We focus on three signature programs:
- Girls education
- Women’s microfinance and business development
- Community empowerment
In the 2016-2017 school-year, we were able to help:
- Educate 106 girls across nine schools (four public schools and five private). These high-quality schools are all within walking distances for the girls. This includes 40 elementary students, 42 middle school and high school students, 12 university students, and 12 professional school students; six girls in the program were awarded the “Best in Their Class” this year, earning the highest grades
- Empower 30 “Big Sisters” to support younger girls in school. The Big Sister program helps supplement conditions at home where parents with no education are unable to help their daughters out with their studies. The Big Sisters also serve as mentors around personal issues, school, and home life.
- Provide a safe place for girls to meet and gain strength from each other! At the Community Center we helped build three years ago, the girls continue to go and get help with their homework, have the opportunity to relax, and have fun. The Center hosts weekly volunteers that provides tutoring and support to the girls. This upcoming year we will begin to support maintenance and security expenses.
- Facilitate five neighborhood microfinance groups with 150 members. The members are primarily mothers of the girls in school. The group members take out small loans to enhance their economic activities, ranging from cooking and selling couscous, washing clothes, dying clothing, and selling grain and food at local markets. This year, the groups decided to set up larger loans for each member to buy land, and then a future loan opportunity would be to build a house. This is especially important as many of the girls’ households are rented, tiny, holding huge families, and are in very poor condition.
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!