Approximately 40 individual students have a Dutch sponsor.
The higher classes are expensive, mainly due to higher qualified teachers. Financial support by individual sponsors avoids the poorest students dropping out early.
Some, who are ambitious and brilliant, may, thanks to their sponsor, switch to a (more expensive) English-medium school.
The children and their background
Most of our students come from Nagwa, the neighbourhood of rickshawmen and outcastes.
The average income is less than Euro 2 a day. The houses are small – often consisting of just one room – and there are no sanitary facilities. People wash in the street at the pump; they relieve themselves in the surrounding fields and on the riverbank.
The bad hygienic circumstances cause many diseases; due to lack of money, meals (often just one daily meal) are imbalanced. Almost all of the children suffer from vitamin and protein shortages.
Most of the parents are illiterate.
The individually sponsored students are selected carefully.
Criteria for the selection of new pupils are the family income, the size of the family and the motivation of the child and its parents.
When parents do not support the idea of their children going to school – often for a number of years – there is a big risk of children leaving school prematurely, sometimes to go and find a job, sometimes – for girls – to get married.
There is a growing realisation of the importance of schooling for girls. New sponsors often ask us specifically to select a girl. This is taken into account in the selection procedure.
We accept no more than two children from the same family in the programme and preferably starting from class 9, during the more expensive years.
BSF’s starting point is to support those children who would otherwise miss out on a good education or drop out early.
In order to share the responsibility for the schooling of the children with their parents, we ask the parents a small yearly contribution. It motivates them even more to send their children to school day after day.