Pearl Unoda Molobe, 48
I founded the Silent Dropout Initiative in Botswana. The mission of the program is to prevent students from dropping out of school by providing them with the necessary resources to ensure they can learn to the best of their ability. So far, the program is already active in 15 primary schools in Botswana. I plan on spreading to secondary schools and even other countries.
Silent Dropout works with a variety of young children. Some are bullied by other learners, some come to school with empty stomachs, some are sexually molested, while others are neglected from their parents. Silent Dropout intends to bridge these by creating a fundamental support system for these children.
To kickstart my entire idea I applied for a program created by the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs at UNESCO. There I received training and funding to start my initiative. What motivated me to dedicate my life to this cause was the passion I witnessed from students and teachers to learn and to teach respectively.
My program has had a lot of success over the years. By simply providing students with food before class their participation has increased immensely. One student has also received a notable national achievement for her extramural achievements. Furthermore, most students would receive grades of E (the lowest possible) prior to the being adopted by the program and just after three months their grades would move to C’s. One specific student’s grades increased from a D to an A. Finally, one school in Botswana gave out awards to the “Most Improved Learners” of the year, 6 out of 8 of the recipients were part of the Silent Dropout Program.
Just these few achievements illustrate the life-changing effect the Silent Dropout Program has had on young disadvantaged children and it is this continuous success that drives me to continue working.