Asante Africa Foundation works in East Africa, with projects in northeastern Tanzania and southwestern Kenya.
Tanzanian and Kenyan laws require that all children attend primary school, which is similar to American grade school. Due to the poverty levels and lack of government infrastructure there are few schools in many communities, and many that exist do not provide a quality education.
Even in Kenya, where the school infrastructure is further along than in Tanzania, it is expensive to attend a “free” school due to the cost of uniforms, supplies and in many cases boarding facilities. A majority of children live in extremely rural and impoverished areas, where the hope of attending school is a distant dream to even the most academically gifted children.
In addition to financial obstacles, children face major infrastructure obstacles to attending school regularly. For example, a big part of every child’s day, usually the girls, is spent fetching water for the family and the school, where it is used for daily needs such as preparing porridge and watering the trees and plants.
Something as simple as watering the plants has huge health impacts, including keeping the dust down to reduce eye infections. With the closest water source for a village sometimes miles away, time spent fetching water is precious time not spent in school.