In the two years since STELAS was organized, we have focused our efforts mainly on the village of Besseye in the south of Chad.  As STELAS grows and our funding increases, we will export our programs throughout West and Central Africa and to other developing countries.

Chad is a landlocked country of about 8.3 million in sub-Saharan Central Africa.  In 2008 it was ranked 170 out of 177 in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.  An extremely poor country, Chad spends only about 1.7% of its GDP on education.  Although the state instituted a national educational system about 50 years ago, the responsibility for building schools and paying teachers is typically left to destitute rural populations.

Besseye-Lar, a village of about 4,000 people, has a primary school housed in a 3-room brick building, and a middle school founded in 2002 housed in a structure built of mud and grass each year, with logs for seats.  These schools serve three villages or about 12,000 inhabitants.  Conditions are crowded and textbooks are few.  This is typical of educational facilities in many communities in Africa.  Adverse conditions are a primary cause for high dropout rates (up to 50% each year).  STELAS is dedicated to improving learning environments for these communities, one village at a time.