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.
Oct 13, 2014

Amahoro Secondary School_October 2014 Update

Students Coming to Help!
Students Coming to Help!

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

Greetings and gratitude from Lucas and me! I'm happy to share some updates with you about the progress toward opening Amahoro Secondary School in Mgaraganza Village, Tanzania.

This past August, I traveled to the Kigoma region to visit with Lucas and check the progress of our project. I was a little surprised to see that very little actual work had been done since his April update. In other words, construction was at a standstill - halted due to lack of funding. As usual, the wheels were set into motion when I arrived.

Meeting Local and Regional Leaders

The first line of business was to visit the regional leaders from various Ministries in the government. I was invited to a meeting in Kigoma town to address the leaders and share my gratitude, concerns, and hopes moving forward. We expressed our gratitude about their recent commitment to contributing to the construction of teachers' houses and laboratories* for the school. We noted our concerns about the pressure of fundraising and challenge of meeting the opening day deadline. We stressed the need for the government to continue their support until the end. We also shared our enthusiasm for the possibility of teacher education and teacher exchange in the future (my 'pet' plan for ensuring quality education at this school). They applauded our efforts and echoed our hopes and excitement.

*Note: Recent legislation in Tanzania mandates that no school open without laboratories in place. While this places a huge obstacle in the road for opening schools in villages, it aims to address the current plight of village schools, which is the prevalence of unmet promises by school administrators and leaders to follow-up on the construction of laboratories. Most village schools never see spaces for students to explore physics, chemistry, and biology to the extent necessary for measurable success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

We also met with the Kigoma District Commissioner, Mr. Maneno who guaranteed his support for this project. Mr. Maneno is new to his position as of this year. He made a trip to the village to visit the school and meet with the local village leaders. He was very impressed by the work that had been completed thus far. He gave speeches of praise to the local leaders, community members, and workers. He also promised to do everything in his power to make sure the school opens in January 2014.

Of course, we had our own meetings with the village leaders. We discussed my concern over the delay in work in recent months. We identified a breakdown in communication between political leaders in town who disperse the money, and the village leaders who sign for and collect the money. Our faithful Chief Maganga stepped in and made some phone calls to make sure the funds would be released. This money would allow our builders to complete the entrances to each classroom.

Meeting with the Children

Our most important stakeholders are the children. There are a handful of them who are present at the school for every gathering of the leaders (mostly because they live next to the school). The kids showed us their twist on using the classroom space in the months leading up to the school opening (see photo). 

In the month after my visit, Lucas rallied the students of Mgaraganza Primary School to come and do a clean up at the secondary school. They came with brooms and tools to prepare the assembly area in front of the classrooms. Of course, they didn't harm any of the lovely trees that will shade them as they have their daily morning assembly!

Meeting with GlobalGiving Volunteer, Janet Chapman

In September, Janet Chapman - a UK-based volunteer with GlobalGiving and the communications manager with the Tanzania Development Trust - visited Lucas and took time to learn about our project. She met the village leaders and Lucas, and made a video allowing us to introduce our new Headmaster, Mr. Kumenya. We hope that her response to the visit is positive and that she can help us garner more international support to complete the school.

At present, my plan is to be in Tanzania again this coming December/January for the opening of the first phase of the school!

But, we're not there yet. The missing pieces at the moment include the latrines that are required before a school can be open (for obvious reasons). If you can chip in today, you can help us channel money to the project so that we can get them into place on the school site. Every little bit counts, as you know! (Why didn't I think of the Ice Bucket Challenge!?) As always, we can do NOTHING without you! Thank you so much for your support thus far. Please spread the word wide and far.

Asante sana!

With much gratitude,

Rai Farrelly and Lucas Lameck
Project Wezesha, co-founders

Students Cleaning the School Grounds
Students Cleaning the School Grounds
Resting after Hard Work
Resting after Hard Work
Women Joining in the Work
Women Joining in the Work
Mr. Kumenya - Our Headmaster!
Mr. Kumenya - Our Headmaster!
Classroom Soccer Match
Classroom Soccer Match

Links:

Jul 22, 2014

July 2014 Girls Ed Liberia Project Report

Dear Girls Ed Liberia Project Supporters,

The girls are in a break from their studies at this time, but, our in country partner, Liberia Now, has an exciting and educational summer planned for them! 

The Liberia Now staff will be there for two weeks.  During this time, all of our scholarship recipients will be participating in two camps, a sports camp and a reading/writing camp.  We think these events will provide the girls with additional learning opportunities as well as some fun times!  We will share photos from the camps in our next project update.

We so appreciate your continued support which enables events like these camps to take place.  Please spread the word among your friends and colleagues about our girls and the challenges that can be overcome through our combined efforts.

With much appreciation,

Loni

Jun 25, 2014

Bonus Day! And a June 2014 PW Scholarship Update

Hindu Smiles
Hindu Smiles

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

(Today is a big day - please read all the way to see why....)

It's June, which means that our students are only reaching the halfway mark in their school year (they start in January). The older students are gearing up for the often stressful mock exams, during which they simulate the state exams that determine whether or not they will pass secondary school with marks high enough to go to high school. In October, our Form 4 students will take the real state exams and then wait patiently for the results.

When we started our scholarship program, we faced disappointment alongside many of our students when they regularly failed to make the marks required to attend high school. We weren't disappointed in them, of course. We were disappointed in the system. We decided at that time to support them with funds to pay the fees at a local vocational school so they could continue their education beyond secondary school.

Two of our young ladies, Khadija and Hindu have been thriving at VETA (Vocational Education and Training Authority). They have been boarding at VETA in Kigoma town and studying computers and clerical skills. (*Note - both of them would have been married by now were it not for being in school - and neither was ready for that.) 

Last fall, they traveled together to neighboring Kasulu town to complete a field internship. Again, this spring they have a similar opportunity. With this project report, we are seeking specific funding to support these girls as they near the completion of their program and earn their certificates. The funding needed by each isn't much - $200. This covers transport to and from Kasulu, work materials, and room and board while they work for the month.

Of course, in addition to supporting Hindu and Khadija, the funds we raise through this project continue to support the other students in our program - who range in their level of study from Form 2 to Form 4. It's an ongoing effort that we must sustain for as long as we have students in the program - which we hope will be for quite some time! As students graduate, more will be admitted. And as such, we continue to see education rates rise in rural Western Tanzania.

And so we still need you with us!

There is one great way that you can help us today. June 25th is a YouthSpark Bonus Day, which means that Microsoft is matching at 100% all donations between $10-$1000 per donor, per project (until the $200,000 runs out). Our project is part of this great campaign! In addition to 100% matching of donations up to $1,000, projects with the most unique donors will earn an additional $2,500 - so tell your friends! Every $10 donation will count! And, an additional $2500 will go to the project that raises the most money.

The window of opportunity for this Bonus Day is narrow: 12pm (EST) on June 25th (Wed) to noon on June 26th (EST). And - only as long as funds last, so dive in right at 12p (EST) to make sure your donation counts! (That's 11am in Texas, 10am in Colorado and Utah, 9am in Washington!)

Please post a link to our project on your social networking sites (see sharing buttons below), share this project report with friends, and ask as many people as you can to chip in just a little to help us generate the funds we need to continue supporting these students!

Thank you so much!!

Rai Farrelly & Lucas Lameck
Co-Founders, Project Wezesha

Khadija and Rai
Khadija and Rai
Hindu on a trip to Gombe
Hindu on a trip to Gombe
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