Girls Education International

The mission of Girls Education International is to expand and support educational opportunities for underserved females in remote and developing regions of the world. We work with existing non-governmental and nonprofit organizations in the regions we serve. These local organizations already have relationships and infrastructures in the rural communities where we work that allow us to build upon and maximize existing resources.
Aug 7, 2015

Girls Ed Tanzania Report_Summer 2015

Girls Ed Students in Mgaraganza, Tanzania
Girls Ed Students in Mgaraganza, Tanzania

Greetings Girls Education International Supporters,

Girls Ed is happy to share some updates from our Tanzania scholarship program. Thanks to your support, we were able to create the new Tanzania program, building on our existing support of students in Pakistan and Liberia.

Our students in Tanzania attend a few different secondary schools in Kagongo and Mgaraganza villages, as well as villages deeper into the region toward Kasulu. The girls in the program are doing their best to attend classes regularly and study hard so they can excel from year to year. (*I've written this before, but believe me - as soon as the camera snaps (see picture) - they all burst into laughter. The 'photo smile' is very cultural - clearly embraced by Americans as my cheesy grin confirms.)

Throughout the year, our students receive additional support after school so they can work with teachers to really dig deep into the subjects that present them with the most challenges academically. We added this support to our original programming because we discovered in discussions with the girls that they were struggling for various reasons - large class sizes, lack of textbooks, and at times - ineffective teaching practices. During these after school tutoring sessions, they get to work in smaller groups and receive more focused instruction to help them understand the core concepts and prepare for exams. We also purchased textbooks for the girls to study from at home - covering various subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, English, and Math.

Lucas met with the students and encouraged them to study hard and continue to pursue their dreams. They are all well aware that this work is difficult and it requires that they dedicate themselves as much as they can to their studies. We know that success rates will vary, but we also believe that every student deserves an opportunity. We simply hope that those who made the program do their very best with the resources available to them.

Lucas also met with our students’ parents in the spring. They all expressed their joy at the support they are receiving from Project Wezesha and Girls Education International. They are happy that the program is moving forward and some even said that the opportunity is a ‘savior’ for their children and their families.

Lucas encouraged the parents to make sure their children get out the door on time to make their first classes. (You know how hard it can be to get teens out of bed! In Tanzania they're up with the roosters, but getting the sandals to the sand for the walk to school can be a challenge!) He also urged them to carve some time in the day after school for the students to study. Lucas encourages the parents by reminding them that without education, the community will not have doctors, nurses, pilots, and engineers. Lucas is always good for a motivational speech!

Thank you for your continued support! Our next trip update will follow my visit over winter break when I hope to identify teachers who will partake in a co-teaching endeavor with invited teachers from the US who will hopefully join us there in Summer 2016!

Asante Sana!

With Gratitude,

Raichle Farrelly &
The Girls Ed Team

Girls Ed Students at Amahoro Secondary
Girls Ed Students at Amahoro Secondary
Jul 24, 2015

Girls Ed Liberia Report_Success Despite Ebola

Abigail
Abigail

Dear Girls Education International Supporters,

We are happy to report renewed success of our students, despite the Ebola Outbreak.

During the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, communication with the GEI-sponsored girls was spotty, so we were delighted to receive their report cards, photos and letters back in May. The girls have settled into their school routines and are doing well in their classes, but their letters about the Ebola outbreak are heartbreaking.

Jennet, a tenth-grader, wrote “It was very hard for people to shake each other’s hand because people was afraid of that disease (Ebola)... some people lost their entire families.” Abigail, whose parents are health-care workers and dealt with the virus first-hand, let us know that “... many people lost their lives, many mothers lose their children, many husbands lose their wife and many wifes lose their husband.” Unlike many who worked in the hospitals and clinics, her parents both survived. And eleventh-grader Florence, who lives in the St. Paul’s Bridge community, wrote of “...parents who abandoned their own family members due to the risk of the disease ... (which has) left some children without parents.” Some homes, she noted, were simply locked and abandoned.

But with the opening of the schools in March, some normalcy has returned to Liberia and according to the report cards from the new semester, the girls are doing well in their studies. Only one student -- whose grade average fell to 78% -- is being tutored after school in order to continue to qualify for the Girls Ed scholarship.

We are amazed that more of our students haven’t struggled with their schoolwork, considering the devastation, sadness and academic challenges that Ebola brought. We are so proud of our girls for jumping back into their classes and for their determination to succeed. With your continued help, these young women will become the future leaders of a country that faces an uncertain future.

With Thanks,

Mary Ann
GEI Board Member & Liberia Project Manager

Florence
Florence
Jennet
Jennet
Jul 24, 2015

Amahoro Secondary School Update_July 2015

Meeting with Parents
Meeting with Parents

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

Since our big bash to open Amahoro Secondary School in January, school has been in full swing! The first term ended in May and the students enjoyed a summer break in June. Classes started back up in July. The teachers and villagers are thrilled about the school - parents never imagined they would have a secondary school right in the village.

Lucas met with some of the parents recently (see pictures) to discuss ways in which the parents can best support their children to be successful in school. Among the ideas they shared, parents are committed to making time after school for students to study. They are also going to make sure their children get up and out the door each day to arrive at classes on time. (You know how hard it can be to get teens out of bed! In Tanzania they're up with the roosters, but getting the sandals to the sand for the walk to school can be a challenge!)

The teachers are grateful for the opportunity to be teaching in such a lovely, tree-rich environment. There is always a breeze up at Amahoro and the views of the surrounding hills and forests of Gombe are stunning! But, most of the teachers are either staying with families in the village or commuting from town (not a short distance!). This set-up may ultimately result in disconent, unmotivated teachers or resignations. Our next initiative will be to work with the village and town governments to fast track the building of teachers' houses near the school.

In addition, we are planning to launch a campaign to help the school finish up its laboratories so that they have the mandatory labs and equipment to properly teach Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Keep an eye out for information about those campaigns in a forthcoming update.

As part of the Girls Education International expansion into Tanzania, we have 15 girls studying at Amahoro Secondary School. Project Wezesha continues to support all students in our scholarship program by paying for additional support classes (what they refer to as 'tuition') throughout the year. In this way, our students can stay after school and work with teachers to really dig deep into the subjects that present them with the most challenges academically.

My next trip to Tanzania will be December, at which time I'll be identifying teachers who wish to be involved in a two-way teacher training program with volunteer student teachers from other countries. It will be an ambitious project, but it's the area through which I think we'll see the most impact on education. Walls and books only do so much - the teachers really create the learning opportunities and if they're not motivated, prepared, inspired, and supported then things continue - status quo. We prefer to move education forward to ensure that more of our students reach high school, college and beyond!

Thank you so much for all of your support!

Rai Farrelly and Lucas Lameck
Co-Founders, Project Wezesha

Brainstorming with Parents
Brainstorming with Parents

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