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World Education Fund's first field partner, The School Fund Tanzania, began with an unlikely friendship. One of its founders, Matt Severson (who is also a board member of World Education Fund), had just graduated high school and was on a trip to Tanzania when he happened upon a young boy cutting grass for his cow. The boy, John Medo, was like many young people in developing countries. He grew up poor — his family of seven lives on $45 each month. But he was bright and had passed exams qualifying him for secondary school. He was full of potential, but faced dropping out because his family couldn't afford the $150 school fees. Matt had just earned his high school diploma. John so desperately wanted the chance to earn his. It felt like a staggeringly small sum, $150. Leaving school would mean John would spend his adult life taking whatever low-wage job came along — if one did. His true potential — much of what he hoped to contribute to his family and community — could be lost. Matt covered John's school fees himself, but upon returning home to the U.S., realized that there are tens of thousands of other John Medos in the world, and The School Fund Tanzania was born.
John, Matt, and John's dad in 2007, the year they first met
John and Matt during some math at John's school in 2010
On a hike near John's house in 2014

World Education Fund developed as a means for others to invest in the education of young people in John's situation — our funders raise money at lemonade stands; some host gala dinners. They invest their allowances and their spending cash on someone else's future. World Education Fund's students and their funders develop friendships through our journaling platform. They write about their lives, what books they are reading, and when graduation day is approaching. They share their stories and their dreams.

Whether it is $2,500 or $25, we hope you will join us in making a meaningful contribution to the future of a student in the developing world.