The Other Side Foundation has always advocated for education as a tool to eradicate poverty among the less fortunate children of the society. This non-profit organisation, renders educational support to both boys and girls who successfully make it to grade 8 to further their studies in state schools through the help of donors. The foundation’s desire has been to see more vulnerable girl children from marginalized families attain higher level of education. Since girls have always been victims of early marriage and teenage pregnancy due to increased poverty in the community they come from.
Today, TOSF can boast of its dream being actualized because more girls are being sponsored to lower and higher secondary schools yearly through the help of donors who trust and have seen the ongoing grassroots intervention TOSF does in impoverished areas of Lusaka.
This year, five girls from The Other Side Foundation School have been sponsored to grade eight by Smiling Children e,V Germany through the introduction of Ms Melanie Rohling, an expatriate who is working in Lusaka. They bought school uniforms, books, shoes and other school requirements for these girls to start grade 8 fully equipped.
Seeing these girls in junior secondary school has brought a lot of joy to the organisation because we understand that in normal circumstances, girls are marginalised and are out of school simply because they are girls which has been a cultural norm especially in developing African countries and their chances of getting a quality education are even lesser if they come from a poor family which is the case for our five girls. Regardless of the Zambian government declaring free education from primary to secondary levels recently, the underprivileged children that TOSF serves can’t even afford a decent meal not to talk of basic school requirements like shoes, socks and uniforms. Credit goes to TOSF and Ms Melanie Rohling who are convinced that EDUCATING A GIRL CHILD, IS EDUCATING THE NATION. Knowing the fact that, if one does not come forward to sponsor these girls’ education and address the barriers faced by adolescent girls; globally by 2030 over 400 million girls will not secure secondary level education and in this case our girls are no exception. During the interaction session with Melanie the girls shared their dreams and promised their sponsor to work extra hard.
We can therefore conclude to say, girl child education is a strategic development priority of any developing nation as there is a heightened awareness on gender equality. Girls grow up to be women/mothers who very often are the pillar of most households. Investing in girls’ education transforms the stereo type thinking of many communities, they are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, informed and productive lives.
The five girls who were sponsored by Smiling Children e.V Germany are not the only ones who need support and empowerment TOSF School for OVC has more girls and boys who still need your support to further their education. Why not sponsor a disadvantaged Zambian child through secondary education through the TOSF Bursary program alongside your own children’s education .