EDUCATION: THE GIFT OF A GENERATION
With your support, Tropic’s on a mission to build a future where children from around the world can achieve their potential.
Cast your mind back to the primary school version of yourself, enjoying each day where you’d learn new things, see your friends, and have exciting experiences.
For example, you’d wait nervously to find out which part you’d take on in the annual school play, usually disappointed by the outcome. But despite your suspicions, these awkward performances weren’t part of a scheme to embarrass you – they represented so much more. They gave you the license to be something entirely different (yes, even a tree!) and imagine a life that’s far from the one you already knew.
School equips us with the space and knowledge we need to try something new, push boundaries and fulfil our dreams. But for almost 60 million children around the world, getting a basic primary education is a dream in itself.
That’s why in 2019, Tropic joined forces with United World Schools (UWS) to give thousands of children in the world’s most remote communities the freedom to learn, realise their full potential, and carve out a better future. Every Tropic purchase helps to maintain, resource, run, and even build schools in Nepal, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Madagascar. It’s skincare that really cares.
COVID-19: THE THIEF OF FUTURES?
Our fight for universal education hasn’t been without obstacles. In 2020, Covid-19 plummeted more families into crippling poverty, forcing children to stay at home.
The UN estimated that 24 million children worldwide (especially girls) might never return to school – a risk that brought some worrying statistics into sharp focus. For instance, children in Nepal are 78% more likely to be involved in child labour if they don’t attend school. And over 25% of Nepalese girls will get married before their fifteenth birthday if they don’t receive an education – a figure that falls to just 2% if they reach university.
Acutely aware of the life-changing power of education, we had to find a way to keep children learning.
YOU CAN REACH ME BY RADIO
In Nepal, fewer than 50% of households have access to the internet. So, when schools were forced to shut, attending classes via video call was simply out of the question.
Determined to hurdle the digital divide, they turned to radio. 85% of families in Nepal have a radio, so teachers started a daily programme, broadcasting lessons across ten local FM stations. The programmes attracted 23,000 listeners (19,000 of whom were not attending a UWS school). Nabina, a teaching fellow at UWS Khamere School in Nepal, describes how students felt about lessons on the airwaves:
“The children were very excited to hear their teacher’s voice and name on the radio stations, but they missed going to school. I started doing home visits for the most vulnerable families; to see the children, talk to their parents, identify their problems, and work out how we could bring them back to school. I feel that when children miss out on school, they miss out on their childhood. They have lots of responsibilities at home, so it’s hard for them to be creative or think of a brighter future.” Thanks to the tireless work of Nabina and her colleagues, 92% of UWS students returned to their Nepalese schools at the start of the new academic year.
WRITING A BRIGHTER FUTURE
What’s the most important lesson taught at UWS schools? Dare to dream. So, what does the future hold for some of the children in Nepal now?
“My dream for the future is to visit many places, like Kathmandu, India, and the whole world!” Heena tells us.
“I want to help my younger sister get a good education and become a good person. My plan for the future is to become a teacher so I can develop this village and teach small children,” says Soneeya.
“I want to become a nurse, so that I can treat people and provide medicine to people in need,” Chimini explains.
EVERY PURCHASE FUNDS EDUCATION
2021 was another tricky period for businesses. But in a year when many companies had to slash their charitable giving, Tropic donated more than ever before. As a result, we’ll be opening the first ever UWS school in Madagascar in 2022.
In Madagascar, a staggering 75% of the population live below the poverty line and just 40% of children finish primary education. But in the most isolated communities, like the fishing village of Ampandrivotse, these statistics are much worse. Located in southwest Madagascar, the new school will empower hundreds of disadvantaged children to break free from the poverty cycle.
“Tropic has gone above and beyond in their support for United World Schools. Tropic Ambassadors continued to fundraise and spread awareness about the need for education in rural and marginalised communities. Tropic has now funded over five million days of education and our partnership is stronger than ever,” says Tim Howarth, founder and ex-CEO of United World Schools.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” So, thank you for arming these children with the freedom to craft their own futures.