Quality education is a basic human right—yet, children living in poverty and compromised conditions around the world are the least likely to attend and complete school. Millions are not attending school or are struggling to stay in school often because they are poor or because they are working the streets—or because they are girls. The challenges in accessing continuous quality education are far and wide for children in foster care, subsidized households, and vulnerable communities. Students in low-income schools often do not have access to the academic tools and competitive programs they need to fully test their potential.
Through our two flagship initiatives, Coloring Futures and Bridging Gaps, Yours Humanly transforms the lives of children in need around the world by providing access to quality education and equitable resources. While the programs and resources we provide vary among the countries and cultures in which we work, our focus is always on lifting children out of poverty and other challenging situations and empowering them to achieve better, brighter futures through the power of education.
Our most meaningful and impactful global effort is our K-12 Scholarship Program, which enables student enrollment of underprivileged children around the world. Literally from the streets to the classroom, Yours Humanly removes children from harm’s way, enrolls them in their local school, and fully supports their educational experience by covering the full costs of tuition, uniforms, mid-day meals, books, study materials, school supplies, and all other educational needs from placement through 12th grade graduation. We also cover boarding school fees when students have no home or family. By partnering with the schools and monitoring student progress regularly, we ensure our Yours Humanly scholars graduate high school.
STEM and Arts Programs
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and Arts education teach students the skills they need to be productive and successful in 21st century communities, societies, and workplaces. The STEM and Arts classroom integrates teaching and learning interdisciplinary studies through hands-on, purposeful, and real-world activities and experiences, where students learn critical thinking, collaboration, communication, experimentation, and resilience. When schools don’t offer such programs in their curricula, or lack the supplies to fully implement such programs, however, learning doesn’t happen. Yours Humanly introduces and builds upon STEM and Arts programs by hosting family STEM nights and by providing STEM kits, math kits, art supplies, and program instructors where needed, to encourage student engagement, innovation, and success beyond the classroom.
Reading is at the heart of all education, encouraging academic success and a love of learning. Reading opens doors to new worlds, builds self-confidence and independence, and strengthens vocabulary and communications skills, setting children on paths to bright futures full of potential. While classrooms are considered homogeneous for grade level, they are heterogeneous for reading ability—that is, within a grade, students are at different points in their reading skills. To promote early literacy and grade level proficiency, Yours Humanly funds picture books, chapter books, leveled reading books, and bilingual books for students and classrooms in need. We also host on campus Family Literacy nights to promote parent engagement and reading at home, and build school libraries where there are none. Globally, we enroll ESL learners in English classes, where needed, and provide bilingual books to strengthen their bilingual language competencies.
After School and Enrichment Programs
After school and enrichment programs provide environments for students to further grow academically and socially outside the classroom and school day, building upon what students are already learning in the classroom through creative and challenging hands-on projects and activities. Yours Humanly provides assistance with after school programs to support and reinforce classroom curricula, such as after school help with homework, computer education, and English classes for ESL learners. And we provide resources for extracurricular activities that promote well-roundedness, such as sports, gardening, dancing, board games, arts and crafts, and outdoor education experiences.
Computers, Internet, and Technology
In the high-tech 21st century characterized by asynchronous learning and a global economy unaffected by the limitations of geography and time zones, computers are integral to every aspect of modern society and one of the most powerful tools for navigating life, learning new skills, and achieving goals. Computer education, therefore, plays a critical role in a child’s academic career and in his or her world outside formal education. To advance technological literacy among children in need and help close the digital divide that keeps millions of children from accessing educational opportunities to which they are entitled, Yours Humanly funds computers, internet, and ancillary technology for students; builds computer labs in underserved schools; creates computer schools open to entire low income communities; and provides computer science instructors, where needed, literally putting life-changing technology at the fingertips of those in need.
The physical state of classrooms and schools deeply affects student comfort, engagement, and ability to focus and learn. When the classroom is too hot or too cold, when there are not enough chairs for all students, when the ventilation is poor, learning is lost and students suffer. Yours Humanly provides basic facility needs that are deemed necessary to establish and maintain safe and effective learning environments. Among other projects, we have provided electricity, fans, classroom rugs, clean drinking water, storage and shelving units, and an outdoor learning center and playground.
Natural disasters hit most often with little or no warning, catching people and communities off guard with swiftness and severity, leaving in their wake loss of life, loss of property, and loss of livelihood. Even when there is prior warning, the extent of damage is often catastrophic, and people find themselves helpless and desperate. Wildfires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and health crises are disasters that tragically affect every child, every family, and every community in their paths. When possible, Yours Humanly responds quickly with reconstruction and rehabilitation assistance and life-saving aid and resources that children, families, communities, and schools need to recover and rebuild after a natural disaster. Among other relief efforts, we have responded to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes; 2017’s Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico; 2018’s Camp Fire in Paradise, California; 2020’s Cyclone Amphan in Sunderban, West Bengal, India; and the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.