Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
The success of schools following the FSS School model is measured in two key ways: graduates’ employment outcomes and the schools’ financial self-sufficiency. At the FP’s model San Francisco Agricultural School, 100% of graduates are “productively engaged,” and thus on a path toward economic success within 4 months of graduation. This means they have either: i) started their own small enterprises (to graduate, each student must have developed a viable business plan, for which he/she obtains a line of credit); ii) found responsible jobs in the modern agricultural sector, iii) are spreading their knowledge as rural extension agents or teachers at other schools; and/or iv) have entered university. In addition, since 2007, school-generated income has covered 100% of school operating costs, including depreciation (about US$300,000/year).
A more qualitative measure of schools’ success is their impact on local communities. Schools become “poles of development” in their respective areas. For example, schools provide technical assistance in organic agriculture to local farmers, computer and entrepreneurial training to local youth, and sponsor sporting events for local schools. Students take their knowledge home to the family farm, teach elementary students about environmental conservation, and become reproductive health promoters in their local communities.
A further measure of the model’s success is its adoption by other institutions around the world. We have replicas underway in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and South Africa, among other countries. In addition, the FP’s sister institution, Teach A Man To Fish (www.teachamantofish.org.uk), a separate non-profit which the FP helped establish in order to disseminate the model, has developed a network of 2000 members in 120 countries interested in financially self-sufficient schools.
How will your project evolve over the next three years?
Our goal is to replicate our model in 50 countries and/or 50 schools within ten years (i.e. by 2017). In keeping with this goal, in the next three years, we will:
1)Continue to expand in Paraguay. We now have 3 schools in operation, and another 2 which have recently been placed under our administration
2)Expand in Tanzania: set up five complete replications of the model, plus a “lighter touch” approach in 20 government schools
3)Seek new partners, especially from among the 2000 members of the network of Teach A Man To Fish and the over 100 institutions which attend our Annual International Conference, organized by our sister organization, Teach A Man To Fish
4)Continue support replicas in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa