Education is Power (EIP) is made up of volunteers from Canada, Kenya and Tanzania. Proceeds go directly to East African students’ school fees or to help hire teachers at struggling primary or secondary schools in East Africa. As a way to make a further impact, we also lead mentorship and tutoring programs three times per year in our East African partner communities. We call these programs Empowerment Weeks. At EIP, we are dedicated to enhance the quality of education in East Africa. A principle was we achieve this is by providing extra support and training opportunities for teachers.
We are a volunteer run organization with very low administration costs. To show our dedication, our Canadian trustees pay all Canadian expenses out of pocket, except for the banking fees required to send money to Africa. Additionally, We direct a small amount of donations to cover on-the-ground expenses for our East African volunteers including communication, banking, local transport, and stipends for large and involved work assignments.
Education is Power doesn’t rely solely on donations. We believe in self-sufficiency and are demonstrating this with our Pay Forward Model. EIP post-secondary graduates pay-forward a minimum 25% of their donations to support future East African students.
Since 2008, EIP has supported 57 secondary and post-secondary students in Kenya and Tanzania (19 at the post-secondary level and the remaining in high school). We have also employed two Kenyan primary teachers and are working hard to increase this number.
Photo: Education Is Power fundraiser and awareness event, Kiambu Kenya
We only select East African youth who study in Africa and are dedicated to become leaders of change for their communities. Simply put, for the price of facilitating one African student to study in Canada, we can enable 10 students to attend school in East Africa. All the post-secondary students whom EIP chooses are those who have proven that they will plow their education back into their communities. Student’s must fill out an application form to demonstrate how they meet Education is Power’s sustainable development criteria. They are then selected by a committee of EIP post-secondary students combined with Kenyan and Tanzanian community leaders.
EIP is filling the gap to help people not just based on their marks but on their dedication to make a better world. We only support those who are dedicated volunteers, helping to make their communities a better place. Post-secondary students also must give back to EIP through their own fundraising initiatives, as well as volunteering in EIP administration or other activities, including mentoring younger students. Secondary students are expected to volunteer in their community and attend empowerment workshops. We expect parents of EIP students to contribute within their means to their child’s education; but are willing to make exceptions on a case by case basis. We believe it is crucial to have parents invested into the importance of their child’s education.
Education Is Power works closely with its main partner KENVO (the Kijabe Environment Volunteers), a local Kenyan non-profit dedicated to environmental conservation and community development. KENVO, who also works with Canada World Youth, has been instrumental in connecting us with their Kenyan members who take on major roles in EIP’s administration, outreach and other on the ground tasks. We have since used this framework to connect with other communities and local partner organizations in Kenya and Tanzania.
Ultimately, our goal is to provide countless education opportunities for dedicated African youth, and to transform Education Is Power into a leading non-profit organization, working to effect systemic change in Africa.
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