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.
Jun 15, 2015

Spring 2015 Update

Self-growth session at Maira school
Self-growth session at Maira school

Greetings, Friends -

Our program concluded for the 2014-2015 academic year, and progress so far has been excellent. Only 2 of the 101 total girls enrolled at the beginning of the year dropped out, and initial results from academic testing has been good. Bedari, our partner in Pakistan, conducted ongoing monitoring and meetings with parents and teachers.

In addition, and in spite of many logistical challenges during the winter months, Bedari conducted a number of self-growth classes for the students. Because these students come from many age groups, Bedari conducts appropriate sessions on a variety of topics of interest to girls and young women. Highlights from the first year are below:

Number of beneficiaries increased from 71 to 101:
As many parents opted to share the cost of education of their daughters, Bedari was left with surplus funds. It made an analysis of the cost, and after consultation with parents, staff, and Girls Ed, decided to include another 30 girls to the program. The program was extended to another village Dharyala Kahoon.

Results Announced:
Most of the girls went to their respective schools regularly. Annual exams were held for lower classes – from 6th to 10th during initial 6 months. The results for 6th, 7th, and 8th have been announced. All the girls studying under this project have successfully cleared their exams and have been promoted to the next classes. Result for the 9th and 10th is awaited. Exams for classes 11th to 14th would be held later between April and June 2015.

Three girls promoted from 6th to 8th class:
Three girls have been promoted from 6th to 8th class. These girls were studying in 8th class when they dropped out of school, but did not have certificates or any other proof. Initially, the school management did not agree to put them back in 8th class. However, they had promised to promote them to next classes if the girls performed well. This highly motivated the girls to perform well to get back to the class where they had left. They were really happy about this development.

Two girls dropped out:
Two girls have dropped out. They will be replaced as the new academic year begins.

Self-Growth Sessions Held:
Bedari organized 20 self-growth sessions for the girls – 5 in each village. On average, each session was attended by 25 girls. The subjects discussed in these sessions were:

  • Communication Skills
  • Sexual and reproductive health 
  • Gender Based Violence/Gender Discrimination
  • Women related laws in Pakistan

Achievements:

  • The number of girls studying under this project has been increased from 71 to 101. 
  • All the 32 girls, whose results have been announced, have passed their exams, and have been promoted to the next classes. 
  • Three girls have been promoted from 6th to 8th class
  • 20 self-growth training sessions held

 

We're very excited about the early success of this expanded program, and are very thankful for your support. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on smurchie@gmail.com. 

Sincerely,

Steve

Self-growth session at Tharchak school
Self-growth session at Tharchak school
Apr 21, 2015

Finally, Back to School!

In mid-February, Liberian schools cautiously and systematically re-opened after the worst Ebola crisis in the country’s history. The resumption was not without hiccups, but by mid-March, all of the Girls Ed students were back in school. Classes will run through the summer and fall, possibly switching the Liberian annual school start date to January or February for the foreseeable future.

The last case of Ebola in Liberia was reported in late March, which indicates the end of the outbreak there. Now the exhausted country looks towards the tasks of re-building its economy, infrastructure and especially Liberia’s fragile health care system, which lost many health care workers to the disease.

Before Ebola, many of our girls were interested in all sorts of professions, including doctors, nurses, geologists, teachers, accountants, lawyers, and even a gospel singer. As Liberia recovers economically from the epidemic, it will need an educated workforce to re-build.

While education has always been crucial in Liberia, it has become critical to the country’s recovery from Ebola. Today your contributions to Girls Ed in Liberia take on even more importance: an educated Liberian girl will not only lift herself and her family out of poverty, but her country as well. Won’t you invest in our girls right now? Thank you so much!

Mar 3, 2015

Amahoro Secondary School is Now Open!

District Commissioner, Mr Maneno
District Commissioner, Mr Maneno

Greetings Project Wezesha Supporters!

This is sure to be my favorite update so far. After four years of fundraising, planning, negotiating, (struggling), and succeeding - we are so excited to share the news that Amahoro Secondary School is open! There are 70 Form 1 students currently studying in our completed classrooms! Of this cohort, 15 are newly added girls for our Girls Education International Scholarship Tanzania program! We really couldn't be more happy, excited, and hopeful!

In January 2015, I traveled with two friends to the Kigoma Region. For the first few days, we met with leaders at the district level - planning the opening party, budgeting for the festivities, negotiating PW's contribution and the government's contribution, and much more. We visited the site of the school and met with the enthusiastic and proud new Head Master, Mr. Kumenya, as well as the local village leaders who have been working with us since the  beginning. Village 'Diwani' (Chief) Patrick Maganga was on hand all week - preparing the final details for the opening, including finishing the latrines, building steps into the classrooms, and staying on top of official business (organizing entertainment groups, arranging the schedule of events, staying in close contact with district leaders, etc.). He is a model of what true leadership should look like! Thank you, Diwani Maganga!!

One of the final hurdles to overcome prior to the opening of the school was completion of the latrines. I'll admit - I was very impressed when I finally saw them! Our top supporters, Shelmina and Minaz are responsible for the completion of the latrines. (Thank you, Shelmina and Minaz!!) The latrines come complete with porceline base toilets and a state of the art system for storing waste - which will last up to 70 years before it has to be cleared out by truck! Not just your average hole in the ground! Of course, our fabulous builder Isaya Lameck brought his A-Game to finish them, and his crew of laborers put in many hours digging deeper and deeper through very rocky soil. It was one of the toughest parts of the overall job!

The party was a smash! There were entertainment groups from the village and neighboring towns. They brought in an MC, a DJ, and set up a big tent for the VIP guests. Parties like this are a very big deal for villages and they let it show!

There was a theatrical song and dance performance, dancing by youth hip hop groups, and even some dancing by our current scholarship students. Interspersed with the entertainment were speeches by the village and district leaders. The village exective officer read a speech prepared by Lucas which outlined the timeline of the project, acknowledged the many contributors - near and far, and ultimately celebrated the big opening day!

The District Commissioner, Ramadhani Maneno gave a big speech about the promise of the future with education at the helm. He told the crowd of over 1,000 that I would be back in the future with volunteer teachers of English, Science, and Math to help build capacity ... no pressure! (Any volunteers?) This summer, funding permitting, I plan to return with 4-5 of my MA TEFL student teachers who will complete their English as a Foreign Language teaching internship in local primary and secondary classrooms. If this pilot goes well, we expect great future teacher collaborations in the future!

After all the dance, music, and speeches - they revealed the beautiful foundation plaques on the wall of the school. And then - the feast! All villagers and VIP guests were treated to a celebration lunch. Lucas showed that his skills even extend to being an event caterer and food server! He was tireless in his efforts to make sure this entire celebration was a huge success. By the end of the day, needless to say - we were all an exhausted group of planners and supporters!

But enough reading ... take a little break from whatever else you have to do right now and watch this video mash-up of the celebration!

Thank you very much to everyone who has collaborated, contributed, and cheered along the way! We'll continue to work with the leaders and the headmaster to continue this school's development - building laboratories, finishing additional classroom spaces, and of course - getting the football pitch ready for matches! So - we'll take you along for the journey for as long as you'll let us!

Asante sana,

Rai Farrelly and Lucas Lameck
Co-founders, Project Wezesha
www.ProjectWezesha.org

New Latrines
New Latrines
Isaya Getting it Done!
Isaya Getting it Done!
Entertainment Group
Entertainment Group

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