Welcome to Africa Education & Leadership Initiative
About Africa ELI
By bridging gender gaps through education, girls and young women in South Sudan will become empowered to serve as national, local and family leaders, engage in business enterprise, improve health practices and effectively counteract forces of conflict and oppression. Educated women will lead in developing a peaceful, civil society offering equal opportunities for all its citizens.
Since the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005 ending decades of civil war in Sudan, Africa, citizens from the southern 10 states have been working to transition from warfare to development and capacity building. Official reports released by the United Nations identify girls in South Sudan as extremely disadvantaged. For reasons based on culture, economics, health and limitations in basic services such as access to water and transport, girls are less likely to enroll in school and more likely to drop out early. Gender inequality is evident in low classroom attendance of girls and even fewer who graduate with a high school diploma. Many girls are looking for alternatives to domestic work or forced marriage and early pregnancy. Becoming an independent nation in July of 2011, South Sudan’s movement toward stability and a more equal, just society is outlined in The South Sudan Development Plan, or SSDP. Country objectives are identified in the areas of 1) Governance, 2) Economic Development, 3) Social and Human Development, and 4) Conflict Prevention and Security.
Africa ELI provides access to secondary schools for South Sudan’s young people, especially girls, in an effort to bridge gender gaps through education. Established in 2006, the work of Africa ELI aligns with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s)** promoted by the United Nations as well as with the more recently established pillars of The South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP), specifically in the area of Social and Human Development.
We aim to achieve:
• Increased access to education for girls
• Raised student retention rates and reduced at-risk behaviors
• Improved student performance and preparedness for advanced learning courses or employment
** Around the globe, governments, foundations, businesses and civil society groups are working to reduce poverty, hunger, and disease and improve standards of education and gender equality by 2015.
ABOUT AFRICA ELI STUDENTS
The majority of Africa ELI sponsored students range in age from 14 to 26. Interruption of education services during the civil war decades prevented many girls and boys from attending school during their teenage years. Regardless of age, Africa ELI strives to support young people who desire a high school education. In keeping with our mission to bridge gender gaps through education, over 50% of our scholarships are awarded to girls. With all of the population over the age of 5 affected by years of war, many of our students are orphaned, widowed or are young mothers.