Sylvester Owusu, April 15, 2013

We're doing it and we're doing it together. nKoso is live and ready for action!

It's been a wild ride full of twists and turns, but we're happy to be inviting you to join us in funding education for students in developing countries through need-based scholarships!

nKoso is a variation of the Twi (a native Ghanaian language) word "nkɔsoɔ", meaning advancement. At nKoso we believe that every child has the right to a quality education and opportunities to advance their life situation. Our mission is to pay tuition for all children who otherwise cannot afford a quality primary education. Today, there are over 130 million school-age kids that are not attending school. In many developing countries the educational need far exceeds the available resources of public schools. Private low-fee schools are popular alternatives, however many families cannot afford to pay the fees. 2.7 billion people live on under $2 per day.

The project started in November 2012 when we (Anna and Sylvester Owusu) returned from a trip to Ghana. We shared the hardships that students in developing areas of Africa endure with a number of our friends and family members. We saw firsthand the struggles of families to educate their children. The efforts we made in the weeks following our trip raised enough money for 14 students to attend a safe, low-fee private school for 1 year.

We realized the potential impact was far larger, especially with the budding crowdfunding technology. Crowdfunding is most popularly known through Kickstarter, who brings multiple donors together to collectively fund independent projects. We re-engineered this technology for nKoso - the first crowdfunding platform for tuition assistance in developing areas. nKoso partners with the financial power of the crowd to fund educational tuition for students whose families cannot afford it. Using our extensive screening process we ensure that the students we fund need the support and that our partner schools are recognized by the country's government and are providing a quality education.

How it Works:

nKoso partners with low-fee private schools to help us identify students in need. These students apply for tuition assistance and are selected based on their need. We fundraise the cost of tuition for the students at Donors can visit the site and choose which student’s education they would like to contribute to and the amount they would like to contribute. Once the total goal amount has been raised, nKoso pays the student’s tuition directly to the school. We designed nKoso to be fully transparent, so donors can track their donation every step of the way until the funds are paid to the school.

Why Affordable Private Schools?

Sylvester knows firsthand the plight of students in developing countries, as he attended affordable private schools in rural West Africa until he was 12 years old. When we hear ‘private school’ we often think about an educational institution for the elite and the wealthy. We don’t think about private schools being affordable or a model that would serve the poor. In developing countries the problems in the public education systems are chronic and not meeting the educational needs of the masses. The schools are over-crowded and there is a lack of staff accountability.

Countries such as Ghana welcome the private schools because they recognize the benefit for the young students. Affordable private schools charge tuition that is not much higher than the cost of public school. Public schools incur a number of hidden fees such as uniform costs, exam fees, PTA fees, and others. Sometimes these fees are sanctioned and sometimes they are not. Many families would rather pay slightly more for a quality education.

Education empowers a child to create the opportunity to better themselves, their families, and their communities. We will not stop until every child has the financial resources necessary to receive a quality primary education. Be among the first to make a difference to a child and their family. We hope that you'll spread the word to your family and your friends. We may not be able to change the whole world today, but with a small donation, we can change the world of a child and their family. They're waiting for you. Let's unite!

nKoso Team

sources: UNESCO