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.
Nov 21, 2014

Education Has Become Priority_Final Project Report

Launch Ceremony_Pakistan
Launch Ceremony_Pakistan

Greetings Girls Education Pakistan Project Supporters!

It is with great joy that we share with you our final project report for this Girls Ed Pakistan program. Can you believe it's been five years! And now, we are not only fully funded, but the program is self-sustaining and thus, we are moving onward and upward into new villages to support 100 new girls in Pakistan!

Here's an exciting recap of what you helped us accomplish (based on the report from our in country partner NGO, Bedari). Get ready to feel your heart smile!!

Girls Education is now a trend in Laphi! As reported by Bedari volunteer Mr. Murtaza, the village of Laphi now has a new batch of girls with secondary education after a gap of 30 years.

  • Now there are 20 girls with a completed secondary education. This includes girls who were not sponsored through the Bedari/GEI project, but started going to secondary school after being inspired by the girls in our program! 
  • Another 9 girls are waiting for their final exam results.
  • Most impressively, 20 additionally girls are going to secondary school now without any support from an NGO. Families are on board and girls education is supported locally! 

“I believe nobody can stop our girls from going to school now.” - Mr. Murtaza.

The Future of a Village. Our partners at Bedari believe that the village of Laphi will change beyond recognition in the coming 10 years as these girls will soon be earning, mothering and mentoring the new generation. 

Success Stories!! One of our students, Awatif, has completed her graduation after 14 years of education. She is now working as a teacher at a local adult literacy center! Another student, Sobia, received a scholarship from the government to continue her studies after completing secondary education.

Child Marriages Subsiding! Last but not least, this project has contributed significantly to the reduction of child marriages. Of all the girls who benefitted from this project, only one girl got married at the age of 17. Some girls are now 20 years old, and still unmarried. This is going to have a huge impact on the health, family size, decision making, and overall empowerment of girls in the community in the long run.

WHY IS THE PROJECT CLOSING?

Two Great Reasons:

1. It became sustainable! After 5 years, the increase in girls attending secondary school has risen significantly, even outside of this project. The influence of the project on this trend is undeniable. We acknowledge, along with Bedari, that a reasonable period of intervention in one village should be around 5 years. We cannot (and should not) provide support to girls in one village infinitely. That would create dependency. We should focus on villages where girls’ education is not a priority, intervene for 5 years, make girls’ education a priority and leave when it becomes a priority. Guess what - in the original villages we began working with - Girls Education is now a PRIORITY! Bravo and Thank you for your support!!

2. We are moving on with more girls in more villages! The project has concluded in the orignial villages, but now we continue our partnership with Bedari in a new project. This project aims to support 100 new girls in the villages of Maria, Thirchak, Chakki Rangpur, and Dharyala Kahoon. The photos you see are from the ceremony held in Dharyala Kahoon to celebrate the launch of our girls education project. In attendance was the principal of the nearest secondary school, where most of this village's girls will continue their education. We foresee a promising relationship with this school's administration.

Again, we have to express our deepest gratitude to all of you for your support over the past several years. When we donate to causes around the world, it's hard to know what impact we've really had. Thanks to our partner, Bedari, we have been able to keep you updated on the girls, and now, share the amazing impact this project has had on entire communities. It's truly remarkable and we are so happy to have had you along for this journey! Thank you!

Please, continue to support us in our efforts to increase awareness about girls education, support girls in Pakistan, and ensure that girls ed is a priority! You can do so by supporting us through this new project on GlobalGiving.

Thank you so much!

The Girls Ed Team & Bedari

GEI Expansion in Pakistan
GEI Expansion in Pakistan
Nov 18, 2014

November Update on Girls Education Tanzania

A Mattress for Boarding School
A Mattress for Boarding School

Greetings Girls Education International Supporters,

Thank you so much for supporting our recent program expansion to include girls in Tanzania! Through our partnership with Project Wezesha (www.projectwezesha.org), we are now supporting a group of young women in secondary school in western Tanzania.

The girls were honored to be selected in the summer of 2013 and were so excited when they received the items they needed to embark on their new school year. For some of them, that included mattresses! That's right - a few of our girls did so well on their secondary entrance exams that they were selected by the governmnet to attend boarding schools in various regions of the country. For the girls who stayed nearby, they were given other required (and perhaps unexpected) items - such as buckets, brushes, and hoes. Yes, that's right - part of the civic engagement of being a student is taking care of your school grounds. (See the pictures of the girls with their swag.)

