Scholarships & school supply kits
ARISE offers support to families and children in the form of scholarships and school supply kits. These provide them all the basic necessities for school and cover the costs of things that can deter enrolment. The scholarship programs and school supply kits increase the educational access and opportunity for vulnerable and marginalized families.
Poverty is prevalent in the areas where ARISE operates, and the cost of attending school is often too high for parents to consider sending their child to school. ARISE helps to promote enrolment and to encourage attendance at school by providing support in the form of scholarships and school supply kits. Family support is provided based upon assessments of the resources available to families in the communities where we work, and their capacity to get the most from those available resources. Where more appropriate, we offer entrepreneurship training and in some cases conditional grants or capital investments for mothers or guardians.
The ARISE scholarship model links to conditional grant distribution. We believe that this encourages recipients to remove their children from child labor and keep them in school.
On average the scholarship lasts three years and is a package of funding divided into three parts, with one-third going immediately towards the child’s school supply kit in the first year of the program. The remaining two-thirds go to the mother or guardian as a grant. He or she uses the grant to invest in his or her business. The parent is then obliged to repay the grant in the form of covering the child’s school materials or fees over the next two years with the proceeds of her business.
School supply kits
The purpose of school supply kits is to help minimize the financial strain that prevents many parents and guardians from sending children to school. The kits provide children with all the basic necessities for getting back to school and include items that their parents often cannot afford. The kits are adapted for local country contexts to cover costs not assumed by the government. For example, in Malawi the kits include uniforms, school supplies, soap, etc. Recipients are also linked with a mentor to provide a positive role model, and parents are asked to take an active role in monitoring their children’s progress and to replace items as necessary.
The distribution of school supply kits is often marked by ceremonies in local communities that are attended by local community leaders, government representatives, teachers, parents and of course the pupils. These events present an opportunity to reinforce the message about the importance of education for children. They also enable the strengthening of monitoring mechanisms and communities’ engagement in the struggle against child labor.
New carpentry skills
Doris lost both her parents to HIV/AIDS at 11 and ended up working on a tobacco farm. ARISE took her out of child labor and taught her carpentry, a male dominated craft in Malawi.