Advance Education for Vulnerable Youth in Zambia
Through our ongoing partnership with the African Education Program (AEP), we are seeking to provide life-changing scholarships to orphans and vulnerable youth in Zambia.
In Zambia, 78% of the population is under the age of 25 and 60% live below the poverty line. Only 56% of youth attend high school, largely due to mandatory fees that begin in 8th grade. AEP’s yearly scholarships are awarded to deserving high school and college students who otherwise cannot afford to continue their education.
Learn more about AEP’s Scholarship Fund below, or click on the donate button to support scholarships!
AEP’s Scholarship Story
Scholarships Change Lives. AEP started the Scholarship Fund in 2007, awarding 25 high school scholarships. Over the years, nearly 2,400 annual scholarships have been awarded to over 1,000 students.
AEP awards scholarships to students who cannot afford to continue their education. Most of these children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Some are also victims of the virus themselves. Many of them now live with older siblings or grandparents, alone, or are themselves the head of household.
AEP has already witnessed the effects that the Scholarship Fund has for its most promising members who have lifted themselves out of poverty. Fifty-five college graduates who started with high school scholarships and were then awarded college scholarships, along with hundreds of high school graduates, have changed the trajectory of their individual lives and those of their families.
Scholarships have also helped to avert student pregnancy and early marriage by alleviating the economic burden families face when trying to provide an education for their girls. AEP has a 1-2% pregnancy rate among its female beneficiaries compared to a 20% average in the area.
Garity’s family could not afford to pay Zambia’s mandatory school fees that start in 8th grade. So for three years, she waited with dread at the prospect of early marriage that surely awaited her.
Thankfully, she found AEP, attended daily academic and extracurricular programs taking place daily at the organization’s educational resource center, and earned her first scholarship in 2017.
Last fall, Garity wrote the 9th grade national exam—an exam that far too many students fail. Nationwide, only 45.6% of students like Garity passed. Failing the exam in most cases ultimately ends a student’s education as most families cannot reinvest in another year of school. Garity and 83.4% of AEP’s 9th graders on scholarship passed the exam and moved on to 10th grade.
When asked what this educational success meant to her, Garity explained, “Passing Grade 9 is a dream come true. Life was very difficult and I never thought I would be in school, talk less of being in Grade 10. I am so grateful for AEP for believing in me, sponsoring my education, and helping me in my studies.”
How You Can Help Us Provide Scholarships
Providing a high school scholarship only costs $275 for the entire school year and an annual college scholarship costs $1,500. You don’t have to offer the full annual amount to make a difference, any donation with help a student continue their studies!