What is Bridge International Academies? What do you do?
Bridge International Academies is the world’s largest chain of nursery and primary schools, working tirelessly to solve one of the largest socio-economic issues plaguing developing countries: how to bring world-class education to the poorest of the poor, democratizing the right to succeed.
What kinds of families attend Bridge?
Bridge works in communities where families live on less than $2 a day per person. On average, Bridge families have an income of $136.22 a month. $16.97 of this goes towards rent, while the remainder is split across food, healthcare, school fees, and other living expenses for the 4-5 household members. The majority of parents are casual workers or have their own small trading business, such as a fruit or vegetable stall at the local market. They care deeply about education, knowing that with education their children will have a better life and that eventually the cycle of poverty will end.
Why are poor families going to private schools like yours when the government is supposed to provide free primary education?
Unfortunately, even “free” government schools can cost anywhere between $2 and $12 per month after all of the additional fees (some sanctioned, some not) are added up. On top of this, many government schools are plagued with overcrowded classrooms, material shortages, and teacher absenteeism. Knowing that education is the only way out of poverty, approximately half of families living on less than $2 a day per person are investing in their children’s futures and choosing private schools instead!How are pupils selected for sponsorship?
How are pupils selected for sponsorship?
In order to apply for Sponsorship, pupils must have completed the previous academic year at Bridge, be in good standing, and be one of the top five pupils in their class. Additionally, pupils must submit an essay along with their application (for younger parents, often it is the parent that writes).
How do pupils receive their sponsorship?
Once a pupil is matched with a donor, that pupil and their family are notified immediately and Bridge will credit his or her account according to the type of Sponsorship that the child has been given for that year. All money is transferred directly in this way to prevent any opportunities for abuse.
Does all of the money I donate go to my sponsored pupil?
The money you donate goes directly to the pupil you are matched with, covering the costs you have elected to sponsor – be them academic fees, uniform, or meals – in addition to funding the operational expenses of keeping the sponsorship programme running.
How do I know if my sponsorship has been received?
Once a donor is matched with a pupil, we send the sponsored pupil and their donor a notification. Sponsored pupils receive an SMS notifying them of their sponsorship, while donors receive an email with information on their sponsored pupil, including their age, gender, favorite subject, application essay, and a photo. At the end of each term (three times a year), Bridge will also email donors an update on the academic performance of their sponsored pupil.
Can I send my sponsored pupil additional money or gifts, or contact him/her in any way?
Our pupils’ safety is of our upmost importance. Because of the volatile nature of our pupils and communities, unfortunately, we do not allow communication between donors and sponsored pupils at this time. We are working on a way to be able to provide this type of contact in the future.
What happens to pupils after they complete ECD (nursery) or primary school? Does Bridge offer secondary school as well? Will pupils receive sponsorships for secondary school?
Bridge’s first Class 8 graduating class will be sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), the exam which determines a child’s eligibility for secondary school, in 2015. At that time, we plan to award top pupils with sponsorships to secondary schools, however, the focus of this sponsorship is for pupils who are currently enrolled in our ECD, or nursery school, and primary school classes.
Are donations tax-deductable?
No, donations are not currently tax-deductible. Bridge does not have 501(c)3 status in the United States.