In order to promote school enrollment and support educational success for marginalized groups in Yemen, AKF will implement a three-stage Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. The program involves two main objectives. First, AKF will spread awareness of the socioeconomic benefits of education, encouraging families to support their childrens education as a means to earn higher incomes in the long run. Second, AKF will provide financial assistance for families to register their children in schools and provide necessary school materials, and will monitor regular attendance. Through this commitment, AKF aims to serve 500 students.
In the recruitment phase, AKF will carry out a field survey in the provinces of Hodeidah, Taiz and Sanaa where Akhdam communities are concentrated. Field visits and personal interviews will be implemented by AKF members and qualified volunteers to achieve reliable survey results. The surveyors will meet each and every Akhdam family (while verifying the information they receive through trusted sources from neighboring villages and from the same communities in each province). Based on the survey and accompanying interviews, 500 school-aged boys and girls from seventh up to ninth grade will be identified and recruited for the program, based on the following additional criteria: the existence/status of parents, source(s) of income, number of family members, number/age of children, education level of all family members, valid school certificates of previous levels, eagerness of youth to resume education, child labor in the family, and willingness to participate in the programs ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities.
In the implementation stage, and during school enrollment, monthly cash payments will be made to participating families to ensure regular attendance and to prevent dropouts. Monitoring will be carried out on a monthly basis through a reporting system established with two main sources in each province: the school management, and AKFs representatives in the targeted province. According to this regular feedback, AKF will continue the payment of scholarships to proven regular school attendees, and will suspend payments to families of absent students until receiving proof of resumption.
Due to the fact that AKF has been implementing similar though smaller programs for the past two years, it has gained ample experience and familiarity with CCTs. Based on the information collected by trained staff from previous programs regarding Akhdam youth, AKF will be able to carry out these tasks more efficiently. Furthermore, AKFs strong relationships and trust with several disadvantaged communities in Yemen will facilitate smoother program operations and credible information.
After this commitment is completed, AKF plans to launch media campaigns in various stages of this program to announce success stories and also to propagate its initiative among skeptics, urging Yemenis to accept Akhdam as their fellow citizens and encouraging official authorities as well as educational institutions to join in by accepting Akhdam youth in their technical schools and universities.
In the initial stage of this program, 500 boys and girls will be enrolled in grades 7 to 9 with the aid of the Conditional Cash Transfer program. In the future, AKF will work to identify one or more partners that will help to enroll and provide monthly allowances for 350 boys and girls in grades 10 to 12, and 200 high school graduates in universities.
Step 1: Carry out a thorough field survey, over two months, in the targeted areas and identify all eligible beneficiaries. Throughout the program, from initiation: Identify partner(s) sharing the same values; secure funding and cost sharing with partner(s).
Step 2: Design the program timeline with capacity to build based on success of identifying and coordinating with partner(s).
Step 3: Schedule the disbursement of funds as needed and in accordance with the timeline. $50 cash per student.
Step 4: Assign specific implementation and supervisory tasks to the AKF taskforce in terms of education. This will include creating administrative hubs in the targeted areas in addition to the registration of students in various school levels and coordination with assigned schools for the purpose of regular evaluation & monitoring to ensure normal attendance.
Step 5: Monthly, follow educational progress up to completion of each school level.
Step 6: Process the transfers to the next grade levels, parallel with identifying additional eligible beneficiaries.
Step 7: Quarterly reporting on the outcome, challenges, and impact of the program with all remedial measures taken and proposals to fine-tune future procedures.
Substantial inequities exist between Yemens majority population and individuals of African descent, a marginalized segment of society that has faced discrimination due to their race. Known in Yemen as the Akhdam, these growing communities live predominantly in slums and suffer from the lack, if not the total absence, of basic rights and services. The exact origins of Akhdam are uncertain. One popular account holds that they are descendants of Nilotic Sudanese people who accompanied the Abyssinian army during the latter's occupation of Yemen in the pre-Islamic period. Once the Abyssinian troops were finally expelled at the start of the Muslim era, some of the Sudanese migrants are said to have remained behind, giving birth to the Akhdam. Another theory maintains that they are of Veddoid origin. They are socially segregated and have trouble finding work other than menial jobs in the country's major cities. According to official estimates, the Akhdam population is numbered between 500,000 to 3,500,000 individuals, approximately 8% of the population. This disadvantaged position means that Akhdam youth may be less likely than average Yemeni children to attend and/or complete school.
AKF will address this inequity by supporting youth education in marginalized Akhdam communities. Treated as second-class citizens, Akhdam youth possess abilities and talents too often overlooked, or simply ignored, because of social discrimination. By helping youth discover their capabilities and hidden talents through education, AKF will equip youth from marginalized communities to utilize their unique skills to contribute to Yemeni society, in doing so helping to diminish the existing burden on the countrys economy by creating well-educated individuals who can participate in national development.