Educational projects in the developing world
Stromme Foundation (“Stromme”) is a rights-based development organisation with the vision of a world free from poverty. Stromme is widely recognised for its educational work in developing countries. Its approach is a holistic one; working with children, adolescents and their mothers within the same communities. This strengthens sustainability and maximises impact. The Foundation has supported Stromme since 2014 and supports the following programmes.
Educational work in West Africa
The Foundation is working with Stromme in Burkina Faso and Niger, two of the world’s poorest and least developed nations. School attendance and literacy rates in these countries are low and female literacy rates are less than 20%. Without even a primary education, children lack the skills and knowledge required to improve their situation and are likely to remain impoverished for the rest of their lives.
The programmes implemented by Stromme with funding from the Foundation provide out of school children, half of whom are girls, with accelerated learning courses designed to get them to the educational level necessary to enrol in formal school. It also includes the “A Saving for Change” programme which targets the mothers of these children and gives them the opportunity to save and obtain loans that may be used for educational expenses, to generate income, for health care and to enhance food security.
SAMVAD means a ‘dialogue’ and is a nonformal, community-based, participatory education system designed especially for adolescent girls, with a particular focus on girls aged 13-19 who are at risk of dropping out of school and being trafficked. At SAMVAD centres, the girls follow a course that includes life skills, functional literacy, building self-confidence and vocational skills. The Foundation is supporting Stromme’s existing SAMVAD programme in Nepal and Bangladesh. It is also supporting the development of this programme in West Africa, where there are countries with some of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.
Stromme’s Dream Myanmar project works with 3,000 of the poorest families in the Ayeyarwaddy district in Myanmar including the tribal Karen community. Its aim is to:
- Provide children with increased access to pre-primary and primary education and to develop the skill sets of adolescents
- Provide families with access to financial and non-financial services to improve their livelihood and entrepreneurship skills
- Increase the families’ participation in the wider society by establishing appropriate self-help groups
- Ensure that families have access to health education, nutrition, water and sanitation
Corporate Social Responsibility Conference
The Foundation supports Stromme’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility Conferences, which consider how companies and business owners can contribute to a more just society in a commercially justifiable way. Recently, the Foundation has made its major donations to Stromme as part of an annual match funding campaign, which has resulted in some of the most successful fund raising in Stromme’s history.
The Mosvold-Martinus Trust
The Mosvold-Martinus Trust (“MM Trust”) is a charitable establishment created by the Mosvold Group with the objective of improving the lives of underprivileged young people in Sri Lanka. They promote self-reliance by providing initiatives and support to allow such young people to become the agents of their own development and progress. The Foundation has funded the MM Trust’s “AKO Scholarship Program in Sri Lanka”, which provides scholarships to allow disadvantaged students to pursue higher education at university or through vocational or skills training. Please click here for the most recent update on the MM Trust’s AKO Scholarship Program in Sri Lanka.
Partnership for Change
Partnership for Change (“PfC”) is a Norwegian non-profit organisation that works for the economic independence of women in Myanmar and Ethiopia. Although, in theory, Ethiopia’s educational policy gives boys and girls equal access to education, in practice – and particularly in rural communities – boys are given priority. To address this inequality and the unmet educational needs of such girls, the Foundation is funding a programme of financial support and academic and life skills training in rural Ethiopia to prevent girls from deprived backgrounds from dropping out of high school.
Lively Minds, a UK charity, works in remote rural villages in Africa and trains “Volunteer Mothers” to run free and informal play schemes for all pre-school children in their villages. The Volunteer Mothers are also given monthly parenting workshops to help them provide better care at home. The programme is delivered through local government using a “training of trainers” approach and is very cost effective, with an approximate unit cost of just £6.70 per beneficiary per year. The Foundation is supporting the expansion of this “Early Childhood Care and Education” programme in Uganda.
Little Sun Foundation
The Little Sun Foundation (“Little Sun”), a German non-profit organisation, was founded by artist Olafur Eliasson to deliver solar light and energy to vulnerable communities worldwide. The Foundation has made a grant to Little Sun to provide 1,200 students in Northern Tanzania with solar lamps. These clean and renewable lamps allow after dark homework and revision, and thus increase students’ study hours and academic attainment. There are also significant health and economic benefits, as the lamps replace harmful kerosene lamps and expensive torches. The grant also provides 90 solar phone chargers for teachers to help them stay connected and better prepare the children’s school lessons.
Little Sun occupies a special space in the art of Olafur Eliasson, uniting on-ground energy impact work with a global element of artistic communication. As an artist Olafur uses a broad range of media to amplify his artistic voice, creating works that engage the audience, that are tools for seeing and for feeling. Little Sun was born out of the studio as a project that takes thinking to doing in a special way. Little Sun’s solar lamps are real off-grid energy tools with a clear impact. Additionally, they are an emotional symbol of global interconnectedness, of sustainable energy, and of empowerment. As well as our grant to Little Sun, the Foundation is also the main sponsor of the 2019 “Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life” exhibition at the Tate Modern and we are delighted to be supporting both the art and environmental work of Olafur.
Right to Sight Norway
Right to Sight Norway was founded in 2011 as an independent Norwegian charity and is led by Norwegian ophthalmologists and other specialist doctors. The Foundation has made a grant to support their work at the Kwale Eye Centre in Kenya. The project teaches midwives and nurses in vaccination clinics to screen babies and small children to identify signs of cataract and refractive error for early referral for treatment and correction. It also supports the identified children pre- and post- surgery to give them the best visual outcome, while simultaneously training local ophthalmic medical personnel. Thus the project has both a direct and an indirect educational focus; directly by providing training for local health care professionals and indirectly as in less developed countries early correction of visual disability is vital for a child’s educational prospects.
Oslo Center for Peace and Democracy
The Oslo Center for Peace and Democracy (“the Oslo Center”) was established in 2006 and has been a successful contributor to peace and democracy projects in countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Foundation has made a grant to the Oslo Center to support its work with Peace Clubs in primary and secondary schools in the coastal regions of Kenya. This area of Kenya is facing complex and serious challenges, including, for example, the risk of disengaged youth being recruited by the Al-Shabaab militant group. The Peace Clubs are a Kenyan government educational initiative designed to counter such risks by strengthening the commitment of young people to peace and social cohesion.
Aurora Live Aid
Aurora Live Aid is a Norwegian voluntary non-profit humanitarian organisation that provides medical and social assistance work in underprivileged areas of the world. The Foundation has made a grant to support Aurora Live Aid’s project to create a women’s shelter at the El-Beddawi refugee camp in Lebanon. This “Home of Tenderness” is intended to provide a venue for education and social interaction for the adult women living in the camp and for play and awareness sessions (female health, self-protection, domestic violence, “my rights”) for young girls and teenagers. It will also provide a location to screen for diabetes, which is currently under-diagnosed within the Palestinian community; a project undertaken in collaboration with the University of Århus, Denmark. In addition, it provides facilities for young Norwegian volunteers visiting and working in the camp. The aim of this volunteering is both the personal development of the volunteers and the provision of low threshold educational opportunities, such as English courses and cultural interaction, for the camp residents.
Akersborg Rotary Club Oslo
In conjunction with the Akersborg Rotary Club Oslo, the Foundation funded the redevelopment of the primary school in Shikht Mustafa, Syria. Located near Aleppo, the school was left with all windows blown out and many classrooms ruined after suffering the effects of bombing in 2012. The school was fully renovated, including 17 new classrooms with new windows, furniture, whiteboards, heating and electrical lights powered by solar panels installed on the roof. The school reopened in September 2017 providing places for 850 children.