Images of impoverished, malnourished African children whose basic needs are things like water and food have become too familiar. The PEN Network, an independent charitable organisation was formed to help improve the life chances of African children. We recognise that young people, not only in Africa but the diaspora (in the Caribbean, UK, USA, South America) are also systematically being deprived of quality education. The curriculum in these areas are legacies of the European countries by which they were previously colonised. Schools that encourage and promote a wider, African centred learning are especially supported by us because they seek to advance the social and cultural experiences of their students to become actively involved in the development of their communities.
As well as the basic needs of water, food and housing, communities progress when their young people are supported and have the opportunity to receive a good education, are able to be creative and aspire. In a number of underdeveloped communities education comes at a high price, making it difficult for students to keep up with classes, as they often have to begin working at an early age to support their families. We don't think this is a fair start to life for any child. We seek to network with likeminded organisations who want to see real, sustainable development.
Children are the futures of their communities. We believe they deserve the opportunity to learn, explore and advance their ideas, whilst appreciating the vibrant cultures and societies to which they belong.
As our motto says - 'woforo dua pa a - if you climb a good tree you will be given a push' - we want that push to be in the right direction, from the right cultural base. Rather than images of hopelessness and despair we want to see brighter futures and opportunities for children in deprived areas.