The research has been done. We know that investing in girls has a positive impact not only on their own livelihood but also on their community. We know that when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children1. It has been proven that an extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent, and an extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 percent.2 What’s more, research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.
To date we have worked with 80 girls impacting over 500 family members. With the average annual per capita income of $560, families in Rwanda would not have the ability to cover the annual school fees of $600. The Komera scholars are attending boarding schools, which alleviates the cost of home care (food, clothing, healthcare). On average, the grades of the Komera scholars have improved by 10% to date, but this is only part of the story. Many of the students have been taken out of abject poverty and have never had the opportunity to attend school on a consistent basis. Through interviews with the Komera scholars, they show a consistent increase in happiness and hope for the future. Komera has a 95% graduation rate, and 21% of our students have gone onto University. However, we do not provide scholarships to University so all of our University students won scholarships.
Building a movement
We know that young women can change the world. We know that when we give them a voice, they will tell us how they can and will change the world. Girls are central to boosting development and breaking the cycle of poverty. Girls who are more educated:
- earn more income,
- have greater access to family health information and services,
- are more likely to delay early marriage and childbirth, and
- produce healthier babies.
With your help, Komera is investing in the future leaders of Rwanda. We believe that young women will be able to transform both their local community and the broader community. The work that we are doing is important and it takes time and funding to ensure that our scholars have the support networks in place so that that they will be successful in their studies and their future lives.