For the 2014/15 school season thirty three students received $7,500.00 in fee sponsorship. $6,000.00 paid fees for thirty students, (30) in Senior High School. Six of these are in their third and final year. Twenty-four, (24) are in their second year. Three of the number, including Linda Wugaa, Lawrence Nchor, and Emmanuel Nabonagea, received $1,500 as fees for the University college of Education. Linda (seen below) was sponsored last year. She is the first from our first graduating class to gain admission to the tertiary level.
The misalignment between the university admission calendar and the release of Senior High Final examination results made it impossible for even those students who qualified on the basis of their school results to be selected. They were, unfortunately, compelled to wait one whole year at home. This explains why Lawrence Nchor and Emmanuel, also in the first batch of ROUTES sponsored students to graduate, could not gain admission at the same time with Linda. Another student, Joana Awula brought up her admission letter rather late and could not be sponsored thisyear, there being only two scholarships annually under their category, thanks to the kind courtesy of Len and Chris Bierbrier. She would be automatically catered for in the 2015/2016 academic year, leaving one scholarship for university level admission.
Linda Wugaa College Interview
The sponsorship scheme is in the fifth year now, it started after April 2009. It has impacted the lives of at least 60 families and provided much valued opportunity for sixty, (60), students to access secondary school education. This figure could be calculated in either number of days, months or years of school attendance for the sixty students. The majority of beneficiaries come from really poor families; I mean families earning less than US$1.0/ a day. Others come from single headed families, one or other spouse lost to death.
The benefits of the sponsored students could easily be attested to from the several text messages our student send to Donald; the sustained contact and interaction with Donald; some parents actually make the effort to come and express their appreciation through Donald.
This brief report is not about saying that ROUTES sponsorship has contributed to solving all the problems of enabling rural youth in the POSCOM AREA to access secondary education; the problems in the area are too complex, a selection process remains just so and many other deserving youth will fall by the wayside. What the report says is that the well targeted effort of ordinary people can contribute to pointing out solutions based on the donations and sacrifices of ordinary people.
This is mainly in the area of fundraising; it requires more shoulders to shoulder the effort. Then those who donate so generously out of their limited resources need to come down to the local level in Ghana to see how their donations turn lives round and give hope to upcoming young people in their future.