Advanced Sponsorship Project

 

Story & Background

There are approximately 8 million people younger than 18 years old in rural Malawi. School is a place of hope and empowerment for the youth of Malawi. With the mean age of Malawi being just 16.5 years old, and an astronomic rate of youth unemployment, millions of young people need this education, as they will be forced into leadership roles sooner rather than later.

The children of Malawi will quickly become it’s country leaders without training, support, or mentors. What will happen to the sense of community? What will happen to the sense of nation?

The UN and Malawian Government have said, “There must be urgent strategic investment in ensuring that young people are able to make the most of their position so they become agents for positive socioeconomic change leading the country into a period of innovation and social and economic productivity.”

How a Standardized Test Can Be the Difference

The one standardized test in Malawi, the MSCE, is incredibly important for deciding students' futures. MSCE outcomes decide everything from which students can attend college, to which graduates can receive business loans, to taking any course at a technical school.

As Dr. Zikani Kaunda, Story Time Vice President states, "Someone has got to have an MSCE. Without MSCE, it’s almost impossible for you to go into any course." Yet, it is impossible to take a full-length practice test in Malawi.

Imagine if this were the case in the US with the ACT or SAT; the economy and universities would be seen as incredibly competitive and inaccessible places for many. This is the case in the minds of Malawian young people. Except, to high schoolers like Memory, they continue to aspire to reach the score that will allow them to achieve their dreams, despite the lack of resources in their way.

Some students require additional assistance in accessing basic supplies, especially as a student identified as being most likely to drop out.

Theory of Change

By providing an environment which students do not need to even think about where money will come from for their next meal, or how early in the morning they will need to wake up to make it to class on time, or when they can buy a notebook, they can focus on the priority of achieving their high school MSCE certificate.

Students who obtain this certificate overall have more opportunities, and thus, a higher chance of being able to succeed, providing a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Mission

The Advanced Sponsorship Project (ASP) seeks to make education more accessible to sponsored students that lack basic school materials. ASP seeks to provide full-spectrum exam and material support for individuals in testing grades who would otherwise drop out.

Goals

  • These funds are used to provide extra support to the sponsored students that need it, paying for room and board fees for those in testing grades.
  • We hope to expand this project to include uniforms, shoes, backpacks, hygiene products, school materials, and pocket money for students sponsored through Story Time.

Desired Impacts

  • ASP students only need to focus on school responsibilities
  • First graduate to attend college (same as SSP?)

Criteria of success

  • More high school graduates obtain the MSCE.
  • Community is improved through the contributions that MSCE holders make to it.

Definition

The Advanced Sponsorship Project focuses on the following initiatives:

  • Providing basic school supplies for SSP students, including notebooks and shoes.
  • Helping students obtain room & board within 1 kilometer of the school, for easier access to the school's resources.
  • Pocket money allowing the student to budget for food, soap, and other necessities. Some students choose to share their money with other ASP members, creating a community pool of money which they choose to help others through resource-sharing.

While the SSP matches a limited number of donors with students, the ASP allows anyone to donate any amount. Please note that this project differs from the School Materials Project (SMP). The ASP applies to the most at risk students at Nsondole, and those who are already sponsored through the SSP.

To learn more about how to contribute to the Advanced Sponsorship Project, visit the Donate page, where you will find specific information about our current campaigns for projects that are most-in-need.