Education is the doorway to freedom, democracy and development.

With this haunting phrase, Nelson Mandela welcomed Peter Krämer to their first meeting in Johannesburg in December 2004, and encouraged Peter Krämer in his intention to build elementary schools in Africa. This was the birth of the project “Schools for Africa”, now the most important and successful private initiative in education worldwide.

Since the launch of the campaign in 2005, all the institutions, partners and individuals involved have raised more than 300 million USD to improve the long-term lives of African children.

This has already been achieved:

  • The “Schools for Africa” campaign now reaches more than 30 million children in 21 African countries. They can learn in newly built or renovated classrooms, receive school supplies and benefit from better teaching quality.
  • Since its launch in 2004, the number of uneducated children in southern Africa has fallen significantly. Education about HIV/AIDS is reaching significantly more children today.
  • In many program  countries, the concept of ‘child-friendly’ schools is already fully anchored in education policy. Internationally, 94 countries have now officially adapted it – in 2005 it was less than half as many.

What is still to be done:

  • To date, almost 30 million primary school-aged children in southern Africa are not enrolled in an educational program. Often it is children from very remote regions or children who are affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters or HIV/AIDS.
  • Overall, the quality of teaching remains inadequate. Every second child who is enrolled will drop out of school– often because the classes are too full or the lesson`s content is not connected to the life and needs of the children.
  • In order to reach even more children and improve the quality of teaching, UNICEF Germany is calling for further donations – specifically for children in Madagascar and Malawi.


The founder and namesake of the foundation, Peter Krämer, in conversation with TV-moderator Caren Miosga about the emergence of “Schools for Africa”, his motivation and goals: