Our 2016 Community Improvement Project
Globally, 170 million children do not attend school, the vast percentage of whom are girls.
Education is something that many of us take for granted. Learning broadens one’s mind and helps one realize one’s true potential. Yet, unfortunately, there are a disproportionate number of children denied this opportunity due to their gender and economic circumstances.
This year, Shopping for a Change is proud to announce your fair trade purchases will go toward helping fund a year of education for ten high school girls and orphans ( maybe more, depending on how much you buy :) ) in Swaziland, an investment that will shape their lives and their communities for years to come.
To accomplish this we are partnering with the community development organization BoMake, which works to improve education, women’s rights, and create a better standard of living for 52 communities in Swaziland.
A landlocked country in Southern Africa, Swaziland is home to over a million people, the majority of whom live in rural areas.
Since 2015, Swaziland has had free primary school education, a result of Swaziland’s government adherence to one of their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, in spite of these changes in policy, Swaziland still lacks the proper funds to truly make standardized education a complete reality. Consequently, schools are overcrowded and many students are unable to attend secondary school due to the added cost.
The average annual fee for a high school student in Swaziland is 4,035 ZAR (approximately $283 USD) while the average annual family income for a family in Swaziland is 3,960 ZAR ( approximately $276 USD).
These fees can prove even more debilitating considering that the average family supports 6-8 school age dependents.
Many of these dependents are orphans. Their parents were prematurely taken from them by AIDS or other health related illnesses - deaths resulting from a lack of clean water and limited access to medical technology. Yet, left behind without their families, these children have found support in their community. However, without adequate finances, a community can only do so much.
When you shop for a change on our site during 2016, half of the net proceeds from all purchase will go towards the funding of this project in January of 2017. Your contribution not only impacts these children’s lives, giving them the opportunity to embrace all the possibilities that increased knowledge brings, but also positively affects the communities in which they live.
Education stimulates a community and helps raise the standard of living. To put it simply, education helps make the world a little bit bigger and a little brighter. Your purchase enables us to give others that education.