November 17th represents deep meaning for students around the world. On this day in 1939, a group of students in Prague fell victim to Nazi violence. These brave students were fighting for their rights and peace, and they are now forever commemorated by International Students’ Day. On this day, academic institutions and students around the world practice remembrance and celebrate multiculturism and the educational progress that has been achieved for students internationally.
FINCA’s mission to alleviate global poverty goes hand in hand with promoting better education and empowering students. Through our BrightLife, FINCA Ventures and other programs, we have contributed in various ways to improving education and access to resources for students around the world.
This International Students’ Day, we’ve highlighted just a few of the ways FINCA is contributing to students and their education. Read on to learn how.
How BrightLife is Helping Students
Around the world, nearly 1 billion people live without access to electricity. To help address this issue in Uganda, FINCA created Brightlife, a social enterprise providing access to clean energy products for low-income individuals and communities.
One of Brightlife’s initiatives aimed at helping students was the installation of “lamp libraries” in rural schools with little or no access to electricity. In these rural areas, all learning stops when the sun goes down, and students have to wait until morning to continue their studies. To address this issue, BrightLife piloted a program providing 100 solar lamps per school in a sort of library fashion. The lamps can be used on-campus, as well as checked out overnight so students can do homework and continue studying at home after dark.
This project has successfully impacted both the students and their surrounding communities, where adults are also able to rent out any leftover lamps each evening. The introduction of solar energy has been monumental to these students’ learning and is now being used throughout the community.
How FINCA Ventures Aids Education
FINCA Ventures invests in social enterprises implementing innovative solutions to alleviate poverty. One of these investees is Eneza Education. This organization works in Africa to provide digital education curriculums for K-12 students through a basic mobile phone. This is extremely useful for students in sub-Saharan Africa where they don’t have access to advanced technologies—like smartphones and computers. However, through Eneza’s innovative model, students and their families subscribe to the educational service for flexible and low rates.
Eneza’s supplementary educational platform has been monumental for millions of students throughout Africa. They now have access to lessons, textbooks, and other learning resources in the palm of their hands.
The Impact of International Students’ Day
International Students’ Day serves as a reminder that students and the education system must be protected and uplifted. FINCA continues to do just that by promoting programs and initiatives that help students receive the resources they need. We believe that when students are supported and encouraged, they can reach their full potential. As a result, everyone in their community benefits.