After the first 6 months, the girls had a varied set of reports to share with us. Some reports were a bit disheartening, as can be the case when we check in. Studies are challenging because books are scarce. Subject matter is difficult to learn because classes are taught in English (and they speak Swahili). But, through interviews with the girls this past summer, we did hear from them that they know, without question, that education is the 'way forward'. They recounted the value of education to help them make their society better. They noted the importance of education to help their family with health related situations. They shared their ideas about how with education, they can do more to improve their lives. They also expressed that they are very happy and grateful to be going to school every day.

I'm going back in December to visit the students and attend the opening of the secondary school that Project Wezesha has been building with local leaders since 2010. We are very excited - as are the local primary students who are looking forward to filling these classrooms in the near future.

Thank you so much for your support! Because of you, these girls are in school as members of an academic community - trying (hard as it may be) to reach their educational goals and make their lives better!

Asante Sana!

Rai Farrelly
Board Member, Girls Education InternationalCo-Founder, Project Wezesha

Equipped and Ready for School
Equipped and Ready for School
Getting Geared Up!
Getting Geared Up!
The Girls and Rai_Summer 2014
The Girls and Rai_Summer 2014
Nov 4, 2014

November 2014_Project Wezesha Student Update

Khadija and Hindu
Khadija and Hindu

Dear Project Wezesha Supporters,

Greetings and apologies for a long overdue update on our scholarship program. It's amazing how life as a college professor can sweep me up at times! But, at long last - I have put in the hours to edit and compile video footage (interviews) with some of our students from this summer. So, keep reading!

Congratulations to Hindu and Khadija!

First, however, Lucas and I are happy to share some wonderful news! Our amazing students, Hindu and Khadija are graduating from their programs at the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA). They began studying together two years ago and both pursued careers as administrative assistants.

Before they entered VETA, neither of them knew how to type or use computers. During this program, they have learned about shorthand, typing, using MicroSoft Office, communicating via email, and browsing the web for information. Each of them participated in two field placements (internships) in the Kigoma Region.

During their first internship, they worked in offices in Kasulu, about 3 hours from Kigoma town. In the second internship, Hindu traveled to Morogoro while Khadija worked in Kigoma town. In addition to computer skills, they learned important administrative duties - such as taking phone calls, making appointments, announcing visitors to their supervisors, and much more! They became members of an office community and developed skills that will serve them in various types of office settings around the country. In addition, both of them have continued to develop their English language skills and overall confidence.

Without doubt, both of these young women would be married and living in the village today, likely with children, if you hadn't helped us continue their support beyond secondary school. While we were committed originally only to support students through secondary school, we quickly realized that continued support was needed to really impact change. Following in the footsteps of Hindu and Khadija are Diana and Ismael, who have also continued their studies in VETA. Diana is studying clerical work and Ismael is becoming a car mechanic. Updates on them are coming soon!

Please, join me in congratulating Hindu and Khadija on their graduation (The ceremony is in December!) and let's wish them great success in finding a job that taps into their many new skills!

Insights from Our Students

Our next update is from Kagongo Secondary School. In August, Lucas and I went and visited with our new Girls Education International Form 1 students, and we also met with 6 of our current Project Wezesha students. These 6, Marieta, Olivia, Sango, Simoni, Mahamudu, and Ahmadi wanted to share with us some of the challenges that students are facing in the village schools. In this video, they share their honest views on the situation. I admire their willingness to speak candidly and their ability to think critically about the roots of their problems.

Before you watch, I have to also be an advocate for the teachers, who come under harsh judgement by the students at times. In many cases, it's true - the teachers are not performing at their best. The reasons for that vary from insufficient governement support (large class sizes, no textbooks), to disenchantment with living in the village (they don't get to choose where they work). Of course, other factors such as personality, motivation, and organization are likely contributors.

Two of our students mentioned that teachers come and go. The reality is that student teachers do come for their teaching practicum and internship on a short term basis. This seems to cause confusion for our students - understandably so. But, all student teachers do teaching internships. The key is to organize them well so that they compliment student learning and support existing curricula, not lead to disruption. But - this is work for another phase of our longterm vision!

For now, please take a moment to hear what our students have to share. And remember, at the end of the day - they still choose education over no education, even if the reality of their situation is less than ideal.

With sincere gratitude,

Rai Farrelly & Lucas Lameck
Co-founders, Project Wezesha

Students at Kagongo Secondary School
Students at Kagongo Secondary School

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