Educational Institutions

Growth Through Learning, Inc.

  • Cambridge, MA
  • http://www.growththroughlearning.org

Mission Statement

Growth Through Learning provides scholarships to qualified girls and young women in East Africa to enable them to receive post-
primary education in their own countries. In addition, the organization encourages a cross-cultural exchange of information and ideas
among countries.

Main Programs

  1. Kenya Scholarships Program
  2. Tanzania Scholarships Program
  3. Uganda Scholarships Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We provide educational scholarships to girls from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Our schools are located in Kenya (Western/Nyanza, Central and around Lake Baringo); in the Arusha and Moshi areas of Northern Tanzania; and around Kampala in Uganda. You can see the exact locations on our Google Map at http://www.tinyurl.com/5tq5vr(http://www.tinyurl.com/5tq5vr) .

ruling year

1998

Principal Officer since 2012

Self-reported

Dr. Amy Witherbee

Keywords

Self-reported

Africa, education, women, development, empowerment

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EIN

04-3372808

 Number

7847216603

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The past year has been a year of milestones for
Growth Through Learning (GTL). Early in the year we awarded a scholarship to
our 1000th student, and we are now annually sponsoring more girls
than ever before (nearly 400 in the first half of 2012 up from 226 three years
ago). However, the gains made in primary school access in East Africa have only
made more visible the gaps that still remain in secondary school enrollment for
young women. GTL plans to support more students and strengthen the schools that
serve them by increasing the number of scholarships it awards by five percent
each year.

 

As the number of young women we support has grown,
so too has our outstanding network of teachers, women's advocates, and
educational advocates in the areas of East Africa in which we work. Over the
past year, we have welcomed three new volunteer coordinators in Kenya and two
new assistant coordinators in Uganda and Tanzania.

 

And our new partners have helped us foster a better
system of outreach to girls and young women who might otherwise have no access
to school. In Uganda one of our most experienced coordinators has reached
across cultural boundaries to bring students from an underserved region of the
country to some of the most respected secondary girls schools in the
south-central region. Working carefully with the students and with teachers,
Sister Salome Nambi of St. Kizito High School is using GTL scholarships to
create new opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. Student responses and
successes have shown the program to be an overwhelming success.

 

In Kenya, GTL hosted its first reunion of past GTL
graduates. With assistance from one of our founding East Africa coordinators,
GTL brought graduates together to share experiences, discuss post-secondary
concerns, and provide mentoring. We are already planning future events in other
regions with a particular focus on deploying our graduates to mentor their
younger counterparts and exploring ways to support students in their
transitions to further education or careers.

 

In July of this year, GTL celebrated its fifteenth
anniversary, and we took this opportunity to reach out to the vibrant Kenyan
and Ugandan communities in our area as valuable partners in our mission.

 

Going forward, GTL’s staff and Board of Directors
are working to increase the number of students that we can support, deepen
partnerships with our dedicated coordinators in East Africa, promote
cross-cultural exchanges through our interactions with students and schools in
the regions we serve, and enrich our connections with East African communities
here in the U.S.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Kenya Scholarships Program

Our Kenya program is run by three local coordinators, based in Nyanza, Rift Valley and Central Provinces. Currently we sponsor approximately 150 young women in secondary boarding schools, vocational schools and universities in Kenya. Our emphasis in this nation is on closing the gap between the educational funding provided by the Kenyan government and the cost of tuition, board and supplies necessary for poorer girls or those without parental support to attend high school. Most of our students are in Central  and Nyanza Provinces. However, we fund innovative programs in the Rift Valley, where remote conditions create particular challenges for young womens' education. An exact map of school locations can be found at http://www.tinyurl.com/5tq5vr.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$60,000.00

Program 2

Tanzania Scholarships Program

In Tanzania, we sponsored 66 girls in FY2012, primarily through partnerships with two respected girl's schools: Sangiti and Kibosho near Moshi. For a variety of historical reasons, school attendance rates and gender disparities in Tanzania are particularly alarming. Our costs to fund a Tanzanian student are higher than in our other countries, but on a nationwide scale the need is more acute. In FY2012, we are sponsoring approximately 70 students in Tanzania at a cost of about $63,000 for the year.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$63,000.00

Program 3

Uganda Scholarships Program

Our Uganda program fully supports about 185 girls in FY2012, primarily at secondary schools but also in vocational and university programs. In Uganda, our focus on four secondary schools serves to create a strong financial base for those institutions from which to continue their work.

