Guide to Creating Back-to-School Kits for Students in Need

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A child holding a notebook and pen

A staggering 260 million kids and teens around the world do not have access to formal education.

Some are youth whose families were displaced due to a disaster or war. Others are deprived of school due to poverty, special needs, or discrimination.

One of the most effective tools for a community to end its cycle of poverty is through the power of education.

Particularly in areas where children’s education is not a top priority, increasing enrollment and keeping children in school makes a huge impact.

Back-to-School Kits allow kids (and sometimes adults) to keep learning despite extreme hardships.

This education will help them and their loved ones succeed in the world. Here’s what you need to create a neat learning kit:


Buy a medium-sized lightweight canvas bag or whatever size you think would be big enough to hold all the supplies.

A sturdy drawstring backpack made of cloth also works. Avoid getting a heavy backpack or reusable plastic shopping bags since these are not compostable.

Try to find a bag with colorful prints and patterns. Learning is much more fun when children have fun accessories they can take to school.


This is the part where you can go all out and add as many supplies as you think are necessary for a child. But to cover the basics, you need:

  • 4 notebooks with at least 70 leaves of paper (no loose-leaf notebooks)
  • A 2½-inch eraser
  • A box of crayons
  • A 30 cm ruler
  • A pair of blunt scissors
  • A few black and/or blue ballpoint pens
  • A pencil sharpener
  • A box of pencils

Go the Extra Mile with Planet-Friendly Alternatives

Charitable organizations and schools are constantly working to reduce carbon emissions and eliminate toxic waste from their supply chain.

While packing your back-to-school kit, you can focus on greener alternatives to ensure no waste generated from these kits harms the environment.

We’ve already mentioned this, but biodegradable bags in place of plastic ones are essential since they prevent all the plastic that ends up sitting in landmines for centuries.

When packing your kit for shipping, use aluminum shipping containers made from recycled materials. These are perfect for stowing and transporting humanitarian aid teaching packs.

UNICEF also recycles nearly 6,000 tons of paper yearly to use in textbooks and other classroom supplies. This helps preserve forests and cut down on carbon emissions.

They also choose Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-approved wood for pencil manufacturing, amounting to about 100 metric tons. This way, you can feel assured that your purchases support forest conservation efforts.

Help Us Educate Children in Need

Orphan Life Foundation is a non-profit orphanage funding organization that uplifts the welfare of orphan children through several achievable projects and comprehensive programs.

We have various programs focusing on the educational needs of orphans in Africa.

Our Pencils for Poor Program aims to provide basic school supplies to children in the district of Didyr. You can help us by sending a box of pencils or stationery supplies.

Join us today to donate to orphans in India, the Philippines, and several regions of Africa. Learn more about our programs, projects, and ways you can support us here.