Scholarship program at Royal Best Hope School

We meet a student on the way to school, we stop.

- Where are you going? Why aren't you in school?
- Madame, I have to go sell coconuts.
- Why?
- If I don't, there is no money for the exam fee and if I do not write I will not go to the next class and then my uncle says that I have to quit school and work for him instead ...

This is just one in the line of explanations we hear every day when we ask why the children are not in school. Children as young as 13 years old.
To have the possibility to attend school is seen by most of us as a matter of course, but for many of our students, the reality looks different. We have several pupils in class 4 to class 9, who every day have to struggle in order to have the opportunity to come to school at all. It is pupils who, for various reasons, themselves have to work to get money for the costs that schooling here entails, including school fees, exam fee, school uniform and books, sometimes even food. These pupils have to take care of themselves and in many cases also several younger siblings.
It means hard work in the evenings, weekends and holidays. Time they should really be allowed to devote to studies and to just being a child. The attendance at the school has been low for these children, as several school days have been spent on the farm instead of in the school, and this often results in them ending up in the risk zone to not being able to move up a class and in the long run drop out of school.
We have set up a scholarship program at our school and thanks to this scholarship, the most vulnerable children can now go to school without having to work!