I want to be a doctor to save many lives and help the people in my neighborhood since many people here do not have money to go to the doctor.”

-Jonatan, 11 years old, Honduras

Education is the best way out of poverty – but for some, it’s unattainable without help.

Did you know that the majority of children who live in communities next to urban garbage dumps will drop out of school before they reach the 7th grade? This is not something that they do by choice: the students and former students that we’ve talked to have told us how desperately they want to learn. But these kids in developing countries have to leave school to work in the dumpsites alongside their parents, care for younger siblings or ailing relatives, or even have to leave school simply because tuition fees or the cost of getting to school is too high. Many children sacrifice their chance to go to school to encourage a younger sibling to stay in school as well, getting a job and using their earnings to help their siblings do what they couldn’t.

We don’t think that this is an acceptable reality. Children with the desire to learn should have the opportunity to do so. That’s why International Samaritan created the Samaritan Scholars program. For more than a decade, we have been providing student support aimed at removing all barriers between students and staying in school, not just paying tuition fees. Our scholarships start at the early childhood level and go through college and trade school. 

Samaritan SCHOLARS around the world

Our scholarships are not only academic: they cover clothing, materials, and transportation, as well as feed the scholar’s entire family so the scholar doesn’t feel pressured to leave school to work. We also connect the students with personal mentoring and strengths development, giving them the best education possible. Our scholarships follow students from as early as pre-kindergarten through college or trade school.

360 Scholars

in East Africa

486 Scholars


81 Scholars


By Hannah Wickham
By Hannah Wickham

Teddy’s scholarship story.

Teddy was an unusual applicant for us: unlike most scholars who join our program while still in school, Teddy came to us with a single request… a car and a certification. Teddy had already given up on school at that point, dropping out of school despite his great test scores because his mother and sister needed his support.

We helped Teddy get his licensing and he’s now thriving. Our president, Mike Tenbusch, visited him in 2019 and Teddy showed off his stomach.

“For the first time, I have a full belly,” he shared.

See your impact. Hear the stories by subscribing to the Weekend Reflections email list.

About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.


(734) 222-0701

803 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

M-F: 9am-5pm, S-S: Closed

Have a Question?

Shoot us a message using this form and we’ll respond to you shortly.