Facilitating Development of the Healthy African Child
Practical and sustainable solutions to the widespread poverty prevalent in Africa has proven elusive. The magnitude and complexity of the AIDS pandemic has heightened the suffering associated with this portion of the population. Governments, NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and other organizations engaged in this struggle find their already strained resources stretched even further as they try to adapt and implement effective strategies to combat the multi-faceted battle against poverty, and the host of infectious diseases that afflict the impoverished at a disproportionate rate.
A lack of cohesiveness and strategic alignment between the many thousands of aid and development organizations has resulted in marginal gains in spite of a tremendous amount of resources devoted to this cause. It is my premise that the core solution to eliminating poverty is firmly rooted in increasing the quality of basic education, and providing an environment that promotes those assets associated with positive and healthy development that are generally marginalized or non-existent in impoverished communities.
There exists a proven direct-inverse relationship between quality of education and poverty, infection rates of diseases, and a host of social ills including alcoholism, crime, and domestic abuse.
The inference from this data suggests that solving the problem of poverty is rooted in providing quality education to impoverished youth. Additionally, if we solve the problem of poverty, then we extend a long way towards solving the problem of AIDS and other infectious diseases as well as a multitude of social ills that are commonly associated with poverty and lower levels of education.
Rob Myres is Founder and Director of Mondesa Youth Opportunities (MYO) based in Western Namibia. MYO is one of a small but growing community of new NGO’s—NGO’s that are focused on excellence and exceptional financial efficiency. MYO is an after-school program that provides comprehensive education-based development services to impoverished youth. Children in the MYO program receive over 400 hours of structured, facilitated services each school year in grades 4 – 9. Before starting MYO, Rob was a business executive with several technology companies, serving in multiple management capacities in the Training and Education sector in Europe, Asia-Pacific and The America’s. Rob is author of the book ‘Silicon Valley To Southern Africa’ and a frequent contributor to a variety of newspapers and magazines on topics relating to youth development.