The , a collaboration of ther, ,, and foundations as well as an anonymous donor, has announced grants totaling nearly $16 million and an additional commitment of $13 million in support of efforts to improve secondary education in developing countries.
To that end, the partnership announced grants to twenty-three projects working to provide learning opportunities and life and livelihood skills for underserved youth between the ages of 12 and 19 in East Africa, Nigeria, and India, with a particular focus on girls. Grant recipients include the r in Rwanda, which was awarded $5.1 million to provide Rwandan secondary students with work-readiness skills and school-to-work transition support and to incorporate those programs into the secondary education system nationwide; the , which will receive $750,000 to scale the Global Give Back Circle model in Kenya; the, which was awarded $650,000 to identify and strengthen innovative, cost-effective secondary-level alternative education models that address barriers to access and quality learning outcomes for adolescent girls in conflict-affected regions of northern and western Uganda; and the y at the University of California, Berkeley, which, in partnership with the Center for Girl Child Education, will receive $600,000 to pilot an educational enrichment program that combines school- and community-based safe spaces for school-aged girls in rural communities outside of Zaria City in Kaduna, Nigeria.
The additional funding pledged for 2015 will support initiatives targeting economically disadvantaged and marginalized youth between the ages of 12 and 19 will be focused on projects that pilot new approaches, bring successful models to scale, and research critical questions with respect to increasing demand for secondary-level learning, improving teacher skills, and promoting employment-relevant skills and alternative education models.
"With our partners, MacArthur's support for these innovative projects reflects our belief that more education for girls improves their lives and benefits society," said MacArthur Foundation president Robert Gallucci. "Girls with higher levels of education on average marry later, have smaller families, survive childbirth at higher rates, experience reduced incidences of HIV/AIDS, have children more likely to survive to age 5, earn more, and contribute to higher rates of economic growth at the national level."