The Problem

32% of youth in Sub-Saharan Africa do not go to school.

This is 96,895,435 young people.

Sub-Saharan Africa hosts 26% of the world’s refugee population.

This is 18 million people, of which 59% are children.

The Problem image

What happens when kids don’t go to school? They remain illiterate and forever dependent upon aid. Or, worse yet, they turn to violence to rebel against these conditions. Uneducated youth is a source of so many issues the world faces today, including dependency, conflict and migration flows. Solving the problem of uneducated youth — particularly in the developing world where 25% of youth are illiterate — is an essential human right, but it is also critical to international stability.

“Lack of access” is usually cited as the most common reason children do not go to school, but the underlying causes are more informative: unstable home lives, fees associated with “free” education (uniforms, supplies), and even apathy. Even children who do have all the access and means necessary are dropping out in the developing world because they do not believe that employment or a bright future is even possible.

The dance element of MindLeaps attracts children who are illiterate, have never gone to school, or are at risk of dropping out. Many lack a supportive home life, struggle for basic necessities and services, and are unaware of what social services may be available to them. Their circumstances can turn them to a life of begging, drugs, prostitution and petty crime.

These youth form entire lost generations in some developing and post-conflict countries. Without the basic necessities of life or any sort of programmatic intervention or support network, such boys and girls have no possibility of self-sufficiency, and no chance of positively participating in their communities.

MindLeaps has seen time and time again that breaking this cycle and providing one African with a path to a decent living wage results in him or her supporting an entire family, as well as relatives and friends. The mission of MindLeaps is to fully and completely transition underserved youth to a stable life in school or the workplace, with the readiness, determination and confidence to become independent.

Learn more about our model

Statistics are per (UNESCO Institute for Statistics) and UNHCR (2017-2018).