The Foundation’s Sponsorship pr0gramme aims at providing access to education to bright and vulnerable children and youth. It involves identifying eligible beneficiaries and supporting them through their education. Whereas beneficiaries are sponsored at the primary, secondary and vocational levels, at the tertiary level, they benefit from an interest free loan scheme.
The programme targets bright but vulnerable children and youths from all any of the country regardless of their religion, gender and ethnicity. Such vulnerable group shall include but not limited to orphans, those from poor socio-economic backgrounds, neglected children, those affected by HIV/AIDS and war.
To qualify for selection, prospective beneficiaries’ must fulfill the following requirements:
- They must be school going children. The Foundation does not sponsor pre-school activities like day care and nursery school.
- They must be financially needy. To eligible, prospective beneficiaries would have proven that financial resources in their immediate families are inadequate to support a quality education for them.
- The children should be bright, disciplined, God fearing and must show willingness to study.
- The children must be performing at a level consistently higher than average in their two previous school assessments (school reports).
- Special consideration shall be given to children who meet school requirements but are also socially vulnerable and are potentially exposed to physical and emotional abuse.
- The beneficiary must be disciplined and must demonstrate sustained good behavior both at school and in the community.
In general sponsorship means provision of tuition fees, scholastic materials and accommodation to beneficiaries. It also includes counselling and training of beneficiaries in life skills. The sponsorship package depends on the level of education, the requirements of the level of education, the specific social – economic status of the respective beneficiary (vulnerability).
The Foundation works directly or indirectly through; volunteers, schools, religious and community leaders, former and current beneficiaries. The Foundation notifies volunteers about the Foundation’s education charity work and the principles on which sponsorship is extended to beneficiaries.
1. The Application Process
The Foundation receives applications for sponsorship in a number of ways including
a) Walk-in applicants.
b) Referrals from education institutions, other child charity NGOs and/or other partners.
c) Referrals from community leaders.
d) Referrals from current or ex-beneficiaries.
e) Referrals received by the resident volunteers.
Applications will as a minimum include the 3 latest report cards from the applicants’ former school and explanation from the applicant as to why they should be sponsored by the Foundation.
The objective of screening is to ensure that the target group and eligibility criteria are met. Here applications are reviewed and independent checks were necessary are conducted. Emphasis is put on the following;
a) Look at the bio-data of the applicant and education history.
b) Distance from current schools attended or future schools.
c) The quality of education at the nearest schools.
d) Applicants living condition at their homes.
e) The social support environment of the beneficiaries.
Results from the screening process will inform the content of the sponsorship package for each applicant. This may vary between either provisions of tuition fees only or with scholastic materials and accommodation as well.
3. Vetting/Approval Process
Successful applicants from the screen will be shorted and issued with an applicant form. They will be required to attend interviews in person and/ or with their parent/guardian for consideration. After the interviews applicants shall be ranked into successful, prospective and not successful. All applicants shall then be notified accordingly. Families and guardians of the successful applicants are contacted and a memorandum of understanding signed with the foundation.
The Foundation may, however, recruit certain persons for sponsorship in cases, that may be considered as emergencies on notification by parents and/or community leaders without following the above process.
The Foundation reserves the right to determine whether the recommended candidate is fit for sponsorship or not.
The Sponsorship package may include provision of one or more of the following; school fees, uniform, and/or scholastic materials. Parents/guardians are expected to provide conducive environment for study, personal requirements and transport to and from schools as the case may require.
The Foundation’s tenures are contingent on the completion of every level of education at the primary, secondary or vocational and obtaining the desired grades. Where such grades are achieved, the Foundation shall provide sponsorship to a beneficiary until completion of the tertiary level of education. The tertiary level is however administered as a loan scheme. Assessment of eligibility for every level remains an ongoing process. The primary condition for continued sponsorship is availability of funds at the Foundation.
Home Based Beneficiaries Vs Boarding House Beneficiaries
In principle the Foundation, wherever practicable, sponsors children to obtain suitable education at the schools immediate to their family setting. Consideration is made to sponsor children at boarding schools under the following circumstances;
- Where there are no suitable day schools within a reasonable commuting distance.
- Where commuting to school will considerably disrupt the beneficiaries’ academic performance.
- Where the social-economic circumstances at home may hinder the child’s academic performance.
- Where the school authorities recommends admission to the boarding school as the most desirable arrangement for the beneficiaries academic and social progress.
- Where there is sufficient home support to monitor and support the child’s welfare while at boarding school.
Resident/Boarding House Beneficiaries
The boarding house has been set up to provide an alternative placement for primary school going vulnerable beneficiaries who may not have the right social support at home to encourage continuing education and child development. The Foundation takes full care of their study and living costs and their general welfare since they are removed from the parents/guardians for considerably long periods of time.
In an attempt to discover and develop the talents, the Foundation supports the beneficiaries in the Boarding House to engage in activities like Music Dance and Drama, Games and Sports. This is conducted by the professional trainers in that field basing on the arrangement made by the Foundation.
Occasionally the boarding House provides accommodation when Alumni and Volunteers are attending training programmes during holidays.
Eligibility for the Boarding House
Children fitting any or all the circumstances below are recommended to live at the Foundation’s boarding house.
- Children from homes where there is no appropriate guardian.
- Vulnerable children living under the guidance of an elderly and needy adult.
- Children with homes very far from appropriate schools.
- Children from desolate neighborhoods e.g. near bars and video halls.
- Children from very poor families where the basic necessities to support learning e.g. food are lacking.
- Children living in homes where they are prone to adult abuse.
Complimentary Sponsorship Activities
- Beneficiaries’ Life Skills Training
The Foundation develops and conduct/carry out trainings and workshop in life skills for all beneficiaries at least once year. The training are conducted during holidays in the beneficiaries’ home area or at the boarding house as may be determined by the programs officer. This is designed to enrich the social aspects that comes with nurturing values and helping these bright vulnerable youth in growing up to become responsible citizens.
- Counselling and Career guidance
The Foundation conducts continuous sensitization Programs to beneficiaries. Among others, such Programs provide counseling and guidance on the importance of education and guidance on topical issues such as HIV/AIDS and career path among others.
- Parents/Guardian Training Programs
The Foundation also develops Programs for training both guardians and partners on beneficiary management. Such training include topics on positive parenting, child protection, children rights and obligations, child care and guidance skills. The Programs Office identify suitable partners with skills and expertise to conduct such training.
- Monitoring Visits
Monitoring visits to schools and homes are conducted. These visits are for assessment of the learners’ academic performance and their living conditions at home.
(i) School Visits
The field team conducts visits to partner schools at least twice a year. They come up with a time table to ensure that all beneficiaries’ schools are visited at least twice a year. These visits include talks with the school teachers on the conduct and discipline of the students, school attendance and to discuss academic performance as well general development of a child.
(ii) Home Visits
The Foundation conducts home visits to the beneficiaries’ home at least once a year to evaluate their living conditions. It’s as a result of these home visits that the Foundation decides on which beneficiaries to accommodate either at the Foundation’s boarding house or in boarding schools. The beneficiaries whose home conditions are not favorable will be given first priority.