Seeing the success stories of what a brighter future looks like for these former street children and their communities is pretty powerful.
As CROSO continues to grow, we get to see the impact of our scholarship program more clearly. Below are three clear groups who have been touched by this program.
1. Our Graduates
When we started CROSO, we believed in the potential of our scholars. We thought that former street children would thrive when given access to higher education. What we've seen as a result of our program is beyond what we could have expected.
When CROSO Scholars graduate they are armed with the academic knowledge from their post-secondary courses, the skills gained during their internships and a newly formed professional network of peers, professors and internship contacts. When they become leaders in their communities through their careers, our CROSO graduates also carry an essential tool for transformation-- empathy for the marginalized. Imagine what it would be like to have one of our graduates as your boss, your vice principal, the social worker that meets you on the streets. To say our graduates are change agents almost feels too obvious to mention.
2. Our Partner Organization in Uganda
During a visit to Uganda in 2016, CROSO representatives met with the staff from Child Restoration Outreach (C.R.O.) and asked how they felt about the CROSO Scholarship. Their eyes lit up and one of the social workers enthusiastically explained that CROSO helps C.R.O. complete its mission. Their goal is to rehabilitate street children, reintegrate them into society and for them to become productive contributing members to that society. C.R.O. has been successfully rehabilitating children and reintegrating them into society, but that last piece has been challenging. With the CROSO Scholarship, C.R.O. is seeing the children they once supported become not only contributing members of society, but leaders of that society.
3. Younger Street Children
CROSO began in response to a need for higher education funding, but it all started with a conversation where a former street child explained that he did not know how he could say his hopes and dreams for the future when he didn't know if attending university was even possible.
The younger children being supported by C.R.O. now are growing up in an environment where they see this scholarship as a possibility for their future. That reality allows those children to have hope in a way our first CROSO Scholars could not even fathom.
We are proud to inspire hope in the younger children.