According to UNESCO, nearly 260 million children are out of school as of 2018. Out of those, 59 million were supposed to be in primary school, 62 million in lower secondary school, and 139 million in upper secondary school.
Countries aim to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030. But how will they make it happen if even the children in school struggle to learn? According to UNICEF, roughly 617 million kids and teenagers failed to reach minimum proficiency levels in mathematics and reading, even though two-thirds attend school.
This is a concerning reality not only countries have to address but also the private sector. Business tycoons like Elon Musk may send billions of children to school, but that’s not what the youth needs. Instead, it’s resources and knowledge that will allow them to succeed, whether they finished school or not.
Small business owners can help children in more ways than they realize. If you’d like to help the youth in your community, here are the ways to do just that:
1. Support Organizations for Out-of-school Youth
You can start by donating to organizations that help send children to school, like Save the Children. Use a CSR platform to find non-profit organizations or a specific cause to support. The platform will let you track your donations and the outcomes of your campaigns. As such, you can use it to practice transparency with your stakeholders and customers. This can let you encourage them to donate as well.
While you can make donations straight to your community, supporting a particular organization is also helpful. Most organizations work globally through their international chapters. So by donating to them, you help fund their programs, allowing the children that benefit from them receive aid consistently.
2. Organize Volunteer Programs
Volunteering will let your company help your community directly. Organize a mentoring or tutoring program where your employees can volunteer their time and skills to teach children. You can include high school students aspiring to go to college in your beneficiaries. You or your employees can help them prepare for their entrance exams.
Don’t forget abused and neglected children too. Help them obtain professional help by advocating for their rights. You or any of your employees can serve as their court-appointed special advocate.
Give a chance to children who love arts as well. While getting as many children as possible in STEM fields is essential, artistic kids deserve to thrive in their craft, too. Let them explore their talents in writing, music, and other forms of art through free workshops.
3. Start an Internship Program in Your Company
To help young people become desirable job candidates, start an internship program in your company. Focus on attracting interns from your community. This will help young adults become fit candidates for their dream companies and jobs.
However, set standards for your interns as well. Require a minimum GPA, a set of skills, and a good attitude. This may motivate the youth in your community to work harder in school. But of course, ensure that they’re getting quality education in the first place. If that’s something they need, prioritize your tutoring and mentorship program. It will prepare the eligible youth for your company’s internship program.
4. Organize a Fund-raising Campaign
Involve your customers in your cause by holding a fund-raising campaign. Take inspiration from big brands or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For example, Dyslexia Association started “A Moment of Dyslexia,” a campaign that raised awareness about the struggles of dyslexic people. As of the campaign’s launching, there were 1.28 billion people with dyslexia. By starting a similar campaign, you can help the children in your community who’s also dealing with a learning disability.
Ensure the success of your campaign by keeping your message clear and simple. If your objective is to send more kids to school, write that down on your social media posts and company website. The simpler and clearer the message, the more likely your audience will remember it.
Insert relatable and personal points as well. It will allow you to build a connection with your audience, giving them a reason to participate in your campaign. Open opportunities for discussions so that your audience can share their own stories. Together, you may inspire more people to partake in your campaign and support your business.
These seemingly small acts can result in a difference in the long run. You’ll improve and save lives and give disadvantaged children the motivation to dream big. Your small company will prove that you don’t need lots of money or fame to make a change.