6 countries. 40 leaders. 86 schools. 5,800+ students. One Alliance.
This is what we have celebrated after completing the Educational Alliance meetings last month. For three days, educational leaders from across East Africa held discussions around teacher training, curriculum, government registration, and financial sustainability. Proposals were submitted and working groups have been formed.
We believe in the power of local leaders. We listen when they tell us that “in East Africa, education is for the rich.” And we hear their passion for all children to have equal value and opportunity in their community. When we met with these same leaders in February 2018, they shared their challenges and concerns with us. We discovered together that most leaders shared common struggles in their work as educators. “Why not form an Alliance?” they suggested, “instead of re-inventing solutions for each school?” And the first East African Education Alliance was born.
During our meetings this year we have heard so many stories of schools who have accomplished much with little. Schools full of poor Maasai children are testing fifth in the entire region. Preschools have opened to provide the foundations of education and nutrition to children who cannot afford school fees. Training is being pioneered that is changing the standards for teachers in their region.
When we began on Monday morning, we expected to gain information on about 27 schools in 7 countries. By the end of the meetings, however, the number had reached 86! We were astonished to realize how many children and families have a new future because of these faithful leaders. They are truly giving their lives to invest in these children and work towards sustainable, thriving communities together. We are encouraged to stand alongside these leaders of wonder and power as the Alliance continues to gain momentum in the months to come.