One of the core values of Africa Leads is the active involvement of beneficiaries in the execution of our project. As such, the last few steps of our student recruitment process were initiating direct communication with the parents of the first cohort of 21 students. We began our communication with a parent-school meeting where our team delved into discussions of the details of the program and the anticipated outcome for our students. Our team was emphatic about the importance of parents’ involvement in their child’s education process through guidance at home as well as through interaction with teaching staff and administrators. Parents expressed their interest in being involved and proposed choosing a few parents who will serve as their representative or creating a parent committee.
The meeting with the parents was also a time we provided each parent with a Parent-School contract that outlined the scope of the education, educational materials the school will provide to each student, and expectations the school will have from its students and parents as well as what parents and students can expect from the school. Such explicit communication of expectation lays the ground work for a system of accountability that ensures collaboration. After a few days, parents signed the Parent-School contract and the first steps of collaboration began. These initial engagements with parents will be a starting point from which we can ensure our students are supported both at school and at home.