We encourage you to read these links to get an idea of our approach and the work that we do:
Bakashana is a registered 501c-3 non-profit organization founded in December 2009 through a Zambian-US collaboration. The project was formed when Dr. William Albrecht visited his daughter, Claire Albrecht, in Nkole Mfumu – the rural village in Northern Zambian that hosted Claire as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2008-2010. After learning from and sharing with the people of Nkole Mfumu, Claire saw a need for educational assistance to young women in the area.
After discussion of the issues and challenges between William, Claire, and her counterparts, Co-Founders Christopher and Beatrice Chileshe, it became clear that many young women lacked the financial resources to continue their education and further their future opportunities. Bakashana was started with the goal of providing scholarships for those young women who showed academic promise to continue into secondary school, but lacked the financial resources.
Since then, the program has evolved significantly and increased in breadth, depth, and scale. As we grow and develop together, the family at Bakashana keeps in mind and heart the original objective from which it was formed: to give back to the community which has continued to welcome Claire (and her partner Justin) with open arms and open hearts.
Bakashana operates with three primary objectives
● Objective 1, Education: To provide young women with financial and emotional support to complete secondary school while providing supplementary educational opportunities including study skills, tutoring and access to technology.
● Objective 2, Womens’ Empowerment: To provide examples of, and encouragement towards, female empowerment by helping grantees to build self-confidence and individual and collective agency to work for gender equity, social and educational inclusion, and to challenge “traditional” gender norms and societal positioning. To empower grantees to make decisions regarding their bodily and civil liberties (particularly with regards to sexual and reproductive health and decision-making), helping them to avoid teen pregnancy, early marriage, and the transmission of HIV/AIDs or other STIs.
● Objective 3, Continued Success: To prepare young women for employment, further education, or readjustment as female empowerment agents in their home village after graduation.
The completion of these objectives delivers Bakashana graduates as positive female role models, working for social and educational equity. The direct beneficiaries of this program are given the opportunity and resources to attend and graduate secondary school, pursue the future of their choice, and the skills to become female empowerment agents. These graduates will each impact and inspire countless other women, and plant the seeds for progressive social change and gender equality in Zambia.
We have developed a curriculum which places an emphasis on leadership, confidence, and entrepreneurship, offering grantees individual, one-on-one attention and tutoring. As we stressed in our last workshop, the young women of Bakashana will gain the most from working together to empower themselves and one another. For more information, see our page about Access to Education in Zambia