The African Education Resource Center (AERC) is a 100% volunteer-led non-profit organization (501c3) officially registered in the United States and Kenya with the intent of empowering and inspiring women through education.
AERC was originally started by a few Kenyan sisters who were able to get secondary schooling themselves. These three sisters realized they were the fortunate few, the minority who held a future of opportunity, while their childhood playmates stood on the precipice of bleakness without an education. So the sisters pooled their funds and together sponsored one girl to attend secondary school for one year. That's when I met them.
A high school education (secondary school) can literally add years to a girl's life in Africa. I have read research by the UN that says a girl in Africa with at least a 5th grade education is less than half as likely to acquire HIV/AIDS. Additionally, the secondary schools where AERC's scholarship recipients attend are boarding schools, so the girls each get their own bed (with a mattress - not sleeping on the floor!!), three meals a day, uniforms, books, etc; but the most important aspect of boarding school is that the girls are SAFE. They are not raped in boarding school, and they do not have to sell their bodies in order to feed themselves while in boarding school. On top of that, they are aquiring an education while they are getting these hot meals, a bed and safety, so when they graduate and leave the boarding school, they are able to find gainful employment that empowers them, and that is good for them, their community and their continent in the long run.
AERC now has 50 girls on full 4-year scholarships - we've come a long way in 5 years, but there are so many more girls who need our help. Education ought to be a right for every child. Giving a girl a boarding school education including all meals, housing, uniforms, books, tuition, pocket money for sanitary products and soap, a bus ticket home for the holidays, etc. is only $650 USD per year! That's only $1.78 per day! For about $55 a month you could give a girl a future, and she'll change her children's future because she will break the cycle of poverty; she WILL send her children to school because she will know the value of it.
All of AERC's scholarship recipients agree to one day "pay it forward" and provide a scholarship for a girl once they are established in their career.
You can learn more at www.aerckenya.org