For some Americans, post-Labor Day means “back to school,” which can be exciting or stressful or both. Kids or no, the holiday marks the time to get back to business. Turn over a new leaf. Make a fresh start. Take the next level.
To families in developing countries, however, back to school might as well mean a trip to the moon—it’s just as far fetched. Even tuition-free government schools charge enrollment fees, and most require students to
wear uniforms and shoes—costs that are out of reach to poor parents who don’t have two pennies to rub together.
It’s a sad “Catch 22.” People who lack education, especially literacy, can’t get a job. So they can’t afford to send their kids to school. Those kids grow up illiterate and unemployed, and the cycle continues. Education breaks that cycle.
A family trapped in poverty for generations can lift itself out in one. But they usually need a boost.
What that means in dollars depends on whether a child goes to primary school or college, whether tuition includes room and board, and what country the student lives in. Costs can range anywhere from $16.50 to help an Ethiopian child go to primary school, to $5,500 to put a Haitian student through a year of medical school.
In today’s economy, any amount is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s small when measured against the good it can do.
What a great way to turn over that new leaf—take the next level: Sponsor education for impoverished kids who would otherwise look forward to more of the same. Help break their cycle of poverty for generations to come.