Equity & Diversity

Gates, Hewlett Backing Project in Africa, S. Asia

By Rhea R. Borja — January 23, 2007 1 min read

The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Menlo Park, Calif.-based William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have announced plans to commit $60 million to increase literacy rates and improve primary and secondary education in some South Asian and sub-Saharan countries.

Under the initiative, the Gates Foundation will give the Hewlett Foundation at least $40 million over three years for the project. The Hewlett Foundation will commit the remaining $20 million to the work.

The Hewlett Foundation will design the project’s strategy, and grant the funds to organizations working to improve literacy rates, train teachers, revamp academic curricula, reduce student-dropout rates, and increase parent involvement, said Lynn Murphy, a senior fellow at the California foundation.

“This leverages the resources of both foundations with the aim of addressing a key barrier facing the poor—lack of genuine educational opportunities,” Paul Brest, the Hewlett Foundation’s president, said in a statement.

“It’s difficult to reduce poverty, improve health, or raise the status of women … without also extending to the poor access to a quality education.”

A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week

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