwise not have had access to such opportunities to become self-sufficient and contribute to their communities development. Kianda Foundation’s impact on the lives of individuals and communities is a testament to the power of grassroots organizations to effect change and make a lasting impact.