Our mission is simple, but powerful: to educate, inspire and empower all children to achieve their full potential.
While working as the Economic Development Advisor for an international non-governmental organization in Botswana, Step Up founder Naresh Kachoria observed with frustration that too many children were leaving school with nowhere to go, entering communities affected by HIV, poverty, unemployment and alarming apathy. These young people were getting left behind and at risk of perpetuating a cycle of unproductive behaviors.
There were no programs, services or infrastructure that extended learning beyond the school day or during school breaks, instead leaving young people exposed to unhealthy experiences and an unhealthy environment. The learning programs, creative activities and recreational experiences that parents in the US and other developed countries readily send their kids to so they have every opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives are tragically missing in Botswana and in much of Southern Africa.
Naresh founded Step Up with the recognition that it takes an investment over many years and a relentless focus on addressing the multiple, ever-changing needs of young people as they mature into adulthood.
To truly impact a young person’s life, she needs long-term support and an investment in the pathway that provides the robust educational and social development opportunities all children deserve so they can achieve their full potential. Our model puts the individual at the center of everything we do and asks a simple question – what does she need to not just survive, but thrive?