HANDSA works in education in Africa. Our programmes are developed through a consultative process that analyses the education context, and identifies the people who are Orphans and Vulnerable , disadvantaged within and outside of the education system in each country. 

Our vision is that all children have access to good quality primary education. This includes ensuring the most disadvantaged – such as girls, those with Orphans, ethnic minorities and children affected by armed conflicts– are also able to go to school. 

In 2000, 164 governments committed to achieving 'Education for All' at the World Education forum in Dakar, Senegal. The countries signed up to six goals to: 

  1. expand early childhood care and education 

  1. provide free and compulsory primary education for all 

  1. promote learning and life skills for young people and adults 

  1. increase adult literacy by 50% 

  1. achieve gender parity by 2005, gender equality by 2015 

  1. improve the quality of education. 

In response, rich governments have donated more funds to education in developing countries and poor countries are increasing the availability of schooling, either by making education free or by opening more schools. However, as school enrolments rise, pressure on already overstretched education systems increases, which affect the quality of education children receive. Our response is to work to strengthen education systems and improve the quality of teaching through the work our volunteers and national and international advocacy. 

Our campaigning work on education 

Valuing Teachers is the name of our international education advocacy and policy work. A policy research report on teachers' motivation in developing countries, has informed much of our work to encourage governments to change policies affecting teachers conditions and efforts to improve the quality of education. 

HANDSA is also an active member of the Global Campaign for Education, an international coalition of charities, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and education unions. The coalition mobilizes the public to put pressure on governments to deliver on the promises they made in 2000 to provide free education for all children.