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  • Ina Lee

A2Empowerment's Impact: 2022-2023 School Year

Imagine being a girl in Cameroon, where you face many barriers to education that prevent you from reaching your full potential. You may have to work to support your family instead of going to school. You may have to drop out because you can’t afford tuition fees and school supplies. You may have to miss school when you are menstruating. You may have to study in the dark because you don’t have electricity.


These are some of the challenges that millions of girls in Cameroon face every day.

But what if there was a way to change this? What if there was a way to empower girls through education, which research indicates as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty and improving their lives and communities?


That’s where A2Empowerment comes in. We provide scholarships to girls in Cameroon who have demonstrated academic potential and financial need, covering the necessary expenses for a year of high school, such as tuition, fees, uniforms, and supplies. We also partner with local mentors who provide our students with guidance, support, and encouragement throughout their academic journey. We monitor our students’ progress and performance through site visits and surveys. We also encourage our students to participate in extracurricular activities that enrich their learning and personal development.


We are proud to share the highlights of our 2022/23 scholarship program, which supported 103 girls in the Adamaoua, East, North West, and West Regions of Cameroon. We conducted a survey with our scholarship recipients during our site visits in May 2023, and we are thrilled to report that our program is positively impacting their education and well-being.




 

High Survey Response Rate

We received a high survey response rate of 84%, which shows that our scholarship recipients are engaged and committed to our program. These results were gathered through site visits facilitated by Grace, our alumnae leader in Cameroon, who took the time to gather feedback from students and teach a seminar on finance. The site visits in themselves were beneficial for scholarship recipients, as highlighted in the chart below.



 

Outstanding Academic Performance

Our scholarship recipients are performing well in school, despite the challenges they face. According to our survey, 24% of our students are ranked in the top 10%, and 52% are in the top 20%, of their class. These numbers are impressive, considering that many of our students come from rural areas where the quality of education is often low and the resources are scarce. Our survey results highlighted in the chart below also reveal that our students see benefits in many important life skills because of our program. The A2E team is so proud of their achievements and aspirations!



 

Resilience and Determination

Our students have shown resilience and determination in overcoming various obstacles that affect their academic performance. Our survey revealed that 53% of our students cited their own or family health concerns and/or a death in the family as a contributing factor to their academic performance. Additionally, 34% of our students reported having unreliable access to electricity, which makes it difficult for them to study at night or use electronic devices. Their strength and courage truly inspire us!


 

Access and Opportunity

Our scholarships provide access and opportunity for girls who would otherwise not be able to attend school. Our survey indicated that 59% of our scholarship recipients would not be in school if it weren’t for our scholarships. Since these results reflect data from previous years, this means that we continue to help hundreds of girls who would otherwise be at risk of dropping out, getting married early, or becoming pregnant.


 

Extracurricular Activities

Our scholarships not only help our students pay for their education but also allow them to pursue extracurricular activities that enhance their learning and personal growth. According to our survey, 49% of our scholarship recipients are involved in extracurricular activities, such as dance, poetry, drawing, gymnastics, and finance club. Of those involved in extracurricular activities, 35% said it wouldn’t be possible without our scholarships, suggesting that our scholarships free up time for our students by reducing their need to work, or enabling them to work less, to cover their school expenses. Moreover, our scholarships provide them with access to mentors who facilitate their participation in extracurricular activities.


 

Continuing Support to Graduation

At A2Empowerment, we are committed to supporting our students through graduation and beyond. Our survey showed that 44% of our scholarship recipients continued their studies for more than a year. This indicates that our scholarships are effective in retaining students in school and preventing dropouts. Furthermore, 21 of our students completed high school in 2023, which is a remarkable achievement considering the low secondary completion rates in Cameroon. Congratulations to our students for achieving their academic goals and graduating with flying colors!

Our scholarship recipients inspire us with their achievements and aspirations. They are the driving force behind our mission. We thank our generous donors, supportive partners, dedicated mentors and alumni, and enthusiastic volunteers who make our program possible. By empowering girls through education, we can create a brighter future for them and their communities.


 

Narrative written by Ina Lee, A2Empowerment volunteer

Data collated by Ryan Mitchell, A2Empowerment Director in charge of monitoring and evaluation

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