Towards the end of last month Ecosure, a subsidiary of Cassava SmarTech, launched Enda an Education Insurance package. In the case that a guardian or parent(s) dies Ecosure will continue to pay school fees for the surviving children. How I wish we had Enda when I was in high school.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was during the second term of my final year in high school. Class had already started for the day and one of the prefects came in and told me the Chaplin wanted to talk to me. That wasn’t unusual as the Chaplin and I came from the same village and often talked.
When I arrived in his office I could see it all over his face even though he pretended to be cheery. I knew something was wrong. He told me my father was very sick and I was wanted home. I knew then my father was dead. You see my father was a military man through and through, he would never let something as trivial as sickness interfere with his son’s education. Later I learnt my father succumbed to a bout of malaria. That’s Honde Valley for you with the bananas comes one of the topics’s leading killer diseases.
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Losing a breadwinner can be devastating
My dad was a very diligent man. We all had health insurance and funeral cover and his cousins and brother chirped in to cover the shortfall as he died during the hyperinflation days. After the whirlwind funeral my mother and the rest of us where however left alone to deal with the wreckage. Losing a breadwinner can be devastating in more ways than one.
Not only did my mother who had not had a formal job in years, had to find money for clothes and food, she had to find fees for the entire brood. My dad’s meagre pension was sorely inadequate and thus came years of pain and suffering for us as she scrounged, saved and begged. Relatives started dodging her calls.
Finally she scrapped together half my third term fees. Two days before the exam I was send home to get the rest. I had no bus fare and a lot of people were already tired of my constant whining so I had to walk 70 km home with my best friend who was in a similar predicament.
One of my father’s cousins finally agreed to loan my mother the other half on condition that I would work it off as soon as I completed my exams. So with swollen feet I went back to school and wrote my exams all the while trying hard to block out my entire home situation.
Enda would have solved most of our problems
According to some sources, about 80% of children who lose their parents go on to drop out of school. This is because most of the time this death either involves a breadwinner or the remaining parent just goes to neglect them.
As someone who went through the pain of losing a parent I can tell you having something like Enda could’ve solved this problem and ease the burden in an immense way. It would have made life a lot easier for my mother who would probably had to focus on food and clothes instead of everything.
I especially like the fact that Enda comes with safeguards that sees fees being paid directly to the school instead of directly to the guardians. When your parent dies vultures start circling believe me. Sometimes, during hard times guardians may misuse the money if it is given to them directly.
A potential problem/weakness of Enda
As I said before my father was a very careful man but a lot of his effort was undone by inflation which he failed to anticipate. His burial package fell short because the insurance payout was eroded by inflation. It would be interesting to see how Enda would deal with this because the way things are going another period of hyperinflation is not out of question.
$3 000 might seem like a lot of money now but experience has shown that we can get to trillions quite easily. At that point, $3 000 will be like a drop in a bucket. A pretty useless drop. Will Enda adjust their payouts to counter inflation?
In any case, given my personal history, I am going to join Enda without a moment’s thought. I think you should too.