The Educational Support Program has and continues to successfully open opportunities that may have otherwise been impossible for our children. We assist our children through the payment of school fees, tutoring, provision of books, educational activities and/or school supplies.
Our sponsorship program began in 2002 when we saw that there were a handful of exceptionally bright children who, despite incredible odds, were excelling academically. We were impressed by their intelligence, their drive, their resilience, their leadership and mostly, by the hope that they gave us for the future. These were children who we could easily imagine might change the world.
In order to be considered for a C4C scholarship, children have to demonstrate outstanding academic performance, a drive to succeed, resilience, leadership, and kindness. We then put them in the best schools we can find for them.
Our scholarship program successes have been tremendous! Each child has been a source of pride for us and for their sponsors. Most of our boarders are in the top 5 in their class. Of our ten “graduates,” nine are fully employed in the profession in which they were trained. We have a computer programmer in South Africa, an Engineering graduate from Tufts University, a Masters-Graduate from Mount Holyoke College, an office manager in Harare, several mechanics, and two girls running a hair styling/braiding shop. Several are in university, including Sylvester, who is now attending Christian Brothers College in Tennessee.
We also support a handful of students who are skilled artistically and show incredible responsibility and leadership, but are not able to perform at a high academic standard. This may be due to a learning disability, or more likely, periods of time where the child was not in school while they were caring for a HIV positive loved one and/or their family could not pay school fees.
Years ago, when we started the technical school program, simply providing practical skills to these children was enough to ensure their employment. However, in the current economy we have found that they need some additional support to get their feet on the ground. Therefore, in an effort to make sure that their new skills can be fully utilized, each graduate is offered a small start up allowance to help get set up. This final funding has proven to be an essential key to their ultimate independence.