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From: Advocacy – Footsteps 45

How to speak out and take action to change situations and bring about justice

Promoting children’s schooling is a key concern of our government. However, in the rural areas, parents often struggle with school fees because of their low income. We would like to share the experience of parents from Aklampa, Glazoué in the Republic of Benin. In Aklampa, we encouraged parents to work together to achieve what they could not manage alone. They formed community savings groups known as tontines. These were led by one person responsible for collecting the money. They made arrangements with the school authorities to pay school fees regularly for the members’ children. Thanks to this system, these children are no longer sent home because their fees have not been paid. The parents feel obliged to pay as part of their tontine. However, they find it easier because small payments are made regularly instead of large amounts several times a year. These arrangements have led to an improvement in the children’s results and increased the numbers attending school.

Hyacinthe Gbégnon, Development Worker, 04 BP 1229, Cadjehoun, Cotonou, Benin.

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