The most powerful tool is the pencil.
Education provides both children and adults with valuable knowledge and skills that are necessary to give people a lasting foundation to help them improve their own lives.
It is one of the most effective tools, because it creates sustainable change. Knowledge is something that can never be taken away from a person. That is why Strømme Foundation emphasizes education as a key element in our fight against poverty.
- A context in which to develop one’s worldview
- A foundation for stable financial development
- Knowledge that can improve people's health and social conditions
- Attitude changes and improved self-esteem
- An increased sense of belonging within communities
Through education, people are given an increased understanding of the world, both general and technical knowledge and practical skills. They have improved confidence in their abilities and recognize their rights and opportunities, enabling them to stand up for themselves and improve their lives.
How do we promote education?
- Strive to give all children the opportunity to complete primary school
- Help increase the reading and writing abilities in both adults and children
- Support adult education, especially for women
- Mobilize local communities to get involved in their children's schooling
- Raise teachers' competence levels
- Build schools and provide educational material
The United Nations also stresses education as a key factor in the fight against poverty. One of the UN's Millennium Development Goals states that all children in the world will have access to a full course of primary education by 2015. Strømme Foundation is actively working to achieve this goal.
Strømme Foundation recognizes that every community is unique and has specific needs. Therefore, we adjust our initiatives and programs to each country individually, taking into account local traditions, culture and issues. This is one of the reasons that it is so crucial for us to work at the grassroots level, employing local people who best understand the culture and challenges.
For example, we run education programs in Mali, Bangladesh and Peru. While these programs all focus on the common theme of education, each one is catered to the specific needs of our beneficiaries in the individual country.
In Mali, one major problem is that children don't complete primary school, because they don’t understand the language that classes are taught in. Because of this, we have started Speed Schools to provide children who have dropped out of or never had the opportunity to attend school with a second chance.
They receive an intensive introduction to curriculum they have missed, first in their local language, and then in French, the official lanuage. The goal is to get them back into the government school system within nine months.
In Bangladesh, adolescent girls face many obstacles if they are not in school, the most detrimental of which are trafficking and early marriage. Our local partners recognized these difficulties and worked with us to start a program called Shonglap.
It is a one-year program that pro vides an informal education, life skills, vocational training and empowerment, encouraging girls to continue their education or start their own businesses after graduating.
In Peru, there is a big problem with children on the streets. Recognizing an opportunity to help, we created "Open School," which provides homework assistance to children who need additional help beyond the classroom.
It also organizes various activity groups after school so that children have a safe place to spend their time and good role models.