Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s dream to help transform lives and advance society, Schools for Africa was founded in 2004 by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Hamburg Society, and UNICEF. Promoting equality for education to over 13 different African countries, this initiative has helped more than 30 million children get the proper education, schools, teachers and facilities they need to better themselves and their society.
About the Program
In addition to the core focus of providing adequate education, facilities and teachers, the Build African Schools Initiative also focuses on providing access to clean drinking water, school supplies, and other necessities to arm these young bright minds with all the tools they need to be successful.
Since 2005, the program has reportedly raised over 200 million US dollars for education and over 20 million in 2014. The Schools for Africa Report outlined 13 countries being impacted by this education focus including Angola, Madagascar, Niger, and Zimbabwe.
Heart warming stories continue to flood the results as children of all ages pursue their dream of a proper education. Dorlys, an 18 year old student from Madagascar, celebrates her successful completion of secondary schooling, giving her opportunity to attend the newly constructed primary school in her village. A school which was built with campaign funding.
The Build African Schools Initiative has laid out very strategic goals to ensure their success and providing the proper support and materials needed for their impact.
UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2014–2017, including:
- Early learning: providing an essential foundation for the future.
- Quality Learning: expanding child-friendly schools and improving learning outcomes.
- Equity:focusing on girls’ education and inclusive education for the most disadvantaged including children with disabilities.
- Education in emergencies:enhancing emergency and disaster preparedness and building resilient
- education systems.
As UNICEF continues to work closely with the national government, their goal is to continue increasing the recognition, attention and provide the proper resources devoted to early learning. As a direct result of this initiative, all countries participating have implemented some form of early learning policy or strategy to ensure the commitment and success of the project.
In addition, many countries have introduced community based activities. For example, in Rwanda, after implementing an early learning policy in 2011, authorities are piloting a per-primary school program that focuses on specific development needs of small children. Another successful result of the UNICEF support is in Ethiopia. Since 2009, Ethiopia has increased their enrollment for children from a lacking 4 % to a significant increase of 34% in 2014. Malawi has invested into the program as well, building over 8,000 learning centers managed by local communities and caregivers providing support to over 400,000 children nationwide according to the published SFA Annual Report 2014.
Neslon Mandela Foundation
Established in 1999, Mr. Nelson Mandela founded this organization after stepping down as the President of South Africa.
- Convening dialogue around critical social issues, including particular issues regarding human rights and democracy, in order to contribute to a just society
- The promotion of, or engaging in, philosophical activities, including discussion regarding issues pertaining to human rights and democracy
- The raising of funds in furtherance of the Trust’s objectives
- The provision of support services to or the promotion of the common interests of public benefit organizations
The Hamburg Society
Now known as the Peter Kramer Foundation, continues to support the education campaign.
Focused on ensuring that every child in the world has a fair chance in life, UNICEF has been a powerhouse to the Build African Schools Initiative. The organization has outlined their 2016 foundation strategic plan to ensure the programs continued success.
Foundation Strategic Plan
- Accelerating efforts to achieve the MDGs and continuing relevant programming after 2015, with a stronger results-based management approach that aligns with the institutional structures of most governments;
- Scaling up proven interventions, enhancing the accountability of national institutions for effective policies, systematically strengthening the use of services and encouraging appropriate behavior change and participation of children, including adolescents, and communities;
- Harnessing innovation and the deeper and wider evidence base to drive and sustain global progress towards realization of children rights;
- Complementing sector-based approaches with more attention to synergies across sectors and to multi-sectoral action;
- Addressing gaps in data, evidence, reporting and accountability