We focus on three signature programs:
- Girls education
- Women’s microfinance and business development
- Community empowerment
Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, the accomplishments include:
- 76 girls are enrolled in local high quality schools
- 100 women have learned basic accounting and business skills through established neighborhood microfinance groups.
- 40 Big Sisters who mentor other younger girls in the program
- 20 women in management committees
- New community center built that will provide a safe meeting place with electricity; the girls will be able to study, meet with Big Sister mentors, and their mothers can meet with their groups
- 95% of mothers in the program are engaged in economic activities that are now providing steady incomes and have improved the lives of the girls and their families. The result: better meals, school supplies, clothes, and living condition.
- Facilitated a microfinance co-op group with 40 women that created tie-dyed local garments to sell. The group was formed, trained, and obtained initial capital through microfinance to buy materials and begin the work.
- Organized a week long health campaign. During the campaign, doctors volunteered their services and provided free health check-ups to the girls in the program. For the majority of the girls, this was the first time they had an appointment with a certified doctor. The doctors conducted basic health services and exams, and provided health education to the girls and their mothers.
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.
We continue to be encouraged and inspired by the tangible progress and work on the ground that we are able to support. Thanks for helping make all of this incredible work possible!