Through the leadership of our Uganda coordinator, Sister Salome Nambi, GTL has begun to provide specialized scholarships that enable a group of girls from the Arusha region, where high quality secondary girls schools are not available, to attend South-Central region boarding schools. The Arusha program is an innovative approach to breaking traditional boundaries between distinct regions in Uganda. We hope to expand upon this type of cross-cultural exchange in our work throughout East Africa in coming years.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$130,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

We provide educational scholarships to girls from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Our schools are located in Kenya (Western/Nyanza, Central and around Lake Baringo); in the Arusha and Moshi areas of Northern Tanzania; and around Kampala in Uganda. You can see the exact locations on our Google Map at http://www.tinyurl.com/5tq5vr(http://www.tinyurl.com/5tq5vr) .

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

Our greatest need is always for dedicated, long term donors who support the educational costs of our students. It costs $700 to sponsor one girl or young woman for one year of secondary school. For the smaller group of young women we fund beyond secondary school, costs are even higher. However, an endowment and an active Board that funds our operating costs allow us to pool smaller donations and direct 96.5% of every donation toward the cost of tuition for a student.   We also need people who can participate in spreading our mission regardless of their abilities to contribute financially. GTL plans to increase its participation in public events, private gatherings and cultural celebrations that highlight the importance of empowering young women through education in East Africa and elsewhere. To this end, we will be looking for partners and partnering organizations here in the U.S.   GTL also needs to continue to expand its partnerships in East Africa. In order to increase our number of scholarships and to ensure that our students succeed, GTL will be working to identify and collaborate with other nonprofits and non-government organizations working in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

GROWTH THROUGH LEARNING INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Growth Through Learning, Inc.

Leadership

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  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Dr. Amy Witherbee

BIO

Amy Witherbee has a JD from Emory University and a PhD from Boston College. She has been active in education and nonprofit development in Atlanta and Boston, having previously worked as a public services attorney, a nonprofit program director, and a university professor.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The global community has expressed its commitment
to improving conditions in African nations through support for education, and
there have been countless studies to show how debilitating gender disparities
in East African educational systems are to larger development goals. While many
nonprofits and East African governments have focused on primary school
infrastructures, legislative mandates, and university access, GTL has quietly
focused the majority of its scholarship resources on the unique challenges to
getting East African young women through high school.

 

Secondary school poses particular obstacles for
young women in these countries: families often allocate the money needed for
fees, uniforms and supplies to sons; young women are kept out of school to help in
households handicapped by poverty and disease; local schools are sometimes
unsafe for young girls who are subject to sexual abuse or rape; early
pregnancies hinder educational ambitions; and in areas where war or HIV/AIDS has claimed parents' lives, many young women lack either
parental support or money to continue their educations.

 

GTL addresses these challenges one student at a
time by making residential schools accessible to impoverished young women.
Because we evaluate our schools and maintain partnerships with them through our
local coordinators, we can ensure that our students are attending safe, high
quality schools where their physical and academic needs are provided for so
that each student can focus on her studies and personal growth. And because we
are able to make a substantial, long term tuition commitment, we provide a
financial base for the best schools in the regions we serve. In this way, we
improve the educational resources for students beyond our scholarship
recipients.

 

GTL’s secondary school focus has proven
overwhelmingly successful over the years. Despite the fact that GTL students
are often orphans or come from desperately disadvantaged homes, our scholarship
recipients have outpaced their countrywomen in academic performance and
graduation rates in every nation in which we work. With government scholarships
or post-secondary assistance from GTL, many of them have gone on to successes
in university programs and vocational schools, and many have chosen to use
their educations to assist other young women in East Africa who only need an
opportunity to improve their own lives, those of their families, and of their
larger communities."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dr. Richard Jenson

No Affiliation

Term: July 2012 - June 2014

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?