For over 10 years we have been working together to impact the lives of hundreds of girls and their families in Mauritania, West Africa.
We believe that education is the key to unlocking a girl’s potential. In partnering with Amenons Nos Filles a l’Ecole (ANFE), we provide life-changing educational opportunities to girls and women through fellowships, microfinance, and community activities. ANFE was started in the summer of 1998 by Coumba Dieng, who believes every girl deserves the opportunity to define their own future. Heather Arney worked with Coumba during her time in the Peace Corps. She came back to the U.S. determined to support her vision for all girls to have a high-quality education. This opportunity stops early marriages and gives them the chance to beat the cycle of poverty.
With a team of hard-working volunteers, in 2009 we formed a board and established our own nonprofit – Girls to School – to support Coumba and her vision in Mauritania.
Participating families have seen the importance of educating their girls, which is creating a gradual acceptance within their communities of supporting girls’ education.
It is not enough to simply create schools or provide tuition. Oftentimes girls do not have adequate food or clothing. Rarely have other members of their families completed an education and can provide help with their school work. Instead, the girls are expected to help their family’s work.
If we are to provide low-income, at-risk girls with a foundation for long-term success, all of these obstacles must also be addressed, which we work to do alongside our main programs.