Background & History
Many families cannot muster the substantial cost of continued education elsewhere. Often, this means that formal education for these students stops. For each participant in its Scholarship Program it is iChange's objective to support them until they complete their full secondary education.
A main target are accomplished students who are orphaned (or have only one parent supporting them) or, in general, students from known, difficult family backgrounds.
At the moment iChange runs the scholarship program only in Twapia. In Mackenzie iChange's goal is to provide high quality education to as many students as possible by continuously expanding and improving the Mackenzie Community School.
The Cost of Secondary Education
Although secondary education at a public school is officially free, in reality this does not apply. Trying to come up with an accurate estimate of the real cost of a full secondary education in Zambia is indeed a major challenge. As prices for educational fees and materials often fluctuate significantly within short periods of time, only rough estimates are possible.
At this point iChange estimates the cost of a full secondary education (eight years) at approximately 2,000 Swiss Francs. This number includes all basic school fees but also related supplies like books, shoes and mandatory school uniforms. On average, this amounts to 250 Swiss Francs per year of secondary education. This number, however, is an average only, as the actual cost increases significantly towards the final years of secondary education.
How can I support this program?
As iChange is committed to support the participants in this program long-term, it is of utmost importance that sufficient financial means are available at all times to avoid the danger of a sudden discontinuation of an individual scholarship.
For reasons beyond iChange's control it is unfortunately not possible to guarantee that a particular student will successfully complete the program. Migration rates within the population of Mackenzie and Twapia are high, often resulting in children and their families leaving the community from one year to the next. In many cases children have to move to far away parts of Zambia when their parents or current guardians die unexpectedly and other members of the extended family take over responsibility for raising them. In such cases iChange immediately replaces such participants with new students to ensure that all funds contributed to this program are used as described.