Family Business for Education

About the Project

This project is one of the 2019 WISE Awards winners. 

Street Child goes where the need is the greatest, running locally-rooted projects in education, child protection and livelihoods.

Context and Issue

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, with very low basic education completion rates. Numerous studies have found household poverty to be the primary barrier to access and retention in basic education. The Family Business for Education project in Sierra Leone works to sustainably remove economic and social barriers to education for out of school and at risk children through a tailored support package for the child and their family.

Solution and Impact

The package provides school placement support and the incentive of an education kit to enroll and incentivize children who are out of school or at risk of drop out. Trained social workers target particularly marginalized children with counselling and family mediation. A livelihoods support package empowers caregivers to develop a more sustainable source of income for the children’s future school retention. Caregivers receive business planning and training support followed by a grant commensurate to the size of the family, and then enrolment in a 20 week matched savings scheme.

Future Developments

Street Child has worked with over 22,000 children in Sierra Leone using this model, and impact studies show an average 85-90 % retention in school two years after Street Child’s support has ceased. We have successfully replicated the model in Liberia and Nigeria, and our aim is to scale up in those countries and other countries in the future.

July 23, 2019 (last update 12-25-2020)