Photos above: MindLeaps Rwanda student Moise before joining MindLeaps in 2012 and after in 2021
“Lack of access” is usually cited as the most common reason children do not go to school, (HRW, 2016) but the underlying causes are more informative: unstable home lives, and fees associated with “free” education (uniforms, supplies). 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 toward a life of begging, drugs, prostitution and petty crime.
Even children who have access to education are dropping out because they do not believe that a bright future is even possible for them. 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. Uganda, one of the countries MindLeaps serves, has a school dropout rate of 68%, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
MindLeaps-sponsored students in Mauritania