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 22, 2014

Supporting literacy for girls and moms

WGEP Kenya partner Aniceta Kiriga
WGEP Kenya partner Aniceta Kiriga

This past May, Mothers' Day was celebrated in the United States, and it brought to our minds the vital impact maternal figures--mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, and mentors--have on girls' education and on fighting global poverty. Without the support of these women, girls would not be able to go to school.

Your support of our program allowed us to create an innovative literacy training program for the mothers of our scholars so they can better support their daughters in school. These moms never had the chance to go to school themselves, and our program helps them gain basic literacy skills. They know what a gift education is, and they are committed to helping their daughters succeed in school. These women know what a gift motherhood is; they simply want to delay it a bit for their daughters. They know that each year of education that their daughters receive lowers their risk of dying in childbirth and reduces child mortality by 10 percent. They know that educated women have better access to the resources to care for their families, leading to lower rates of malnutrition and increased health outcomes overall.

Thank you for making these outcomes possible for our scholars and their moms!

We also want to share that our colleague Aniceta Kiriga, director of WGEP Kenya’s in-country partner Tharaka Women’s Welfare Project, was recently honored by the Kenyan government for her work with women and girls. Aniceta was one of the recipients of Kenya’s inaugural “Inspirational Women of the Year” awards, given by the Ministry of Gender to one woman from each of Kenya’s 47 counties. Aniceta was recognized for her work with WGEP in Tharaka, particularly her work to advance girls’ education and combat female genital mutilation. Thank you for partnering with us and with Aniceta in this work!

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Feb 26, 2014

Standing against female genital cutting

32 boys joined us against female genital cutting
32 boys joined us against female genital cutting

Thank you for your support of Women's Global Education Project and our Sisters-to-School Kenya program! Your generous support of our work in rural Kenya helps break down the multiple and complex barriers that exist in those communities to keep girls from going to school.

One such program is our annual “Circumcision With Words” Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) program which combats female genital mutilation in rural Tharaka. Last December, your support allowed 250 more girls to participate in the ARP for a week of health and empowerment workshops ending with a big community celebration and cake-cutting. At the community's request, this year's program also included 32 boys, who discussed safe male circumcision topics and publicly supported their sisters, cousins and friends in standing up against FGM.

The ARP is a community-led initiative that works with girls, families and community leaders to provide an alternative way to celebrate a girl's coming into womanhood without genital cutting. Additionally, we have found that girls who didn’t undergo genital cutting stayed in school longer, as they did not face the same pressure to marry early and start a family after being cut.

More than 1,000 girls have said No! to FGM since WGEP started working against the practice with our partners Tharaka Women's Welfare Project in 2007. Thank you again for supporting us in this life-changing work!

Links:

Feb 26, 2014

Thank you for helping WGEP scholars like Mary

WGEP scholars, including Mary and Ndeye, and staff
WGEP scholars, including Mary and Ndeye, and staff

Thank you for supporting Women's Global Education Project and our Sisters-to-School program in Senegal! Your support helps WGEP provide critical scholarships to more than 300 girls in rural Senegal, girls who otherwise would not have the chance to go to school.

Two of these girls are Mary, 9, and Ndeye, who is in high school. Mary lacks a support system at home, but through WGEP’s Sisters-to-School, has found a tutor and mentor in fellow WGEP scholar Ndeye. Mary shares their story in her own words:

"My name is Mary and I am 9 years old. I have participated in the “Sisters to School” program in Senegal since 2012. Where I come from, many girls lack the opportunity to go to school. Girls are expected to stay home and maintain the household while boys go to school. I live with my sister, who is illiterate, her husband and their young children. One day a few years ago, while doing some shopping for my sister’s mother-in-law, I met the WGEP Senegal Project Director. She told me I should go to school, but I knew it would be difficult to convince my family. Fortunately, she came and talked to my sister and her husband. She told them I could receive a scholarship to go to school and they agreed that I could go.

I want to stay in school, but I am worried that I will be forced to leave. My father does not want me in school; he does not understand how an education can be valuable for a girl. Every time I go home, he threatens to pull me out of school. Not only am I afraid of losing my education, I also fear being forced into an early marriage, which is a common practice here. The elders do not understand that I have schoolwork to do, so they constantly demand that I do various tasks for them. I have to work very hard to complete my schoolwork after finishing all of my chores each day.

One thing that has helped me greatly is having a mentor. My mentor and tutor is a high school student and fellow WGEP scholar named Ndeye. She lets me study and do my homework at her house since my sister’s house is too small and crowded to provide good study conditions. I talk to Ndeye about schoolwork as well as my concerns for my health and future. My mother and sister do not understand my concerns, so Ndeye has become like a mother to me.

I like studying, so I want to stay in school so that one day I can become an important person. I want to show my father that a girl can support her family."

 

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