We start with the premise that the fact that 66% of students in northern Ghana drop out of school between primary school and the start of secondary school, due to a lack of academic preparedness and for financial reasons, is preventing widespread prosperity in the region.
Our theory of change is based on the findings that formal education is one of the most important keys to economic development and that early education in particular can deliver outstanding results. $1 invested in high-quality early education can deliver $17 in social benefits over 24 years, which is an annual social return on investment of 15% (Schweinhart, 2003). By focusing our efforts on children between the ages of 3 and 8 in rural northern Ghana, a region that has an average income of less than $1 per day and a rural literacy rate of 22%, we plan to help quadruple the rural literacy rate and improve children’s social, cognitive, and other skills that are crucial to later success.
Targeting children during their early years carries the benefit of reaching them while their language capacity, basic social skills, self-confidence, and more are still initially being formed. When low-income children in particular get into a cycle of academic success from an early age, they gain the self-confidence and skills they need to excel during the rest of their school careers. Culturally-speaking, giving young children in northern Ghana a place to go during the day ensures that their older female siblings will not have to stay home from school to watch them, as is currently a widespread practice. Despite the importance of early education, it is the level of education for which there are the least schools in Ghana.
To learn more about our curriculum, click here to see a sample curriculum module about hygiene.
We believe in the power of young children’s learning to inform and transform their futures — and the future of their societies.