The ability to read this blog makes you more fortunate than nearly 900 million adults in the world who cannot read at all. Simply having money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change, makes you among some of the worlds luckiest. You are not longing for an education that seems desperately and severely unaffordable for you. Moreover, having adequate shelter, means you are at a greater advantage than 640 million children, or 1 in every 3 children.
While not everyone is granted the same livelihoods at birth, we do know one well-acknowledged solution to help break the vicious cycle of poverty -- through quality, accessible education. No one should be forced to have a repeated destiny based on a poor upbringing by denying a person the chance to attain a quality education. We can change the future of many through education, and help reverse the psychological, physical and social repercussions of being brought up in poverty. Education has the power to empower, inspire, motivate and ultimately, provide additional opportunities.
Many of the over 1,500 students admitted to the non-profit, tuition-free University of the People have previously experienced hindrances that have caused them to miss out on education. For example, Adedoyin's family was experiencing financial difficulty. She could not afford textbooks or to dress well or to feel herself well. With all her difficulties, she could not continue on at the Nigerian University she was enrolled at. She was shut out from continuing with her dream of business management and because of her financial situation, was only able to get a secretarial diploma. Now she is studying business administration at UoPeople because she can finally afford the education she deserves.
According to another student, Assan S., from Uganda, ""Like many Africans, I was born in a polygamous family to never-educated parents who were land tillers. We are more than 25 siblings. When my father died, I had to struggle on my own to go school and care for my mother and siblings. I had lost all hopes of ever attaining a University degree because I had no source of tuition fees. University of the people came to my rescue."
It is not just Adedoyin or Assan that have struggled to attain education -- many of UoPeople's students have suffered because of their hardships. Education was not a right for them, but a privilege for others. Now the future for 1500 students has changed for the better - they found a door that was open to them.
It is not possible for us to fully understand how these students felt and what they have experienced with all their hardships, but we can help others like them to drastically change their futures and improve their lives by lending a hand. To permanently advance their lives, we must commit ourselves to recognizing the problem, finding a solution, and ensuring that it is acted upon immediately.
You too can be a part of the solution to change many futures. You can help someone at a financial disadvantage go to school and receive the privilege that others have benefited from so easily.