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Small successes that Matter

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The ‘San Matter’ is a project of the Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO Trust). The objective of the project is to encourage San children who enroll in schools to remain in school. There’s little data to go by as baseline surveys. The OSISA Group report “Rethinking Indigenous Education,” may be a bit outdated, but stated that ‘only 67 percent of San children in the country enroll in school. And only 1 percent of those children complete secondary school.’ The ‘San Matter’ project ran in two regions (Ohangwena and Omaheke) from 2016 to 2018 thanks to support from the Embassy of Finland. Twelve schools per region were invited to take part in a series of comprehensive interventions. We found that 93,5% of the San girls part of the project in the Omaheke region and 88,1% in the Ohangwena region re-enrolled in school in 2019. Furthermore 86,2% of the San girls part of the project in the Omaheke region and 77% in the Ohangwena region passed to the next grade. OYO’s work to support San friendly schools has an impact and does make a difference. Thanks to support from the Embassy of Germany, OYO is now able to expand the project to the Otjozondjupa region where it looks forward to having an impact too. Additional proposals have been submitted in order to build on the successes observed to date. Let us all work together towards supporting the education of the San children and addressing issues around cultural discrimination in our schools.

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