School Tuition Sponsorship Program
Determined to Develop is located in Chilumba, in the Karonga district of northern Malawi. Within Chilumba, 67% of the population are under the age of 25. Of these 67%, only 17% of females and 13% of males attend secondary school (Population Reference Bureau 2014). Therefore, D2D’s target population for the School Tuition Sponsorship Program are all youth in the Chilumba area who face financial barriers that impede their ability to attend secondary school.
The School Tuition Sponsorship Program was implemented in 2010. Over the years, D2D has been able to formulate a system that ensures each sponsored student is continuously supported until they complete secondary school, and some even go on to pursue tertiary education. D2D’s School Tuition Sponsorship program includes: school tuition, exam fees, uniforms, pencils, shoes, and emergency medical expenses for each sponsored child.
D2D believes completing secondary school is one of the primary keys to ending the cycle of poverty in Malawi.
Why Malawian Students Need Financial Support
Malawian youth face countless barriers to completion of secondary education, but possibly the largest of these barriers is the cost of attendance. While primary school is free in Malawi, secondary school is not. School fees and associated costs (i.e. uniforms, learning materials, and exam fees) are often well above the annual household income in rural communities of Malawi, which leads to high rates of school dropout. According to the Population Reference Bureau (2014), just 3% of Malawians in the poorest quintile attend secondary school, as opposed to 30% of the richest.
D2D combats the cycle of poverty in the Chilumba area of Malawi by prioritizing sponsorship for those coming from the poorest quintile. In addition to paying for school fees, uniforms, shoes, supplies, and a lunch program for all sponsored youth, D2D covers emergency medical expenses for sponsored students, which can become an insurmountable burden for families.
School Tuition Sponsorship Program Accomplishments & Goals
Since 2010, Determined to Develop has sponsored 1,570 students through high school and has supported numerous university students through graduation. During the 2018-19 school year, D2D paid school fees for 249 secondary students (high school), including 68 at full boarding schools. D2D also financed 22 university and technical college students.
For the new 2019 fall term, D2D has added 60 new secondary students to that number. However, the number of students visiting D2D headquarters looking for sponsorships grows exponentially every year, but D2D’s ability to sponsor more students is solely dependent on donations.
D2D encourages sponsorship per term to ensure continuity of sponsorship and create a safeguard if a sponsor is unable to continue donating to the program. It also makes sure the sponsored amount is able to cover the full cost of educational support for each student, without overburdening any individual donor. All funds are used collectively to cover the true costs associated with making sure all sponsored youth receive everything required to succeed at school.