We recently completed our annual IRS reporting paperwork, which always catalyzes some thinking and reflecting about our achievements of the past year.
We are in our ninth year of existence as one of the only organizations in Samburu focused exclusively on supporting youth through educational scholarships and supplementary training. Supporting education is repeatedly shown in research to be the single greatest action for addressing poverty in the developing world, and all of the related challenges that come with it.
We keep an active tally of what our graduates are up to since finishing high school. Consider these numbers:
- 60 graduates since we started in December 2010: 31 young women and 29 young men.
- 22 of our graduates are in a position to support other family members for their education, resulting in an additional 30 youth attending school from the support of our graduates.
- As of this writing, 24 of our graduates are employed and 27 are either enrolled or completed post-secondary training. SYEF does not provide support for post-secondary; these graduates have the ambition and problem-solving skills to seek and arrange funding for additional education.
- Of our 60 graduates, 11 have children of their own That is a remarkable number considering that in this part of the world most young people have at least one child prior to the age of most of our graduates. Even more remarkable is that included in those 11 are a few young women who had children prior to even starting high school from forced marriage circumstances or similarly troubling situations.
- Our expense allocations are solid: 93% to programs, 6% to fundraising, and 1% to administration.
We definitely feel satisfied with these numeric outcomes, though we also are curious how formal education and our trainings influence these decisions, which is on our horizon for future evaluation work.