Women's Global Education Project

Women's Global Education Project was founded on the idea that everyone is entitled to an education, regardless of gender or economic status. We believe that universal education, gender equality and empowerment of women are critical to a society's development. Our mission is to provide access to education and develop training program that empower women and girls, particularly those in developing nations, to build better lives and foster equitable communities.
May 24, 2012

WGEP visits Kenya program

Women's Global Education Project recently visited our Kenya project in rural Tharaka, and returned with a renewed belief in the power of education to change lives!

"The trip was exciting, fun, hot, exhausting, exhilarating, inspiring, and humbling," says WGEP Executive Director Amy Maglio. "More than anything, it reinforced for us the impact--and great need--for our project and for what we are doing in the Tharaka region of Kenya."
 
Amy visited Tharaka last February with WGEP Board President Joan Sherman and WGEP Intern (and current Kenya Peace Corps Volunteer) Hayley Webster.
 
Amy reports on some of the highlights of the trip:
  • 10 days in Tharaka, Kenya. "We met with our amazing staff, Aniceta and Rael, went to classes with our scholars, participated in after-school tutoring, joined Boys and Girls Molding Club sessions, sat with scholar moms in their adult literacy class, spoke at community meetings--basically talked to everyone we could about girls and education!"
  • Saw the difference that education can make in the lives of girls in Kenya and their families. "We heard directly from our scholars' families about how our programs help them overcome the challenges they face in educating their girls. We also saw how the lack of access to education can severely limit opportunities--and therefore just how important our work is in this region."
  • Witnessed the impact of our work on the broader community. "There is more support for women and girls in the villages where we work. More families are sending their girls to school, there are more women in leadership roles, and it is slowly becoming the norm for girls and their families to refuse genital cutting!" 
  • Saw the effects of the East Africa drought and famine. "Rains finally came in January, which helped alleviate the immediate problems in Tharaka--hopefully they will keep coming. Many thanks to everyone who helped us send food aid over to our scholars and families--it really helped them over the hump until the rains came."
  • Getting to know our amazing scholars and graduates. "Our scholars and grads are truly inspiring! Many of them have overcome huge challenges and barriers to go to school and succeed academically. WGEP is proud to be helping them achieve their dreams of becoming teachers, doctors, midwives, lawyers, engineers, pilots, and someday, perhaps even president of Kenya!"

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May 4, 2012

WGEP Senegal adds new support programs

Our Sisters-to-School project in Senegal added an Adult Literacy program for women and a Textbook Library Exchange program for secondary scholars.

The Adult Literacy program, modeled on an existing WGEP Kenya program, gives the mothers of our scholars and other women in the community a way to learn literacy skills and participate in empowerment and support sessions.

The Textbook Library Exchange program will help alleviate textbook costs for scholars by allowing them to share several commonly owned copies of otherwise expensive textbooks.

 CLICK HERE to read more about our WGEP project in Senegal.

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Mar 5, 2012

263 More Girls Say "No!" to female genital cutting

WGEP Kenya congratulates our newest “Circumcision With Words” graduates who completed our Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) program and publicly said “No!” to genital mutilation.

Held last December 4-9 in Tharaka, Kenya, the ARP gave 263 more girls the opportunity to participate in empowerment workshops and--with the support of their families and communities--publicly say “No!” to the culturally-entrenched practice of genital cutting. This is the most girls to participate in the ARP in any one year!

Like a traditional rite of passage ceremony, the girls were “secluded” for a retreat together with mentors and workshop facilitators to discuss topics on health, relationships, personal decision-making, and empowerment. These workshops , which were held in English, Swahili and Kitharaka--the languages commonly spoken in the region--also explored common misconceptions around health and genital cutting, and provided the girls with a support group as they took a stand against the practice.

On the last day, family, friends and community members gathered together to celebrate the girls and to publicly support their decision against genital mutilation. Speakers and special guests included Nicholas Nyaga, the chief of the village of Gatue, who was the first village chieftain in the region to prosecute a practitioner of genital cutting. Other speakers, including WGEP Kenya Project Coordinator Aniceta Kiriga, emphasized empowerment for girls, decrying other forms of violence against women and encouraging the community to support their daughters’ education.

The ceremony closed with a public declaration against genital cutting, certificates for the graduates, and cake for all the participants and attendees.

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