How an educational sponsorship at SCHULBANK works.
The general definition of a sponsorship at Wikipedia already captures the SCHULBANK concept very well. She describes sponsorship as a voluntary assumption of a duty of care.
More precisely: Education sponsors from the SCHULBANK family support half- and full-wives in Tanzania in financing a high-quality education, from elementary school to their entry into the world of work.
The support of the education mentor always focuses on one scholarship holder selected in advance. All school fees incurred in the course of an individual’s education are covered. On average, the sponsorship contribution covers all costs in their amount. Should tuition be lower or higher during the course of education, these funds will be collected or provided through an education fund (pool of surplus).
Education sponsors find themselves in a community of solidarity in which, in addition to the education sponsors, parents, relatives of the scholarship recipients and our partner schools also make a financial contribution to education. For example, parents, orphanages or relatives commit to paying the school’s incidental costs, and partner schools reduce their school fees for SCHULBANK scholarship holders.
Period of an educational sponsorship
As part of our scholarship program, we make a promise to scholarship recipients to support them until they start their careers. The majority of our education sponsors also follow this promise. If a first grader is sponsored, a sponsorship can even last up to 15 years. But also the joint achievement of milestones, such as the graduation from high school, can be a nice framework for a sponsorship.
Of course, a sponsor’s financial circumstances may change and lead to an early end of support. We will find a solution for these situations as well. We would just like to ask anyone interested to do some soul-searching before accepting this care and see if there is a willingness for long-term sponsorship. This is the only way we can ensure sustainable operation of the scholarship program.
Amount and use of the sponsorship contribution
For almost a decade now, SCHULBANK has managed to keep the sponsorship contribution stable at EUR 30 per month, despite rising school costs and the natural progression of students to more cost-intensive educational institutions. In individual cases (parents are unable to pay for school clothing), a higher contribution may be paid voluntarily after consultation.
To our sponsors, the exclusive use of their contributions to cover school fees is an important promise. Every payment for a scholarship holder is documented at SCHULBANK and can be viewed by sponsors at any time. All other costs for staff, rent, etc. are covered by one-time donations apart from the sponsorships.
Contact with scholarship holders
Surely you know the big aid organizations and their child sponsorships. Here, the emotional bond with sponsored children is used to acquire regular donations for larger projects in the village or town of the sponsored child. In return, the sponsors are given the opportunity to make written contact with the sponsored child and in return receive an annual letter of thanks from the sponsored children at Christmas.
Our aim here is not to discredit this approach. Rather, over the past few years, we have learned how sponsors and fellows feel about this “long-distance relationship” and have made decisions based on that.
To summarize briefly: A bspw. A ten-year-old child cannot put himself in the shoes of a European, nor can he put himself in the shoes of a Tanzanian child.
In addition to frustration, an oppressive feeling remains, especially on the Tanzanian side: scharm and the oppressive feeling of always having to adopt an attitude of gratitude toward Western supporters. With decades of support from the Western world, this attitude has become a reflex.
We want to help the young generation to get rid of the feeling of dependency and to devote themselves unreservedly to building their future without feeling like they are in a corset. Therefore, as a link between sponsors and scholarship holders, we now refrain from deliberate contact and establish a rational view of sponsorship as what it can be in the best case: financial care.
We reduce the information for our educational sponsors to the scholastic and health development of the scholarship holder and about the stability of their social environment. Three aspects that we continually review in our mentoring. And when a sponsorship ends, scholarship recipients are always given the opportunity to contact them directly and thank them for their support.
Finally, we would like to mention that educational sponsors are always welcome to visit our office in Iringa, to get their own impression of our work and of course to get to know their protégé accompanied by us.
How does a sponsorship help
Sponsorships are an important component of our financing for SCHULBANK. Shoulder to shoulder with parents, schools, orphanages and many others, the school costs are borne together. Around half of the costs are already covered by Tanzanian participation. We call this solidarity help.
For our sponsors, this is a type of support that allows them to see the impact of their support directly and yet at a reasonable distance. Our sponsorships are deliberately different from typical child sponsorships.
Can I make my wishes known in the design of the sponsorship?
Of course. Among other things, the first get-to-know-you phone call serves this purpose. Here you can tell us if you want to use e.g. would like to support a scholarship holder and in which educational step (primary, secondary school, university, etc.) you would like to support.
We are reachable! SCHULBANK is still so small that the person you are talking to still knows the work and challenges in Tanzania personally.