IZZE and Global Education Fund partner in order to help provide resources and educational opportunities to children in need. See the good that they're doing.
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IZZE believes the simple idea that children are our future. That’s why we are a long-standing partner of Global Education Fund, an organization dedicated to bringing educational support to children in need. Since its first day as a business, IZZE has partnered with Global Education Fund to help them reach more children and increase public awareness through collaborative marketing, school partnership assistance, book drives, and financial support.
Eliza Woloson founded global Education Fund in 1998. Woloson, an anthropologist with field experience around the world, started GEF after witnessing firsthand the barriers that prevent extremely poor children from getting an education. Working in Indonesia, Eliza met children who were unable to attend school for the lack of $15 uniforms or $5 textbooks. While teaching in China, she noticed her Chinese students come alive when handed a picture book for the first time.
This was the seed that grew to Global Education Fund providing libraries and literary tools in 22 countries across Latin America, Asia and Africa. In 2007 GEF shifted its focus to East Africa where, as a result of the AIDS epidemic, more than 50 million children are orphaned. GEF chose Kenya for its initial investigations because, in addition to demonstrated need, the country had strong local leaders, viable organizations to partner with, and adequate basic infrastructure.
GEF researchers discovered that the greatest obstacle to education for poor Kenyan children are the fees required to
attend secondary school. GEF launched a pilot project to pay secondary school fees for a small group of students. Fred Afwai, a community organizer living in the underserved Kayole area near Nairobi, was engaged to manage the project. The GEF team soon recognized that school fees were not sufficient to give poor kids the boost they needed to succeed. So a program of workshops was created to offer community support, leadership and living skills development to GEF students.
The resulting Scholarship and Leadership Program was launched in Kenya in 2008. In 2010 there are currently 100 students in the program. This program is based on the belief that a combination of rigorous academic preparation, practical training and strong relationships will enable participants to reach their full potential and improve the lives of others. The program provides poor Kenyan youth, predominantly orphaned girls, with an education both inside and outside of the classroom. It includes: four year high school scholarships; training in critical real-world skills through workshops, retreats and service projects; and a network of support through mentorships with university students, adult coaches and peer support groups.
While the breadth and scope of work of GEF’s work has grown, the hallmarks of the organization’s work have remained consistent: a grassroots approach based on listening to local needs, strong partnerships with community leaders on the ground, a vibrant network of global volunteers and generous donors. GEF’s work continues to be guided by these principles.
Now that GEF has developed a proven and successful framework, additional countries in which GEF has strong relationships in the community and committed collaborative local partners are being considered for partnership.