In most African countries education is only free up to a certain age (normal only primary school); after that it is the responsibility of the family to cover the costs. It is often the case that the salary from one job goes towards helping support around ten extended family members, young and old – this includes paying for children to attend school. Some children are orphans, relying on relatives to care for them. As a result, many rural families can not afford for their children to complete their education – they do not get adequate qualifications – can not get a job – resulting in a limited future, and so the cycle continues.
Our scholarships aim to address this by paying for school and university fees, uniforms, books and other materials. We help children and young people who we feel are most deserving, but who otherwise might not be able to afford to continue their education. We try to visit the students regularly, receive reports on their performance and wellbeing from their mentors and teachers, and some of the students also write to us; increasingly keeping in touch via social media.
We continue to work closely with schools in the communities where Oli has worked. Many of our scholarship student come from Mwiko Primary School in Rwanda (near the Volcanoes National Park) and Chiwawatala and Katemo Basic Primary Schools in Mfuwe, Zambia (near the South Luangwa National Park); most recently we have started supporting students living near the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongorogo Conservation Area, Tanzania.
The Dreike Scholarship Fund has so far helped change the lives of more than 80 young people in Zambia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Several of our students, whom we started sponsoring in primary school, have completed their university studies and many of our scholars are now employed. We are proud of their successes, but they may never have been a possibility without the generosity of our supporters.
We continue to work closely with schools in the communities where Oli has worked; together with the help of trusted teachers and community mentors we select the children we feel are most deserving, top performers and those who will benefit most from scholarships. We try where possible to address specific needs. Once we have identified deserving individuals, we aim to secure sustainable funding to meet their educational costs to complete secondary school.