So They Can
Who We Are
So they can is an organisation bringing together communities and their governments so they can break the poverty cycle, educate and empower and realise their own potential/ meet their own needs. They are a not-for-profit organisation registered in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Tanzania and the United States. They have chosen to partner with local communities and with local and national governments in Kenya and Tanzania in implementing their education strategies. They focus their efforts and funds on providing quality education to children and adults, specifically women, to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and can seek further education or employment. This in turn grows the economy and breaks the cycle of poverty.
- educate 1080 children at Aberdare Ranges Primary School in Nakuru, Kenya
- provide a nurturing home for 120 orphaned and vulnerable children at the Miti Mingi Village
- educate and provide loans to women facing extreme poverty through our Micro Finance Business School
- support a community medical centre that services the wider Nakuru community of 20,000
- operate the Mamire Teachers’ College in a remote rural part of Tanzania
- have formed an educational collaborative with 26 schools in Tanzania providing access to better education for over 5,000 children
- work together with local communities to establish numerous social businesses to create jobs and generate funds
So They Can was founded in 2009 by Cassandra Treadwell and Keri Chittenden in response to an immediate need that faced the community of Nakuru in Kenya, two hours north of Nairobi. In the lead-up to the 2007 Kenyan presidential election, tribal violence left 250,000 West Kenyan residents homeless with many dead or wounded. Previously Kenya had been one of the more stable African countries with a well-developed middle class, a British-based education system and a strong agricultural economy. The violence was shocking and unanticipated. After fleeing from their homelands, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees housed these people in temporary tents in the Nakuru showgrounds. Then in early 2008 the Kenyan Government decided to try and encourage these people to go home by giving each family $100. There was however nothing to go home to. Their homes had been destroyed, their businesses ruined and their lives had been decimated. Approximately 6,700 of these displaced people gathered together. They showed great initiative, pooling their $100 from the government and buying land and in an area of Nakuru known as Pipeline. On this land they erected their tents. This became known as the Pipeline Camp. On a visit by Cassandra and Keri to the Camp the community communicated to them their most desperate need – the need to educate their children. They recognised that education was the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, stopping tribal violence and empowering people to see beyond tribal allegiances. The problem was that the existing public schools lacked the capacity to educate the children. Class sizes were between 60 to 200 children per teacher and one text book would be shared between up to 5 students. A new school model was needed. The community took Cass and Keri to a 5 acre block of land 2kms from the Camp, informing them that the Teachers’ Co Operative owned the land and that it was designated for a public school. They asked them to speak with the Government and to build that school and to educate their children. Negotiations began, resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenyan Government outlining the government’s commitment to fund teachers, water, electricity and roads. So They Can would construct the school and would hold the majority on the Board of Management overseeing its management. In 2010 the doors to the Aberdare Ranges Primary School were open and So They Can was born. Five years on and many lives have seen positive change, much has been achieved but there is still so much more to do.
What They Do
We work with communities in Africa in need; empowering people to become self-sufficient and meet their own needs via education and community and economic development.
We join the philanthropic and business worlds to work towards sustainable poverty alleviation.
We connect people in the developed world with communities in need; so that we can both improve the way we live.
The rights of the child and gender equality are cross cutting issues across all our projects. We believe that every child has the right not to live in poverty so we design and deliver our projects to ensure real, tangible and lasting improvements to the lives of children we touch. We also recognise that while inequality can impact on both genders, it is generally women and girls who are disadvantaged. Therefore our projects have a strong emphasis on building the power of girls and women aiming to advance their rights and overcome deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability.
In the future i want to be involved in a business or create a business that helps children in poverty
Mia treadwelle burke went to this school and as may of you know he