Fuelling Change from the Ground Up

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Removing Barriers: With your help, St Jude's approach to access in education addresses key pain points in the students' education journey.

Education is the right of every child. Yet, there are still millions of school-aged children globally without access to education because of various barriers. In Tanzania, for example, the general population of adults aged 25 and above only averages 5.8 years of formal education.

Parents are expected to make significant contributions to aid their child's education. This includes food costs, security, examination fees, stationery, and sometimes even remedial classes. Students are expected to walk to and from school, spending more than an hour and a half every day, or parents pay additional transport or boarding fees.

 "I'm so grateful for St Jude's. She goes to school and stays in safe hands. The burden of childcare expense has been reduced." – Mamma Ruth (watch her story here)

Even when the challenge of school fees is managed, dropout rates remain high. This underscores the reality that access to education is a complex issue extending beyond just financial barriers, such as tuition.

St Jude's Model for Holistic Education

St Jude's leads with a clearly defined theory of change that addresses key pain points in the 'student's educational journey. Whilst tuition fees are a significant barrier for many, other hidden costs create additional burdens for families. [GN5] Thanks to our wonderful supporters, St Jude's approach goes beyond simply removing one barrier; it addresses the entire educational experience.

A recent study estimated annual student expenses, excluding boarding fees, to be around US$140 - a significant burden for the 75% of Tanzania's population living below US$3.20 per day. This forces families to make difficult choices, often put in the position to sacrifice the education of their children for basic necessities.

With your help, St Jude's goes beyond simply offering free tuition. Together, we provide a comprehensive scholarship program that overcomes hidden barriers. It covers not only tuition, but also:

Safe and reliable transportation: This eliminates the burden and risk of long commutes, ensuring students arrive at school ready to learn.

School uniforms and essential learning materials: These are provided, removing financial stress and promoting a sense of community and belonging.

Boarding accommodation and nutritious meals: St Jude's provides a safe and supportive environment, promoting well-being and focus on studies.

This approach to access is producing exceptional results. St Jude's maintains a 100% completion for its students with an impressive gender balance ratio.

Fuelling Change Through Access: St Jude's theory of change to overcoming barriers to education.

Access Through Boarding and Transportation

St Jude's provides boarding accommodation for 80% of its students. This includes a dedicated boarding facility for girls opened in 2020 with a capacity for over 400 boarders. The boarding program fosters academic success through a structured environment. It includes:

Physical exercise sessions: Promoting physical and mental well-being.

Dedicated study time: Allowing focused learning without distractions.

Access to sports facilities: Encouraging healthy competition and teamwork.

Buddy system: Pairing new students with experienced students for a smooth transition.

"When I was a day scholar, my schedule was so busy because I had to help at home! But now that I’m boarding, I get a lot more time for my schoolwork." – Fatuma, Form 1 student (watch her story here)

Lack of access to boarding can be a huge barrier to academic performance, particularly for girls who are often expected to contribute significantly to household chores and childcare, taking away from study time and impacting their overall academic achievement. Boarding schools provide a safe space where girls can focus on their education without the burden of household responsibilities.

Fuelling Access: St Jude's model provides positive outcomes for both students and their families.

St Jude's boarding program ensures the students get sufficient sleep and rest, and thereby, the energy to face the demands of schooling. Our boarding routines and schedules make getting seven to eight hours of sleep certain, proven to support crucial memory retention and academic performance.

St Jude's fleet of 25 buses alleviates long commutes. It reduces the walking distance of students by almost 8,500km per week, relieving pressure from students sacrificing early hours of sleep to walk to school.

With your help, the St Jude's model tackles the barriers to education, providing a safe and supportive environment that fosters academic success! It serves as a powerful example of how a comprehensive approach to education can fuel positive change, breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a brighter future.