A2Empowerment’s Impact

Since our founding, A2Empowerment has been monitoring and evaluating the program in various ways to continue to improve and determine our impact.  Monitoring and evaluation is currently led by Graham Button, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and A2Empowerment Board Member.  Graham uses mid- and end-year surveys to capture information from our partners in Cameroon to assess student progress and meeting attendance.  Graham used that data to create the following narrative to recap the direct impact and tangible results A2Empowerment had last year during the 2019-2020 school year.

Scholarship recipients participating in a community project to plant trees, organized by mentor Guillaume Chungong.

A2Empowerment had a successful 2019-2020 school year and was able to help 86 girls throughout Cameroon go to school through scholarships and mentorship. Unfortunately, schools were interrupted partway through the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the girls who received scholarships from A2Empowerment still made incredible progress in their academic development. A2Empowerment endeavors to monitor and evaluate the impact that the scholarship and mentoring has on each of the girls by working with the scholarship coordinators, ensuring that the program is working as intended and allowing A2Empowerment to make adjustments as necessary.

The results of that monitoring and evaluation have demonstrated what a positive impact A2Empowerment has had on the lives of these girls. Almost half of the girls reported that they would not have been able to continue going to school without a scholarship from A2Empowerment, and one girl had even dropped out and went back to school after finding out that she would receive it!
Many of the girls were able to improve their study habits because they received a scholarship from A2Empowerment. While many girls still had expenses that were not covered by the scholarship, such as transportation or textbooks, more than half of scholarship recipients reported that they were able to either stop working or work fewer hours because they received the scholarship. This gave the girls more time to study, and more than 2/3 of scholarship recipients had time to be involved in extracurricular activities at school. A2Empowerment is using the data collected to adjust the scholarship amounts in order to cover more school-related expenses, such as textbooks, in the future.

Scholarship recipient monthly meeting, organized by mentor Florence Yousseu.

 

Financial support was not the only reason for their academic progress this year – A2Empowerment does not just provide scholarships, but mentorship as well. Scholarship recipients are expected to attend monthly meetings where they receive training on life skills and the scholarship coordinators can monitor their academic progress. More than half of the girls reported that this monitoring and support by their scholarship coordinators helped them with their academic progress, and a third said that support from their fellow scholarship recipients helped them. 

While A2Empowerment cannot solve all of the challenges that the scholarship recipients have to deal with – for example, approximately half of recipients do not have access to electricity – the financial support and mentoring provided through the A2Empowerment Scholarship Program has made a tremendous difference in the lives of the scholarship recipients.

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