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How KEF supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 1: No poverty – End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

How is poverty related to education? Through education and increasing tertiary scholarships, poverty will be reduced as employment rates will increase and small communities will be able to depend and grow on income and micro business development. Extreme poverty is a global issue and one dependent on a multitude of variables however with education growth is promised. Poverty affects issues such as discrimination, unsustainable farming and agriculture, hygeine, sanitation which in turn affect death rate and health of the population. KEF targets to extend more and more scholarships every year, in order to have more students going into the workforce prepared for innovative solutions that will alleviate poverty.

SDG 2: Zero hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Zero Hunger is connected to KEF and education as many of our scholars have chosen to extend their studies and then careers in the field of agricultural development and are staying in their communities. Through studying and working on agricultural development, more crops will be planted and more innovative ways of maximising manufacturing and labour efficiency will be found. This way, education is directly benefiting towards the goal of ending hunger. They are paying it forward and making sure that their community is provided for. KEF Scholars’ communities around the world faced enormous food scarcity during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns, so our scholars jumped into action launching food distribution programs and using their personal emergency funds from our relief program to help out.

SDG 3: Good health & wellbeing – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all and at all ages.

Knowledge is power and through education one can reduce the effect of many preventable deaths and many curable diseases. Correct education and extending of scholarships, communities will have more access to and knowledge of how to take small preventative measures that will have a huge impact on the overall well being of their communities. Health education has already proven to be effective in the reduction of disease transmission in the case of HIV and has been linked to improving gender equality, hence continued efforts should prove to be even more effective. The goal is for KEF to extend scholarships to students willing to remain in their communities and build up, just like Charles Waiswa. He has recently been recruited by the Ministry of Health to work at the Uganda-Kenya border as a medical professional and has shown his incredible dedication to helping people.

SDG 4: Quality education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

As a non-profit organization, KEF strives towards one specific goal that in its development facilitates the improvement of many other factors such as poverty, gender equality and etc. It is education that gives the basis for a community to start having long term and long lasting development. Every KEF scholar is an example and case study for this goal. It is no coincidence that our slogan is “Pay it forward”, as we expect every student to remain in and develop their community. Helping and implementing their education into hospital improvement, new banking systems or improved agricultural planning are all factors boosted by education and also all factors that contribute to development. KEF specifically targets point 4B, as we extend scholarships to deserving students in their tertiary education. Focusing on tertiary education allows for career development and more diverse ways of “paying it forward”. “Access” is one of the guiding principles of KEF and we believe in cultivating an environment where education and opportunities have broad access to all. A recent UNESCO report states that the tertiary education expansion has a direct impact on equity and access. Current tertiary education rates in Africa, supplied by UNESCO are 12%, 43% in Latin America and the Carribeans and 30% Central Asia . KEF is targeting quality education because it will lead to strengthening institutions, democracy, alleviate poverty and most importantly improve overall quality of life, which are all UN goals.

SDG 5: Gender equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Gender equality has proven to not only be a development consequence and measure but also a stimulatory agent to other development factors such as equal income distribution and health and wellbeing. Education boosts gender equality specifically in narrowing the legal disparities between the genders. This why education is such an important topic when it comes to looking at solutions to end discrimination based on gender. Our incredible alum, Gloria Baltazari, is a perfect embodiment of how education helps the cause of gender equality. She studied law and then began practicing it in Tanzania, both in the city and local and remote areas, where she specialized in the law for protecting women. She has changed the rules and laws that explicitly discriminate inheritance based on gender. Gloria was also able to work on a UNICEF project representing women & families and apply her incredible skills in a larger project. Her hopes are to enter parliament to change the laws and help women in need. Even the pure development of her career is a statement for the cause of gender equality, all done thanks to her education and ambition. The more educated women there are, the more gender equality becomes a reality.

SDG 6: Clean water & sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Access to water is imperative for the very obvious reasons such as growing crops which reduces hunger and hunger caused poverty as well as other less obvious reasons such as sanitation and access to clean water for women. If schools and universities were to have more water access, that would promote young girls and women to attend school freely with access to sanitary and bathroom facilities. Access to water has a direct link on education and literacy rate and KEF scholars know that. Moureen Tumwesigye, a KEF scholar, received her Bachelor's degree in Demography and Reproductive health with a major in Medicine, as to help this pressive issue. Clean water and sanitation is key for new mothers and child care and the improvement of reproductive health education could save thousands of lives. By staying in her community she will be able to help out in the local clinic and pay it forward. Furthermore with more water access and improved sanitation and integrated water management, women won’t have to worry about losing hours of their day to carrying water around for their families and they could go to school instead.

SDG 8: Decent work & economic growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Focusing on economic growth fosters an environment of productivity in many other development areas and specifically tertiary education has had a great impact on that. Tertiary education increases employment opportunities and henceforth the economic growth of a community or industry. Decent work for all comes with more diverse opportunities in the employment sector and that is almost always ensured by having a higher tertiary education rate. James, a gifted entrepreneur and journalist is the perfect example for how KEF helps scholars achieve this goal He launched his own blog called the Economic Misfit, gathered extensive research and knowledge on building an active online community through his site; he invites different young people to write their own perspective on a recent news story and he creates not only a space for development and intellectual creativity, but also a space with potential for more employment and development in the future guaranteeing a decent workplace.

*All empirical data was sources from the WB and IMF annual reports for 2019;

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