Children in developing countries face numerous barriers to accessing basic education. According to the World Bank, school fees (books, materials and some exams) are among the major obstacles to universal primary education in developing countries. Despite having free primary education, over one million Kenyan primary school children are frequently absent due to a lack of school uniforms, shoes and school supplies. In addition to this, many students are unable to pay the mandatory examination fees. The situation is worse in the informal settlements of Nairobi and rural areas in the western part of the country. In these areas, there is a high level of poverty and illiteracy. These regions also have a high number of orphans, 90% of which are not enrolled in school.
This cycle of poverty and illiteracy has prompted us to start the Back to School project in the Githurai and Namboboto communities. The project supports 150 local orphans and vulnerable children with school uniforms, shoes and school supplies every year. This has contributed towards increased school enrollment and improved academic performance.